The birth of a child is an emotional period for mothers but it can be rather exhausting too. Being a mother comes with a bunch of new responsibilities. These responsibilities can sometimes affect the health of the mother herself because she may get intimidated by them. Infants are not exactly known for sleeping well, so you are usually up all hours of the night taking care of them. But for some mothers, the fatigue goes beyond what is considered normal and starts to border on sleeplessness. But you are not alone, according to research, as 67% of women have postpartum insomnia.
Let’s Discuss The Meaning Of Postpartum Insomnia
One of the most frequent difficulties after giving delivery is sleep disruptions. Some strong women get improvement from these problems within a few weeks. Some, though, may experience postpartum sleeplessness for months. Postpartum insomnia is a type of sleep disorder that affects many new mothers, making it difficult for them to fall asleep, stay asleep, or get enough restorative sleep. Not many parents experience postpartum sleeplessness, but you could experience it for a number of reasons, including hormone changes or lifestyle changes.
Causes of Postpartum Insomnia
The causes of postpartum insomnia are multifactorial, and they can be both physical and emotional. Some common causes include hormonal changes, physical discomfort, stress, anxiety, depression, and the demands of caring for a newborn. Understanding the underlying causes of postpartum insomnia is important for effective treatment, as untreated insomnia can have negative effects on the mother’s health and well-being.
- Hormonal changes
Although the birth of a child is miraculous, it also upsets your hormones and throws everything out of whack. The drop in your reproductive hormones is natural, your progesterone and estrogen levels plummet after giving delivery. These chemicals can influence your body’s natural sleep-wake cycle, also known as circadian rhythms. When this cycle is disrupted, you may experience daytime fatigue and nighttime alertness. It will take some time for your body to return to balance.
- Overwhelmed due to new responsibility
The main factors contributing to sleeplessness, particularly after childbirth, are stress and anxiety. Postpartum anxiety affects around 10% of new mothers. It includes worrying about performing tasks properly. Stress and worry might rise and only make things worse if you do not get enough sleep. Many new mothers who experience postpartum insomnia get into a vicious cycle of worrying about parenting, losing sleep, and then experiencing apprehension or anxiety over their inability to sleep. Your mind will need to process all of the changes that parents go through in a short period of time. It should be simpler to go off to sleep the calmer you can maintain yourself. Also, there is no shame in consulting a therapist or counselor to assist you in discussing recent changes.
- Postpartum depression
Another barrier to sleeping is postpartum or perinatal depression. Extreme melancholy, anxiety, and exhaustion may be brought on by this disease that affects new mothers. It is said that postpartum depression is found in about one in eight pregnant mothers. Two typical signs of this illness are having trouble getting asleep and sleeping a lot. According to one study, new mothers who have poor sleep quality are more than three times as likely to experience sadness as those who have a good sleep regime.
How To Cure The Postpartum Insomnia And Improve Your Sleep
The best course of action for treating insomnia depends on the mother’s health and medical background. There are various treatments with a strong scientific foundation for treating insomnia that are risk-free to explore after giving birth.
- Cognitive behavioral therapy
Using cognitive behavioral treatment for insomnia, patients may notice a reduction in symptoms. The goal of this sort of therapy, which is typically provided by a qualified healthcare practitioner, is to discover unhelpful or false assumptions about sleep and swap them out for more constructive ones. The following are examples of specific cognitive-behavioral treatment elements.
- Sleep routine
Those with insomnia and other sleep disorders can approach their challenges from a more knowledgeable viewpoint by knowing more about how sleep functions and what we can do to gain more rest each night. Keeping a sleep diary increases understanding of sleep patterns.
- Stimulus control
The bed becomes more associated with sleep and less so with being awake. When you can’t sleep at night, it includes a number of elements, such as getting out of bed and forgetting to check the time.
As research has shown, mindfulness meditation can significantly speed up the process of falling asleep and reduce nighttime awakenings in people who are experiencing postpartum insomnia. Yoga, tai chi, and qigong are examples of exercises that combine meditative motions and have been shown to enhance sleep quality in people with a variety of health issues. However, none of these studies specifically examined postpartum women. With CBT-i, relaxation techniques like guided imagery, music, muscle relaxation, and deep breathing are frequently employed and may be effective in treating perinatal insomnia in the long term.
- Coordinate your sleep with baby
Examining a child’s sleep and feeding patterns is one of the first stages in treating postpartum insomnia. After bringing a newborn home, it is typical to get many months of broken sleep. Your ability to set reasonable expectations during this time might be aided by being open with your partner, physician, and pediatrician about your worries. It also teaches you how to recognize early indicators of insomnia and your sleep patterns.
In conclusion, postpartum insomnia can be a challenging and distressing condition that affects many new mothers. While hormonal changes and physical discomfort associated with childbirth can contribute to this sleep disorder. Other factors such as stress, anxiety, and depression can also play a significant role. Understanding the complex interplay of physical and emotional factors that contribute to postpartum insomnia is critical to developing effective treatment strategies. By addressing the underlying causes of postpartum insomnia, new mothers can better manage their sleep disturbances, improve their health and well-being, and provide better care for their newborns. It is important to seek professional help if postpartum insomnia is causing significant distress and impacting daily functioning.