Lack of sleep and sleep deprivation is very common amongst couples with young children. According to a recent study, it is estimated that a new mother loses approximately 740 hours of sleep in the first year of baby’s life and that is at the low end of the scale. Regardless of whether you are a working couple or a one parent stay at home kind of couple, when you don’t get enough sleep, the entire family is affected.
When you don’t get enough sleep, you are probably going to be cranky, irritable, and not able to be fully present in what you are doing. When you are feeling this bad, how do you have the time to connect with your partner, the single most important person that you decided to embark on this journey with? Countless studies have been done and here are some of the ways lack of sleep affects relationships:
1. Couples appreciate each other less and feel less gratitude towards one another
2. There is less empathy toward your partner
3. You become more selfish
4. You are less inclined to solve problems and conflict in your relationship
5. Lack of sleep basically saps away all the traits needed to make a relationship successful.
I can personally vouch for this as I have just recently had a 2nd baby. Though I am a trained sleep consultant, having a newborn in the house is no easy feat. He was an ‘easy’ baby and fed great and slept fairly well. Despite all of this, the 3 hour Eat-Play-Sleep Cycle took it’s toll on me. I was irritable, angry and exhausted and took it out on my husband. Fortunately, my son is now 4 months old and is sleeping 12 hours through the night, which has made me feel like a whole new person.
I have more patience for my older son and my husband. I am willing to listen and talk through issues with my husband. Hell, I actually want to listen and talk, as opposed to just crawling into a cave and curling up in a fetal position to sleep.
So, do you want to have time for your spouse/partner and go back to re-discovering the magic you once had? Well, get working on the amount of sleep that you are getting. If your children are up late into the night and need your help to get to sleep, then you don’t have a lot of hours for yourself or your loved one.
Put your children to bed early so that you can relax over dinner and talk.
Teach your children to sleep independently, so that a care giver (other than yourself) can put them to bed when you go out (now, there’s a radical thought!)
If your children don’t have the sleep skills yet read some sleep books to come up with a strategy to do this.
Give the gift of sleep to your spouse and surprise them this Valentine’s Day by hiring a sleep consultant (shameless plug).
As a Valentine’s special, if you mention this blog post, I am offering 15% off my services in Feb, if you book before Feb 14th.
So what are you waiting for? Show your partner how much you love them, by telling that you want them to get more sleep!