Rochdale Observer - - MEMORY WALK -

OST par­ents know that the ar­rival of a new baby spells the end of those long Sun­day morn­ing lie-ins. Gone are the days of snooz­ing in bed with the week­end news­pa­pers and a glo­ri­ously empty sched­ule – now your nights and morn­ings re­volve around hourly feeds, nappy changes and run­ning on adren­a­line.

Ex­perts fre­quently ad­vise that we aim for eight hours of shut-eye per night, but if you have a new­born, it can be nor­mal to go weeks or even months with­out get­ting more than a few hours of un­bro­ken sleep at a time.

A re­cent sur­vey, by sleep tech­nol­ogy brand Simba, found that for the first year of their baby’s life, new par­ents get just four hours and 44 min­utes slum­ber a night on av­er­age. More than half of the poll re­spon­dents also re­port look­ing back at the first 12 months of par­ent­hood and be­ing amazed that they were able to func­tion as well as they did on so lit­tle sleep.

“Just like reg­u­lar ex­er­cise and a healthy diet, sleep helps the body to func­tion,” says Ana Noia, se­nior clin­i­cal phys­i­ol­o­gist in neu­ro­phys­i­ol­ogy and sleep for Bupa UK (bupa.co.uk). “Get­ting enough rest is one of the most im­por­tant things you can do for your health, par­tic­u­larly when you need to be alert to the needs of a child.”

Ana ex­plains that a good night’s sleep im­proves your abil­ity to learn, re­duces men­tal fa­tigue, and helps form mem­o­ries in your brain.

“Be­yond phys­i­cal fa­tigue, tired­ness and low en­ergy lev­els, not get­ting enough sleep for a long pe­riod of time can lead to se­ri­ous health con­di­tions, such as high blood pres­sure and di­a­betes, so it’s re­ally im­por­tant that we give our bod­ies the chance to rest,” she adds.

So what can par­ents do to help en­sure they get as much sleep as pos­si­ble? Here are some sleep tips for new par­ents...

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