Sleep and Mom Brain

The term “mom brain” (also referred to as momnesia, mummy brain, or pregnancy brain) is often thrown around humorously to excuse missed appointments or leaving the house in a pair of slippers, but did you know there is actually some scientific backing to it? Researchers have discovered a range of

Difficulty sleeping

  • Trouble focusing on single tasks

  • Misplacing objects (i.e. your phone, keys, etc)

  • Generalized “brain fog”

  • Problems remembering names of common objects, important dates, etc.

  • How does sleep come into play?
    What role does “lack of sleep” play in the presentation of “mom brain” and could that be affecting your day to day functioning? Not getting enough sleep has itself been associated with a range of neurological side effects. A growing body of evidence reveals how brain cells themselves can become sluggish with sleep deprivation and lead to mental lapses in concentration, visual perception, and memory.

    Nighttime sleep plays a critical role in allowing your brain the opportunity to create, store, and file away memories from the day as well as giving it time to “clean up,” flushing out toxin buildup and potentially
    How can moms get better sleep?
    If you’re not getting your 7 to 9 hours of sleep a night, which as a new mom especially can be difficult, you could be putting your own mental health at risk. Don’t miss these quick sleep hints and tricks:

    Digital Baby Monitor

    If you find yourself constantly checking on your kids sleeping late at night, or even waking in the night to check on them, you may want to consider a digital baby monitor. Technological advancements have transformed baby monitors from clunky walkie-talkies into sleek freestanding cameras which sync live video to your digital devices. Stay in bed and quickly glance at your phone for peace of mind.

    Nighttime Self-Care Routine

    If you are literally collapsing into bed each night and still having trouble sleeping, it might be time to start forming a routine of self-care rituals that promote better rest. These can involve simple yet effective practices including:

    • Taking a warm bath

    • Listening to soothing music

    • Diffusing calming aromatics (lavender, sandalwood, bergamot, etc.)

    • Giving yourself a quick foot rub with hydrating lotion

    • Journaling about your day

    • Completing a mini restorative yoga session

    • Meditating or practicing deep breathing

    Prep Your Environment

    The sheer amount of light filling your home even when the lamps are turned off is astounding – microwaves, alarm clocks, refrigerators, air purifiers, and other common devices are often emitting their own light from their digital displays. Prep your sleeping environment by making sure it is as dim as possible in your bedroom (or use sleeping Ditch the Digital Device

    Skimming Instagram or Pinterest on your smartphone may be your go-to activity once you do finally climb into bed, but the blue light it’s emitting could be doing more harm than good. Studies have shown that blue light exposure from devices like these can actually Other positive changes which can power longer, stronger sleep include limiting caffeine intake throughout the day, avoiding long naps, and regularly exercising to really wear your body out. While transforming your sleep habits for the better may not reverse your “mom brain,” it can give your memory and other cognitive functions more of a fighting chance each day!

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