The lack of sleep that comes hand-in-hand with having children is likely doing more damage to your brain and your body than you realize.
Newborn babies know nothing of day and night and when they are supposed to sleep, and why would they? That unintentional disregard for societal norms will play absolute havoc on your mind and body as new parents sleep whenever they possibly can. Those times will come at the most random times, and they normally won't last for very long.
The negative effects a lack of sleep can have on the human body go far beyond just feeling sleepy most of the time, as highlighted by Today's Parent. Humans are built to get seven or eight hours of sleep a night. Even one night of six hours or less will have an impact on you. Your problem-solving abilities will decline, as will your verbal abilities, and also your comprehension of written articles.
Tired moms with kids are often referred to as "mom-zombies." That nickname has come about via physical appearance as well as mental ones. Most of us have been told how tired we look, and probably been rather offended by it. However, moms with babies likely hear it a lot more often. That's because sleep deprivation can actually lead to your body producing less collagen, thus causing your skin elastins to breakdown.
Those of you with parents of slightly older children will know that we have more bad news for you. It doesn't really get any better. Not for a while anyway. A study by the Sleep Research Society found that both moms and dads reported not returning to a normal sleeping pattern for up to six years after the birth of their first child.
If you are a new parent or you have a baby on the way, try not to panic. You will sleep again, it will just take some meticulous planning. Sleeping whenever your baby is sleeping is rule number one. That might mean sacrificing some other things but believe us, you'll appreciate it in the long run. Plus, don't stay up late one night and sleep for 12 hours the next. Sleeping too much can actually have negative effects on you too. The key is balance and routine but we know that is easier said than done with a baby to care for.