Sleep-Deprived Mothers Can Suffer From Momnesia


| 7/26/2011 11:09:08 AM


Tags: Mothers, Sleep Deprivation, Insomnia, Momnesia, Memory Loss, Parenting, Study, Research,

J.PattonMotherhood is exhausting—or so I’ve heard. Your new bundle of joy begs for your love, attention (and food) at all hours of the day, and often nights become devoted to changing diapers and heating bottles rather than sleeping.

A new study is showing that interrupted sleep can lead to more than dark circles and a cranky disposition the next day—it can also lead to memory loss. The research suggests that shortly after childbirth, “momnesia,” or a severe mental fog, sets in until the kiddos start sleeping the whole night through. Some mothers report that their children’s infancies are a blur.

7-26-11-mom-and-baby 
Those late nights tending to your newborn can give you two
an irreplaceable bond—and a hazy memory as well.
Photo by jeanine&preston/Courtesy
Flickr 

In the study, lab mice were divided into two groups. One group was woken up frequently throughout the night, while the second was allowed to stay in dreamland until morning. The next day, the sleep-deprived rodents investigated old objects in the cage as if they’d never seen them before. The mice that got a good night’s rest explored new items and ignored the items they’d seen the previous day.

Although the study’s findings don’t necessarily carry over to humans, it adds yet another argument for getting adequate shut-eye each night. There are many other reasons you should get a good night’s sleep.

But first, just what counts as “a good night’s sleep?”




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