Why Moms Can't Sleep
More and more moms are saying they aren't getting anywhere near enough ZZZs -- and it's wrecking their health, their careers, even their marriages. Redbook reveals what's really keeping them wide awake at all hours, and what women can do to get some much-needed shut-eye
Photo Credit: TommL/istock
After those long nights, which occur three or four times a week and give her only about five hours of sleep a night, Frey struggles to stay awake through the day. She snacks continuously to keep busy and alert on the drive to work; during meetings she fidgets so she won't fall asleep. When she gets home, her husband and two kids tread carefully in her presence. "I've heard them say, 'Oh, Mommy's yelling today,'" she says. "It's not a nice feeling."
Frey isn't the only exhausted mom caught in a cycle of wakeful nights and groggy days. According to the National Sleep Foundation (NSF), almost two thirds of women -- many of them mothers -- have insomnia, meaning that they have difficulty falling or staying asleep. Countless Redbook readers have written in with the same problem, saying their insomnia is threatening to ruin their careers, their marriages and everything else they hold dear. To make matters worse, not enough physicians understand the severity of the problem, leaving women to believe that sleeplessness is part of being a mom and that they should just get with the program. "I'm nearly ready to drop off into a coma at any given moment," says Niki McDonald, 29, a mother of three in Idaho Falls, Idaho, who gets five hours of sleep on her best nights. "Help!"
What's keeping so many mothers wide awake into the wee hours? Redbook reveals what's behind this silent sleeplessness epidemic -- and finds out what you can do to get the rest you so desperately need.
More from Redbook