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Tuesday, November 20, 2007

Scientists to New Moms: Get Your Beauty Sleep (Yeah, right!)

On the heels of a study that shows that kids who do not get enough sleep have higher obesity rates, comes this:
Researchers presented a conundrum to new mothers on Monday, saying that women who want to lose the extra weight gained in pregnancy should try to get more sleep.

They found that mothers who slept five hours or less a day when their babies were six months old were three times more likely than more rested mothers to have kept on the extra weight at one year.

"We've known for some time that sleep deprivation is associated with weight gain and obesity in the general population, but this study shows that getting enough sleep — even just two hours more — may be as important as a healthy diet and exercise for new mothers to return to their pre-pregnancy weight," said Erica Gunderson of Kaiser Permanente, which runs hospitals and clinics in California.

Gunderson and colleagues studied 940 women taking part in a study of prenatal and postnatal health at Harvard Medical School in Boston.

The women who slept five hours or less a night when their babies were six months old were more likely to have kept on 11 pounds of weight one year after giving birth, they found.

Women who slept seven hours a night or more lost more weight, they reported in the American Journal of Epidemiology.

The researchers acknowledged this may pose a dilemma to new mothers, given that infants sleep so fitfully.

"With the results of this study, new mothers must be wondering, 'How can I get more sleep for both me and my baby?' Our team is working on new studies to answer this important question," said Dr. Matthew Gillman of Harvard Medical School and Harvard Pilgrim Health Care.
Uh. great. I am SO glad that now that we know being up ALL NIGHT with a screaming baby might be keeping new moms from losing that baby weight may finally have scientists "working on new studies" to get babies and their mothers to sleep more. I mean, it was no problem at all for me to spend the wee hours of countless nights walking back and forth trying to comfort an alternately whimpering and howling baby in my arms - that is, until I found out that this was what might be keeping those pesky pounds from coming off. Because until now, it was perfectly bearable - even enjoyable, right? Thanks for the handy tip, Harvard geniuses! I wonder why getting more sleep didn't occur to me when I was a new mom? Us mothers will be sure to mention it to our colicky babies so that they can take their moms' weight loss needs into account before they make their evening plans!

27 Comments:

Blogger RaggedyMom said...

I appreciated these ridiculous findings, as I am in the full throes of a "Sleepless Raggedy", as we like to call our kids.

I think that part of this relates to being awake more, thus having more time to eat, and also that feeling like a wreck makes one prone to grabbing junky nosh versus fixing something healthy to eat.

6:59 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

those harvard scientists are really cruel.

7:05 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

now you tell me!

10:20 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Didn't we have this discussion on a previous post????

We're cheating ourselves and our kids when proper sleep isn't utilized.

As for little ones, simply sleep when they sleep. To hell with the housework - have someone else do it or make simple meals. We aren't robots. We're human beings. If we decide to live a life that is not compatible with the needs to care for oneself and family, we have to do something about it.

I for one have lived the "simple life" for sure for just that reason. No stress. I entertain a small amount, work part-time only and provide for my family's needs. We all have WANTS, but I'm not ready to sacrifice what is fundamentally important to myself and my family in order to collect material things in life. Isn't worth it!

My children all had "hand-me-downs" and I graciously shared and accepted used items from others when my children were small. As they got older, they thought I was nothing but a cheap scoundrel, but now, as adults, they realize how important it was to be frugal in certain ways so that we didn't load ourselves up with debt, materialistic things and have to work night and day to pay things off.

As I have grown to my senior years, I give back to my children and provide my grandchildren with necessities as much as I can - and we still don't "stress it". A few "wants" are provided for, but we focus on the necessities in life.

As for "fun", we have lots of it - just not the type of jet-setting "fun" people are willing to get themselves in debt over.

Life life, have fun, be morally/ethically upright, give tithes and you will be blessed in many ways!

9:22 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I just have a comment on your grammar:

"Us mothers will be sure to mention it to our colicky babies...," should say "We mothers" instead. "Mothers" is the subject of the sentence, so you need a subject pronoun.

5:47 PM  
Blogger Sarah said...

Raggedymom-

According to my dietician, sleep deprivation leads the body to create more cortisone (a stress hormone), and cortisone undermines the action of insulin.

The cortisone vs. insulin problem was also mentioned in a recent NYTimes article about diabetes, but I don't remember the exact topic or the date.

6:35 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

So, OM. I'm surprised you didn't post about the elephant in the Red Shul today. Rabbi Feitman had no problem speaking up about how much he hates Orthomom, so how could he allow UOJ/Paul Manilow/Feivy Mendelowitz such polite treatment in his shul? His kids should have known better than to bring him here. I hope someone informed the Rav as to his real identity at some point. The man should not be getting an aliya in my shul.

7:18 PM  
Blogger Barbara said...

This article really REALLY hit home with me. I developed atypical MS and during a remission 2 years later, finally - after 12 years of Infertility treatments - got pregnant via IVF.

Unfortunately, I have PCOS as my underlying problem; since I was 9 years old. I gave birth to twins and my ex-husband literally walked out on me the DAY they came home. He came back and helped out but became extremely abusive when I developed Post Partum Depression from the hormonal backlash.

One of my children screamed 24/7 for 7 months. I bled out for 6 months and my remission was gone. I was treated to being screamed at and about 3-4 hours sleep every 5 days. My PPD almost got me hospitalized but my ex REFUSED to hire any help for me so I was left alone, bleeding out and ill with 2 infants sometimes for days - when he decided not to come home. My state of mind was a mess until about 2 years ago and I finally got away from him. My kids had just turned 7 and we had all survived but I was an emotional and physical wreck. I had 3 doctors dealing with me for 16 months until I started to pull out of it all.

A lot of it, the doctors tell me, was my lack of sleep. My body had no time to heal, I became emotionally labile and my decision making was shot. I could get groceries, clean the house, get the kids to and from school and do things for them but I couldn't get myself together enough to get help for me - mentally or physically.

PCOS causes serious insulin resistance (pre-diabetes) and raises your cortisol leaves. Lack of sleep and stress does the SAME. In Combination - its just about killed me; though I am doing better now (btw - did I mention my twins just turned 10years old??) Yes, that's how long it took for me to play catch-up and help myself.

Believe me I am still paying for it.

All that said, I gotta love how researchers make these pronouncements with no "solutions" on how mothers; even ones with better health & situations than I, are supposed to help themselves!

As a single parent (who was virtually single since day one) who's been struggling with PCOS for 41 years now, I laugh at this article.

10:25 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Dear moderator,
please post a new blog concerning what happened in Gourmet Glatt recently. Approximately two weeks ago there was mistakenly allowed by the mashgiach of the five towns the brand "bushs best" original baked beans which has in its ingrediants bacon meat, versus the vegetarian brand which is certified kosher. The outrage is that the Vaad of 5 towns has not alerted the community of this mishap, and for those who purchased this brand must kasher their dishes and utensils immediately bec. of the treif meat

12:43 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

What if the money spent on silly studies like this could be instead given as a stipend to new mothers so they could get some help in the house and maybe take a nap. Think about how much healthier the whole country would be!!

Anyway, I think we all know that we eat too many carbs trying to survive on 4 hours sleep when our children are young.

7:55 PM  
Anonymous Dan said...

I dont believe a word of it - the fact that moms who get more sleep lost more pounds was probably because they had extra help with the baby - allowing them to sleep more & therefore less stressed & probably went to the gym more too.

Personally I find, the less sleep i get, the more weight i lose - as long as you dont stay up all night eating!

12:47 PM  
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