We should have known from their birth that this was going to be a lifelong battle. I remember after the twins were born, listening to other new moms brag how their kids were sleeping through the night at three months old and secretly hating them. I remember trying all the same things I had done with my first and wondering why it wasn't working with O and W. 1 to 3 hours of sleep for their first 18 months would destroy the strongest of men but somehow we survived it.
From sleep apnea to brain drain, from too much melatonin to not enough magnesium -- it's hard to know what can really be causing your sleep issues. Sleep is one of the most important things we do for ourselves, and may be the most important. Lack of sleep can lead to lowered concentration, increased stress, and even greater susceptibility to colds and flus.
I know I'm not the first person out there to write about being a sleep deprived parent. If you have kids, there is a 99 per cent chance that you've had a period of time where you weren't getting enough sleep. And if that's not true, I don't want to hear about it from you -- you and your smug face can leave.
Findings revealed that participants who read on an iPad produced 55 per cent less melatonin. Melatonin is a hormone that tends to increase in the evening to induce sleepiness and regulate sleep. It is also a strong anti-inflammatory known to suppress cancer cell growth. When melatonin levels decrease they can shift the body's circadian rhythm and make it difficult to fall asleep.
Studies to unveil the marvels of our daily hibernation -- and the deleterious effects of deprivation -- will continue and many more discoveries will be made. In the meantime, as the cold and flu season continues to spread in Canada, we should take heed from the research suggesting slumber is critical to health.
Generally speaking, taking medications against depression or anxiety should not always be the first measure to find relief. A health-promoting lifestyle that includes eating a balanced diet, regular exercise, and enough sleep can be very helpful in dealing with many disturbances, both of body and mind.