Sleepless nights toll for new mothers equals SEVEN YEARS of aging, research finds –

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Sleepless nights toll for new mothers equals SEVEN YEARS of aging, research finds – fr


As if coping with midnight feedings and 3 a.m. diaper changes weren’t tough enough, scientists now say sleepless nights can make new mothers age for up to seven.

Research suggests that a lack of sleep in the first six months after a baby is born accelerates aging.

Regularly sleeping less than seven hours a night can leave a woman’s body between three and seven years older, according to the study.

Researcher Dr Judith Carroll urged new mothers to close their eyes when they can – and to seek help from grandparents when possible.

As if coping with midnight feedings and 3 a.m. diaper changes weren’t tough enough, scientists now say sleepless nights can make new mothers age for up to seven. [File photo]

In the first study of its kind, she asked 33 mothers of one-year-old children how long they had slept since their baby was born.

More than half received less than seven hours per night.

Dr Carroll also took blood samples from the women and analyzed it for tiny changes in their DNA. These changes are linked to aging, as well as age-related illnesses, such as heart disease, and higher risks of premature death.

The results revealed that the first six months after a baby is born are crucial. Lack of sleep during this time accelerated aging – and the risk of ill health. Poor sleep over the following months did not seem to have any effect.

Dr Carroll, of the University of California, Los Angeles, said it could be because caring for a newborn baby is particularly taxing on the body.

It’s also possible that the lack of sleep when the baby was between seven and 12 months old also aged mothers, but it was too early to show up in blood tests.

As for new fathers, Dr Carroll believes they will also be aged from lack of sleep – but to a lesser extent if their partners take care of most of the childcare.

Being overweight also fuels biological aging. However, being married or living with a partner has helped keep new mothers young, reports the journal Sleep Health.

Dr Carroll said larger studies are needed to confirm the results. It is also important to check whether aging is permanent or whether better sleep in the following years cancels it out.

She recommends that new moms get to sleep when they can. “When the baby falls asleep at seven or eight in the evening and the mother is also tired, it may be better to go to bed than to try to stand,” she said.

“Having more opportunities to sleep is also important. If there is a partner, friend or grandparent available, I encourage them to use this help so mum can go back to bed.

Clare Byam-Cook, a former midwife who has helped thousands of women breastfeed and put their babies to sleep, said: “Not enough emphasis is placed on the importance of mothers taking care of themselves. , as well as their babies. ‘But Dr Neil Stanley, an independent sleep expert, said new mothers shouldn’t worry.

“There is no doubt that having a newborn baby is going to disrupt your sleep,” he said. “But were the changes the researchers found a sign of aging or a sign that the women had just had a terrible six months? One might assume that after a million years of evolution, the body is prepared for motherhood and is able to recover afterwards.

As for new fathers, Dr Carroll believes they will also be aged from lack of sleep – but to a lesser extent if their partners take care of most of the childcare.

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