Lifewatch: Better sleeping habits

Reported by Claire Hosmann - email
Posted by Debra Worley - email

(WECT) - Having a baby can change a woman's life in many ways, including the amount of sleep they get.

Doctors warn new moms to try to get a good night's rest or they could be sacrificing their health.

Val Holford hasn't' had a good night's sleep in months, because her son Tristen is teething.

"My friend told me when I was pregnant, that I would never sleep as soundly as before I became a mom, and I didn't believe her at the time, but she was so right," said Val.

But Val isn't the only new mom who complains about a lack of sleep.

Dr. Thomas Lorusso said restless nights can eventually lead to long-term sleep problems.

"There's something called cycle physiologic insomnia which often will be triggered by some initial poor sleep habits," said Dr. Lorusso.  "So, if this pattern becomes established and it's very difficult to break it."

Lorusso explains that pattern could lead to even more troubles.

"When you don't sleep well you generally don't feel well, so fatigue is a big issue," said Dr. Lorusso.  "And now there's some indications that people who have insomnia increase their weight over time."

To break bad sleep habits, doctors recommend limiting food and drink within three hours before going to bed, avoiding caffeine within 8 hours of bed time, and exercising more in the morning.

For more tips on how to sleep better, click here.