Did you put milk in the washing machine and socks in the fridge this morning You might be suffering from Babylag
17:16 GMT, 14 September 2012
New parents who mistakenly put milk in a washing machine and socks in a fridge are not going crazy…they are suffering from ‘babylag’.
Sleep deprivation after having a baby is not unusual, but it can have serious consequences, like mothers falling asleep in the shower and fathers going to work on their days off.
Other sleepless blunders include hanging dry clothes on a washing line and dressing children in the wrong clothes, according to a recent study.
Distracted Peaches Geldoph's pushchair tipped over recently, causing her son Astala to almost fall out, was it babylag that caused the star to get distracted
But while such behaviour can have its
amusing side, three in four new parents suffer from
what the research coins ‘babylag’ because of its similarities to jetlag.
difference is that it takes a lot less time to recover from the effects
of a trans-Atlantic plane journey compared to months of disturbed
nights, according to sleep expert Dr Dev Banerjee, a consultant at
Birmingham Heartlands Hospital.
The poll of 1,000 parents for toiletries’ brand Johnson’s Baby found that
nearly half of new mums and dads get just four hours sleep
a night for up to a week at a time.
in three are regularly woken three times a night by a
crying baby in the early weeks of parenthood and 43 per cent of adults
stay awake for an hour each time.
Top 10 bizarre babylag mishaps by new parents
1. Putting milk in the washing machines (and socks in the fridge)
2. Falling asleep in the shower
3. Leaving baby in the car
4.Going out in pyjamas
5. Use hair spray instead of deodorant
6. Hang dirty clothes on washing line
7. Put shampoo on toothbrush
8. Poured babymilk over my breakfast cereal
9. Getting up and going to the office on a weekend (when not supposed to)
10. Put wrong clothes on children
The psychological side effects of
losing sleep include heightened emotions for 36 per cent and the
zombie-like feeling of operating on ‘auto pilot’ for 17 per cent.
And that is what leads to mixed up
behaviour such as confusing the fridge for the food cupboard and shampoo
for toothpaste among other things, said the research.
Dr Banerjee said: 'We’ve delved
further, recognising the true extent of sleep deprivation among new
parents and the effects it has on them during daylight hours.
'The term ‘babylag’ seems very fitting as the symptoms experienced by parents are akin to clocking up numerous trans-Atlantic flights and suffering extreme jet lag.
'When parents are woken up by their baby regularly in the night they rarely enter the final stages of ‘deep’ sleep, denying their bodies the chance to re-charge and prepare for the day ahead.
'If that is happening night after night it can lead to slower reaction times, poor concentration and affect memory recall and problem solving.'
Johnson’s Baby created a test for new parents to take, which measures just how exhausted they really are.
Among them are simple memory recall and reaction rate tests which should be easy to complete in a matter of seconds, but if they take longer than a minute to complete then parents could be suffering babylag.
The site also has advice on how to cope with lack of sleep and to find a routine that helps babies sleep better within just a week.
This includes a three step routine of bath, massage and quiet time before bedtime itself which, analysis shows, leads to babies falling asleep quicker and staying asleep longer, said Dr Banerjee.