What is "Slanger"?
People are probably familiar with the word ‘hangry’ – it is the combination of feelings of hunger and anger, taken to mean being irritable because you haven’t eaten. As it turns out, ‘hangry’ has an intuitive but equally aggravating cousin in the form of ‘slangry’. It’s the ugly feeling of sleep deprivation and anger that you might also be familiar with, especially if you’re a new mom.
New mothers learn quickly that getting enough sleep when taking care of a newborn is easier said than done. You’re always on the lookout for whether your child needs feeding, burping, changing, or cooing to sleep. Because of this, it’s not surprising how much sleep new parents lose on average. Medical Daily specified that 44 days’ worth of sleep is usually sacrificed by moms and dads during the first year of their child’s life.
While it is important to attend to your baby’s needs, recent studies have shown that sacrificing sleep can be one of the most detrimental things you can do for you and your baby. Aside from making you ‘slangry’, sleep deprivation can cause a myriad of mental and emotional problems.
The costs of sacrificing sleep
When you’re ‘slangry’, even the smallest matters can set you off. Maybe there was a spill from your bottle, or the wind might have knocked over a framed photo on your nightstand. On a normal day you would have simply brushed or laughed it off. But when you’re sleep deprived, you have higher tendencies of snapping at your partner, or worse – your child. The Journal of Sleep Medicine explains that this irritability and aggression is a byproduct of lack of sleep, which muddles up your prefrontal cortex.
Moreover, this makes it difficult for you to concentrate on even the simplest of tasks. The Brain Flux relayed that sleep deprivation impairs judgment and makes it harder to focus or follow instructions. This can make things like carrying your baby or driving a car dangerous.
Last and most troubling, not having enough sleep can mess with our ability to form lasting memories. Leesa explained that sleep-deprived people are less likely to make new memories, and the moments that do get stored in their minds may be wrongly associated with negative emotions. Without adequate sleep, you’re twice as likely to form bad memories about your baby as compared to neutral or positive memories.
Picture this: You may often remember the times when your little one threw baby tantrums, but miss the details of what you did to make him or her smile. It’s a nightmare scenario for any mom.
Effective slanger management
Because of all of the negative effects of skimping on sleep, it’s important for new moms to minimize their slanger levels. One way you can do this is to sleep train your child, which was discussed in a previous post here on Ecocentric Mom. Among other things, sleep training allows you to sleep longer when your child is sleeping, helping both of you feel well rested afterwards.
Try teaming up with your partner and negotiate a sleep schedule where one of you is awake to attend to your baby’s needs while the other one catches up on some much-needed sleep. It helps to prepare a bottle of pumped breast milk before going to sleep. Of course, having bottles that can be quickly cleaned and assembled makes things easier too, and for that, Ecocentric Mom recommends the Thinkbaby All-in-One set.
Although it can be a challenge at first, it’s important to practice good ‘slanger’ management and get as much sleep as you can. Not only is this good for you and your baby’s health, it’s also the best way you can make as many good memories as you can with your child.
Article ContributorAleah Staunton: After bringing up four children as a single mother, Aleah learnt a lot of life lessons the hard way. Now that all of her children are in school, she has found time to go back to University where she is currently studying for a degree in Psychology. Away from being a full-time mother and student, Aleah enjoys reading sci-fi novels, and playing volleyball.