There are things you can to to improve the quality of sleep and avoid complications.

As a part of our sleep week coverage, KHOU 11 is taking a look at sleep deprivation in parents and the resources available in Houston to help.

Tanaya Mitchell was just one of many parents who suffered from sleep deprivation.

“We’re supposed to get a woman is supposed to get between eight and 12 hours,” she said. “That is not feasible, especially for a mother who is single and with a full and busy schedule like I had with both of my daughters.”

Mom of two, Tanaya’s case lack of sleep led to the discovery of an epilepsy diagnosis.

I was talking to my girls and I came out of the bathroom and I was communicating with them and my eyes were all in the back of my head and I fainted in front of them,” Mitchell said.

Little sleep triggered her condition.

“So, there’s a lot of health consequences. And even in the acute phase, one or two nights of sleep deprivation can affect you,” Dr. Puneet Patni Pulmonary, critical care and sleep medicine physician, said.

Dr. Patni said that includes increased risk of diabetes, viral infections, cholesterol issues, and cardiovascular troubles.

He works at Kelsey-Seybold sleep center in Houston and can have sleep examined for patients in hotel-style rooms that are comfortable.

“The typical routine is that the patient comes in in the evening and they’ll get some monitors put on them that record airflow or oxygen saturation and body movements and position EEG data,” Dr. Patni said.

Then in a control room next door, medical tech staff look for problems with airflow, respiration, excessive movements or brainwave patterns.

“That data, you know, needs to be reviewed,” Patni said. “So, it’s first scored by our technicians here in the lab.”

The information is sent over to a sleep physician who interprets it to the patient.

As a parent, if your sleep patterns check out fine, chances are you don’t have a set daily routine for your kids, which might be keeping you from sleeping well.

“It’s a matter of just juggling the competing demands that everybody has with work and being a parent, so trying to maintain steady bedtimes and wake up times is important,” Patni said .

Tanaya started doing this to put her health first.

“I had to manage my sleep better. I noticed that when I’m really tired or if I’m not getting adequate sleep, I can feel the change in my head again,” said Mitchell.

Dr.Patni said a lot of parents think they can catch up on sleep on weekends.

“If you cut off just one or two hours of sleep every night, in studies, what you see is that every day there’s a degradation in your performance. In addition to having a regular sleep schedule? Are they minimizing caffeine to really only kind of in the morning because caffeine has a half life of five, 6 hours,” said Patni.

And grabbing a glass of wine, after you get the kids settled into bed, might not be ideal.

“Alcohol in the evenings, sounds great. Makes you a little drowsy, but it actually disrupts the sleep quality,” Patni said.

Overall, in order to get better sleep as a parent, you must cut down on the distractions, which Tanaya said improved her quality of life drastically.

“I’ve been managing my sleep better,” she said. “You know that  means I have to say no to some things, so you know, not hanging out on girls night.


Source:, Ugochi IIoka