Surviving Sleepless Nights

Last night was the mother of all sleep deprived nights, and believe me there’s been some contenders. “You have a newborn what do you expect?” I hear you say, It’s true, I do, but it wasn’t just the night feeds keeping me up, poor Emelia was rocking an extremely high temperature and would not settle. In a desperate attempt to get some sleep I went against everything I usually stand for when it comes to bedtime and took her downstairs just before midnight.

It was dark, there was no television on, but we made a bed downstairs to have a sleepover, just like Peppa Pig (that damn pig has a lot to answer for!).  Still she wouldn’t settle, she wasn’t upset, just wide awake and wanted to ‘sit up’ – ‘no sleep for me tonight then’ I thought whilst I looked at the clock as 2am was approaching.  Eventually 3am came and Emelia was sprawled across our bed on the floor snoring away – have all the room my dear, as long as you’re asleep!  I fed Oscar and settled down to try and recuperate a bit of sleep. “Mummy, MUMMY LOOK I DID IT,” holy moly what now?! I shot up and Emelia was sat proudly in front of 3 puzzles she had done, (quite impressive considering it was still dark) I looked at the clock simultaneously with her asking me for breakfast, 4:50am – Is this some sort of a joke?!

As I sit here, at 1:30pm my eyes are feeling a bit worse for wear, Oscar is next to me sound asleep and after an emotional morning Emelia has given in and gone to her bed where she has been sound asleep for about 15 minutes (please stay there and get some rest), I’m reminiscing of the times I used to feel sleep deprived from a wild night out where we’d roll into work with an hour or two’s sleep under our belt.  It didn’t seem so bad then.  I digress, the point of this post is last night got me thinking about how I cope on very little sleep, Brett sometimes (if he’s feeling brave) says that I don’t need lie ins because I can cope better than him on very little rest – not for lack of wanting it I might add, but I just as many many other mums do, have to get on with it!

So, here are the ways I manage to get through the day (just about) on very little sleep:

Get Dressed

I’m sure many other mums will relate to this, I feel much more sluggish if I’m not up and dressed early in the morning, I find it harder to get going.  Getting showered, dressed and doing my hair and make up, even a little mascara makes me feel refreshed and productive.

Drink Plenty

I preach this to everyone else but really need to do more of it myself, drink plenty of water!  Although a couple cups of tea or coffee are always needed too!

Fresh Air

It makes me feel so much better if I go out and get some fresh air, even if it’s just a short walk down the road, or sitting the garden with that much needed caffeine fix!

Have A System

How many times have you heard women talk about waking at their baby’s slightest murmur, stir or the anticipation that any moment they might wake for a feed.  While dad is there, snoring away.  I used to resent Brett for being able to sleep through Emelia waking up, I’d find myself nudging him when she did wake, even if he had work in the morning, if I’m awake he should be too.  It was like a reflex, she cried, I nudged him. I knew it was wrong but I couldn’t help it.  We figured out a system that works for us around Brett’s work schedule so we both get some rest.  Find a routine that works for you and go into the night with a plan – it works I promise!

Avoid Screens Before Lights Out

You’ve heard it a million times, but it really does work, if you can’t switch off straight away find a new book or magazine to read.

Sleep When Baby Sleeps

Don’t necessarily take this literally, I can’t just switch off and sleep as soon as Oscar does because I have Emelia to entertain.  However, I do have days where she is at Nursery and I have some time to myself when Oscar is sleeping.  If you can’t sleep find another way to just chill for a while, maybe it’s reading or catching up on a TV programme, choose something that’ll relax you for a while, something you want to do, not that you should be doing.

Some Days Are Right Offs

Some days we don’t cope with sleepless nights, it all becomes a bit too much and a cosy duvet day with copious amounts of comfort food is called for, the house is a mess, there’s washing up in the sink, laundry to be done, but that’s ok, it can wait.  Everyone needs one of these days from time to time!