Saturday, 4 March 2017

Surviving Sleepless Nights

Last night was the mother of all sleep deprived nights, and believe me there have 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 would't settle, she wasn't upset, just wide awake and wanted to 'sit up' - 'no sleep for me tonight then' I thought as I looked at the clock as 2am was approaching.  Oscar was about to wake for a feed, Brett was on nights and I was about to go and get dressed, clearly my day had already started. 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?!  How for one is she awake after very little sleep and two why is she so bright and breezy when she was so poorly a few hours ago?  Don't get me wrong, of course I am pleased she is feeling better, but have we really been up for most of the night for nothing?! Someone somewhere is playing tricks on me that's for sure. Needless to say I was not going to give in to her having breakfast at that time of day, neither was I going to put on the lights and get up from my mangled bed on the floor, so I put Moana on, she seems to like it and it made a nice change from hearing Princess Poppy singing 'can't stop this feeling.'

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 following 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 program, 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! 

I'd love to hear your tips and tricks for dealing with sleepless nights!  Please share them in the comments below :) 


  1. This makes me feel better, I'm so used to the sleepless nights. With a 3 year old and a 1 year old who both don't sleep I completely hear what you're saying. My survival plan is to just keep going! Make plans, sometimes plans do need to be cancelled but more often than not I feel much better for getting out of the house!

  2. Agree with all of these. I can never stay in my PJS as it just makes me feel so meh, and unmotivated! Bless you though, you're a tough Mama!

  3. I've never understood why children wake so early when they have been up all night. Something to do with adrenaline I've heard. But still...! My husband and I take turns to lie-in on weekends. It's what gets me through the week. Knowing I can sleep as long as I need to on Saturday keeps me going.

  4. First of all can we discuss how excited I am to see Brett in a blog post! I want to be all like "I know him!" (I also have this for you!)

    Sleep when the baby sleeps is a top tip and one I am all too good at complying with!

  5. Totally agree with getting dressed and getting out! I always feel worse lazing around as I just want to crawl back into bed. Making sure you eat properly helps too - too much crappy food makes me feel extra sluggish too xx

  6. Here here with the resentment, gosh what I would have done to John in those early hours. Also agree with Emilys comment above with the crappy found, I am so guilty of getting in a carb slump.

  7. Oh goodness your night sounds pretty awful bless you all. I'm so sorry you got very little sleep but glad your little girl is feeling better.

    I agree with these totally and I'm so guilty of knowing them and not adhering to them haha! I don't drink enough water at all and I have incredible back issues and feeling unwell which could probably be avoided if I drank more water, and far too many lazy days in my pjs haha! I definitely feel more motivated when I get changed and especially if i manage a shower in the morning rather than the evening haha! xx