Wednesday, January 11, 2012

Mommyhood: Surviving On Little Sleep

I started this post months ago. It's been kicking around in my Drafts on my Blogger dashboard. Well, today I need this post more than ever. I figured I'd brush the dust off and start putting into practice what I wrote those few months ago. The bright eyed mom at the time knew that the mom running on three and a half hours of sleep would need to reread this post. Let me set up my coffee IV drip and I'll finish up what I started. It's going to be a looooooooooong day.

Source Unkown

We've all had those nights where our little one would not sleep and you as the diligent, awesome, attentive mother that you are stayed up right along side them. Or, that pillow you were using to cover your ears from the wails just wasn't filtering out the sound like you'd hoped.

I'm joking.

Kind of.

We've all had a sleepless night..or two...or five months worth...  Last night was one of those nights for me. We are currently sharing a room with Aubrey due to a home renovation so there is no option of trying to bear through her night waking/screaming. And, she's teething. She was screaming and crying and eventually I was too. It was a rought night. I gathered a combined 4 hours worth of sleep last night. This momma is tired! Oh those sleepless nights!

So how do you survive the next day?

Was there any doubt that this wouldn't be on the list? I mean, really. I was never much a coffee drinker until I became a mom. I don't even order a coffee drink at Starbucks! But I've found that starting my day with a warm cup of joe gives me a fresh burst of energy to get me through the first few hours of my day. Then I employ some other tactics so I'm not a slave to caffeine. If you're not a coffee drinker - what about some tea? Like Green Tea. I believe there are energizing properties in tea that can help you through those sleepies.

Stay Hydrated
And I'm talking about good old fashioned water here. Skip the pop and skip the third and fourth cups of coffee. Pop is loaded with sugar and after that initial energy burst, you are pretty much guranteed a crash. And that's the last thing we want! Fill a glass full of ice water and sip away. Staying hydrated will keep you fresh and ready. Don't skip this one!

I know what you're thinking. You want to head straight back to bed as soon as you can but I promise that a quick shower will rejuvinate your body and mind. It's amazing what that blast of water can do. If you really want to skip this step in favor of a nap, I'd encourage you to take a quick, hot shower and then take that nap. Clean skin and fresh hair will help you sleep a whole lot better. Promise!

Take a Power Nap
A power nap can be from 10-15 minutes - sometimes even 5. Don't make it longer than 20 minutes though as I've read that your body starts going into REM sleep and you will actually wake up MORE tired. We don't want that! If you've got the time during the day though to commit to an hours worth of sleep, I'd definatly take advantage of that. If you don't though, just stick to twenty minutes or less. I love to wear those sleeping masks that help filter out the light.

Exercise is pretty much the first thing that I kick off the list when my day is too busy or I'm way too tired. But in reality, exercise gets your blood pumping and your heart racing. It's ENERGIZING! Exercising releases feel-good endorphines that leave you feeling great. Even if it's just a walk around the block, try to make some time for exercise.

Eat Right F and V's
Have you ever watched the show "Deadliest Catch"? It's a show about crab fisherman. I have to admit that it's one of my favorites but to see how the men punish their bodies to real in a bunch of crab leaves me cringing sometimes. They survive on little sleep - sometimes they are up for over 48 hour straight. Crazy. One thing that they do to stay awake is eat. They eat huge, calorie laden meals to trick the body to stay awake. I'm not suggesting to load up your plate with more food than you can possibly eat in a sitting, but I am saying that when you are tired your body thinks it's hungry. I've been up since 4 am. It is now over 8 am. I should have had a little breakfast hours ago. Load up on fruits and veggies for healthy, sustaining fibert that will keep you feeling full longer and power you up with energy for the day. And don't forget some protein too! Think chicken and eggs. Yum!

Accept Help
Sometimes this can be very hard as Mom's to do. But if someone is willing to step in and give you a hand today, accept it graciously. Maybe you can drop your precious darlings at your neighbors house for a couple hours for twenty bucks. It could be money well spent if you are able to catch up on some much needed rest. Or maybe those loving grandparents would like to visit with their cutie pie grandkids for awhile while you take a rest. Or maybe it's the arms of your partner that will reach in and give you the break you need. Whatever it is, if you are lucky enough to have the option, take it.

So there you are, friends. A few ways to stay up in a sleep deprived state. As I was updating my facebook status at 5 am, I was amazed at the other mom's who's little ones weren't sleeping this early morning. Must be something in the air. And also as a little UPDATE, Aubrey is now sleeping in her room for 12+ hours a night...that is when she isn't teething!!

Now, if you'll excuse me, I've got to load up my IV again......ZONK.

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