I’m tired. Pretty much constantly. I may have mentioned this once or twice right here on this very blog.
Even on the rare occasion our nights have been through good phases, I still feel like I’m dragging my tired butt through life. I blame every bad mood, stressy school run and short tempered moment on the fact that, you guessed it… I’m tired.
I have started to believe that a few years of sleep deprivation have lead to some kind of sleep debt – so even if you do get an amazing night, you still never really feel fully caught up. Maybe this is just a new, post-kids, permanent state of mind, and one that just requires some kind of survival mechanism to continue and enjoy this very existence.
So how do us shattered Mums and Dads manage to carry on; to navigate the school run and after school club schedule, make pleasantries at toddler groups and for some of us, function at work when inside we are feeling like Shaun of the dead (fave movie alert FYI).
Here’s how I’m rocking it…please feel free to share any trade secrets in return.
- Coffee. Multiple cups of it before leaving the house and throughout the morning. But, never after 5pm and that last ‘pick me up cup’ during the tea time clean up operation (just to get me through the bedtime routine). Think of coffee as your best friend during the day, and your worst enemy come sundown.
- Early nights. Sad as it is, I hate to tell you this but unless it’s some kind of special occasion, if you knock on my door post 7pm I’ll be in my PJs. If you knock after 9.30 I’ll probably be in bed. When you have a 5 am riser, it’s the only way I’m afraid. It’s all about the reverse lay in as coined by Talya aka motherhood the real deal…
- Fresh sheets. Nothing screams ‘get in my bed’ like a beautiful freshly laundered set of bedding. It’s a small slice of heaven in the hell that is being dragged out of that bed several times a night. It makes the getting back into it all the more amazing.
- A decent mattress. If you haven’t joined the memory foam mattress party yet, it’s never too late. If your kids aren’t jabbing and poking you in the ribs waking you up, then you DEFINITELY do not want your mattress springs to be.
- A good sleeping position. I know myself that I need two pillows to support my neck perfectly, otherwise I end up in all sorts of creaks and pains come the morning. It’s not unusual for a bad position to disturb my sleep, and lately I’ve even been waking with a weird pain in my wrist due to how I hug the pillow. This video is pretty cool at helping understand the best way to position yourself in bed, and you could even consider investing in one of those electrical adjustable beds to really mean business. Your spine will thank you for it.
- Smells. I’m not massively into herbal remedies, but I swear by the sleepy effects of lavender as a sleep aid and always keep a little dried bag of it by my bed (and the girls’). I also have the most incredible bed spray from Rituals which immediately sends me into a sleepy sleepy zone. It smells like nothing else on this planet and is one of my must have luxury items.
- Reading. That doesn’t include digital devices my friend. Yes, I mean you. Even I can’t resist most evenings one cheeky last look at instagram before bed, but all those electronic devices do not help with the getting good sleep situation. You know it, I know it. Grab a book and get old school with a bit of bedtime reading to wind down from a day probably filled with screen time.
- Two kiwis before bed. My hubby swears by this one – apparently the serotonin content in kiwis is enough to send you off for the perfect night sleep. He reckons it works, and with all the goodness packed in those green babies, what have you got to lose?
- A long hot soak. I remember reading once that it’s not the rise in temperature that makes you sleepy, but the sudden reduction from that core temperature which makes you sleepy. Whatever the science behind it is, there is nothing like a lovely bubbly bath with some good old Radox to prepare you for a wonderful sleep.
- Tag team. I once thought parents who turned to this technique were a little extreme. Alternating lay ins at weekends has however saved us since the birth of our second daughter. Karma sent me a bad sleeper to teach my smug arse all about that little gem.
- Call in the favours. In all honesty, there is only one fail safe way of getting a truly decent night’s kip in our house – no disruptions and no ridiculously early wake up, and that is to pack the kids off for a sleepover. However bad sleepers they are it’s just one night for someone else, and you need to refresh your batteries. Beg steal or borrow, offer to return the favour, do what you gotta do – we all need a break from time to time (just resist the temptation to go wild with the prosecco or you’ll end up waking up feeling worse than ever #beentheredonethatfartoomanytimes).
Disclosure: Collaborative post