3 strategies to cope with the lack of sleep

My Dad came by this morning to help me watch Bun, so that I could catch up on much needed sleep. It has been a trying week to say the least, with one particularly bad night of her waking up every hour, inconsolable at times. We have spied two little teeth peeking through, her 3rd and 4th teeth, and I suspect (and hope!) more are on the way.

With Dad helping to babysit, I took the opportunity to take a nap, and woke up an hour later with a fright, thinking that I overslept and forgot to drive Bubbles to school. It took a few moments for me shake off the wool in my head and register that I already sent Bubbles to school and came home to nap.

Most parents with young children would comprehend just how sleep-deprived one can get. I just heard about a friend who fell asleep while making a presentation at work, because his baby was keeping him up for too many nights in a row!

How does one manage to function? With babies letting teething woes, mental leaps, sleep regressions, growth spurts or basic ole' hunger get in the way of night-time sleep, some practical tips are in order for those of us who lack sleep.

Here are three of my coping strategies:

1. Choose Sleep, whenever you can
It is always tempting to do 100 other things when the babies sleep and we find some time to ourselves. Granted, some things are essential, like basic cleaning, that need to be done. But there are also many other tempting activities like browsing the Web, reading, watching TV, or even experimenting in the kitchen. After all, we reason, when else can we schedule in leisurely pursuits? I have learned the hard way that when I am tired, and know that I lack sleep, I should prioritize sleep above everything else. Doing this sharpens my saw, and I emerge from naps well-rested and ready to take on the world again (or blog, as like this post).

2. Eat Well, and this includes your caffeine fix
Everyone knows the benefits of eating healthy, so I wouldn't talk too much about that. Caffeine on the other hand, is generally viewed to be bad as it creates a vicious cycle, with a dependency on it. However, there are times when one simply needs a caffeine boost to get through the day in one piece. I say, down your favourite brew when you need it! When desperate, and having already met my caffeine quota for the day, I would also take chicken essence or Vitamin B-complex pills. They help clear my head a little, and allow me to function.

3. Look Your Best - conceal, conceal, conceal
I am a basic make-up sort of girl. Slap on some sunblock, a pat of powder, a blusher, and I'm ready to go. Lately, however, I have taken the trouble to whip out my long forgotten tube of concealer, and actually using it around my eyes. I'm amazed (although why should I be??) how much better I look - more alive and radiant. Looking more rested than I actually am, I have found, helps lift me out of the I-am-zonked-and-I-look-crap zone to the I-look-great-and-I-will-survive mood. I get the extra push in the right direction to get through the day. If make-up is not your thing, wearing something that makes you look cheery could help too.

So now you know how I survive! Strategies 1, 2 and 3. What are some of yours? I would love to hear how other parents manage!


Little Miss Snooze said...

Great advice. So hard to choose sleep above everything else. I usually feel a sudden burst of energy (or last burst!) as soon as the children are asleep. Haha.

I've started to use eyeliner (Im also a basic make up person) and I like how it brightens my eyes (even though I might not feel it).

Pris said...

Know what you mean about sleep deprivation. I don't use make-up much cos I'm too lazy! Ohhh.... I wear sunglasses when I'm too tired to let my eye bags hang out.

Little Miss Snooze - WAHAHA! I have the same thing... that boost of energy when baby's asleep.

Anonymous said...

So agree!! There must be some strange co-relation such that baby awake = mummy very sleepy. baby sleeping = caffeine shot for mummy.

I think my tip would be to smile a lot (plus COPIOUS amounts of under eye brightener PLUS concealer). I've had people say to me I look good or fresh which couldn't be further from S the truth and I really feel like I would like to lie down and take a nap right then and there.

Or maybe when I smile they can't see how tired my eyes look? ;)

linsiwolsie said...

Co-sleep. Patting or nursing a baby whilst he/she is in your bed (and while you are half asleep) is much easier than trudging to another room!

lynklee said...

I feel you!

How about chanting "THIS TOO WILL PASS! THIS TOO WILL PASS!" ?

Night time sleep has gotten a lot better for me since we stopped night nursing a few weeks ago (23 months!!)...

Corsage@A Dollop Of Me said...

Little Miss Snooze:
Thanks for the eyeliner tip! Any particular brand you swear by? Totally get that "last burst"!

Sunglasses are a lifesaver! Good thing here in Singapore it is usually sunny. Great excuse for shades ;)

Smiling and eye brightener! The first I can do, will look for brighteners the next time I do make-up shopping :)

Yup! Co-sleeping (sorta) with Bun. Miss my own space though, to be honest!

WOW 23 months! I hope to last at least a year.

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