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Thread: How do you cope with sleep deprivation???

  1. #1

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    Question How do you cope with sleep deprivation???

    Ok so DS is nearly 8 months old and has always been a bad sleeper, a good/normal night for him is bed time feed about 8.30/9pm sleeps an hour then another feed then 2 hourly feeds there after until morning, his getting up time usually between 7.30 - 8-30am.

    When he's having a bad run, eg teething or WW issues he will wake hourly or even less sometimes. He's currently on a bad run and I'm exhausted!



    For those who also have frequent wakers, how do you deal with the sleep deprivation??? I'm so tired lately that I'm teary (which is not me) and want to burst into tears over the slightest thing...like today there was no milk and I wanted a cup of tea

    Is it mind over matter? Or are there tricks? Any tips welcome!!

  2. #2

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    nope not mind over matter. For me I just got used to it. I still have a sucky sleeper who usually wakes about 5 times after 10pm and umpteen dozen between 6pm when he goes to bed and when I go to bed....I so know that I'm so tired I want to vomit stage

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    coffee and lots of it

    No really i can go about 4 nights with broken sleep(waking every hour or two) but after that I have to ask DH to do one wake up atleast so I can function normally for a few more days.
    And also I find if I cant nap during the day sitting down to rest is better than nothing.

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    Oh Hun...8 month old dd just about killed me. I wish I was the teary type, instead i am the rant rave and throw tantrum type. I had to go to my parents for a holiday to get back to some kind of normal!!!

    Otherwise early nights, time away from kids, a massage and sleep on the weekends. Oh and lots of venting on bb!

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    A nap (read: long sleep if poss) in the afternoon when baby is asleep. I put in a DVD for older sibling (and tell her I am in the next room), lock all doors etc, and have a snooze.

  6. #6

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    It's horrble isn't it?
    I try and get through it by telling myself that at some point I WILL get some sleep!..Just not right now! (I know that sounds rediculous!)..It may be on the weekend when DH is home to watch the kids, or when they've all grown up but one day I WILL get some unbroken sleep!

    Hope you're feeling better soon

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    It can feel just awful some days waking and feeling more tired than when you went to bed. For me (DD2 also woke 5 times a night till she was about 16 mths) after i tried everything i wanted to try to change it, i just gave in one day. I accepted i couldn't do much more and that it would get better in time. And eventually it did. The emotional relief that gave me (making peace with the wakings) was HUGE!

    Other things that help are 1) don't look at a clock in the night 2) don't count how many times you get up. I really don't keep a track and when people ask how often i'm up in the night, really having no idea of how many times is a relief in a way (although it's probably about 3 times at the moment).

    Hope you get some sleep soon.....

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    I think you just learn to function as you have too, I have had teary days, snappy days etc. DS1 didnt sleep thru the night till 11 months old (was BF to sleep) even then he wasnt settling for final time till 2300 ish then sleeping till 0800. During days he would BF to sleep and only sleep on my knee or in pram, 11 months stopped sleeping in pram grrr and 13 months I could put him down during day in cot!!

    DS2 generally awake 2300 - 0001 until 0100 or 0200 then awake again at 0500 ish into bed with us until 0800 when DS1 wakes up.

    Some days I am so tired I dont know how I get thru the day.

    Hugs it will pass we will all get sleep eventually. (DH does not cope well if he does not get a good sleep.)

  9. #9

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    Other half held grouchypants in the evenings (read - 10pm to 2am) so I could sleep, or I would have been totally non-functioning. He slept in very late in the mornings when grouchypants was asleep. We stayed in mutual barely-there zombie mode for about a year. We even accidentally bought a house during zombie phase, and of course it took absolutely forever to renovate the thing so we could live in it ...

    I suppose one 'advantage' of extreme sleep deprivation is that when you *do* have the chance to sleep, you go to sleep instantly. Where by 'chance' I mean simple stuff, like when your eyes close to blink, when you sit on any surface that is slightly comfortable, during breastfeeding, when stopped at traffic lights ....

  10. #10

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    I cope with the frequent waking by co-sleeping. Makes the night feeds so much quicker and we both go back to sleep as soon as they are done. Some mornings I wake and can't really remember if she has fed overnight or not!!
    We did get a cot and she slept a few times in it but I found it such a pain to get up and out of bed to do the feeds, so back into our bed she goes!

    Do you co-sleep?
    Sue x

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    Not very well here! I have had to really be very realistic about what needs to be done. DD1 is an awful sleeper and only in the last 6 months it has settled a bit. She still wakes a few times during the night but now climbs in with us rather than scream the house down. Not ideal as she sleeps holding on to me so I get woken a bit but better than the alternative. I try to get a few hours extra every second Sunday morning and we have a few hours quiet time in the afternoon when DD2 is asleep if possible - I put on the TV and we sit/lie in bed. I also am really strict about an early bedtime for me - so in bed by 9/9.30 at the latest. It is really boring but necessary to keep sane and functional particularly at work. I too get teary and overreact to things when it is worse than usual. We have tried everything in the last 4 years to get more sleep and nothing worked so make sure you are kind to yourself about it too. I find I cope better when I have just accepted that is how it is rather than obsessing about 'fixing' it. Take care and try to rest when you can. xxxx

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    i have lots of different coping mechanisms - which seem to be strongly linked to whether or not i have pms

    the main one i have is that i co-sleep. it's the only way i can cope with a baby that wakes on a very similar schedule to your DS. i found having to actually get out of bed very disheartening & it's easier if i can stay in bed - especially during winter!

    i tend to rant & rave & cry when i have pms - that's the time when i feel like the situation is hopeless & that i will never, ever get a decent EVER again. and i say to DP - do you realise that it's been xx months since i slept for more than 2 hours at a time? (i think after 13 months he has a pretty good idea of how long it's been )

    i alternate between researching different gentle techniques & trying to apply them (so far unsuccessfully but for a week or so at a time i feel like i am actually doing something) and being at peace with myself that i am happy to let DS get there in his own time. my MIL said to me the other day that i have done this for so long now (although way less than a lot of other posters) that i should know that i can stick it out.

    sometimes other MG mums will tell me that i'm amazing (which is funny cos i am the most un-amazing person!!) & that gives me a lift & keeps me going.

    i have found though that i have got into a spiral of eating crap (lots of sugar & caffeine) but that's not anything other than a quick boost & has made me put on more weight. so this morning i'm off to see a personal trainer & try to get into some better eating & exercise habits. i'm hoping this not only improves my health but also gives me some time out & that those lovely exercise endorphins will keep me positive

    hang in there chickadee

  13. #13

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    I don't cope with sleep deprivation very well at all - I go from teary to tantrummy and back to teary but I think survival kicks in a bit and I get through because I just have to.

    On days when I am so tired I feel sick, I don't drive anywhere because I don't feel safe enough and everything is so much easier to manage when I am at home.

    If I can get the kids settled and playing happily, I try to nap on and off on the couch. Or I grab a pillow and lie on the floor next to where they are playing and sleep there. That keeps them happy enough that I am there, they don't seem to mind that I'm not conscious

    I also try and spend some time in the sun. Being in sunshine does amazing things to wake your brain up even when you are so tired you feel ill.

    I try to make sure that I eat properly (3 meals a day) even though it seems like a lot of effort and because I feel sick, I don't want to eat. I make all the food for the day for the kids first thing in the morning and put it in containers in the fridge - it is so much easier to do it in one go and think about it in the morning so all I have to do at meal and snack times is drag it out rather than food prep all day long.

    I co-sleep if DD2 won't settle any other way - my older two have short naps in the day or will at least play quietly in their rooms for an hour so I lie down with DD2 and hold her while we have a sleep together. Until recently, she has loved it. Now she seems to prefer her own cot, which is nice is some ways. She is not actually my problem sleeper - she is great, DS is my all night long party animal - he is 2 years old.

    And I ignore all my housework, if I can. I do only the necessary stuff like cleaning up after meals, wiping down benches, doing dishes. My floors are revolting somedays, but rest seems more important. I try to do my washing on the weekends when DH is home (and he helps out) and avoid doing it during the week if I can help it. It works well for us because I have a day of doing loads, drying them, folding them and at the end of the day, I have a mountain of washing all folded on the table, but I put it away and don't have to think about it for another week. I live in Townsville though and drying on the clothes line only takes an hour and a half even in the middle of winter so it is possible to do that here.


    Sleep deprivation is an absolute killer! I hope you get some good sleep sometime soon

  14. #14

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    It's a hard slog.
    I co-slept when things were particularly bad. Still sleep deprived, but slightly better.
    I got sleep ins on the weekend. No weekday naps at that age as I was working unfortunately, but that's another good idea. HAving granma or someone else come in for a few hours so you can catch up a bit can help.
    I think the key thing is to make things as easy as possible for yourself - do whatever works best, and forget about everything that isn't absolutely essential.

  15. #15

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    Doesn't it make you wonder why there aren't in home services readily available to parents with young kids to help give them a rest. As sleep deprivation seems to affect so many parents where is the help? Sleep deprivation is a serious condition. It's not just a matter of feeling a bit tired if it can make you feel so sick you want to vomit or not be able to drive a car. If it can lead to depression and so severely impact the quality of your parenting. And it is not just a few night we are talking about it going on for months if not years. It just doesn't seem right someone has to feel like this for such an extended period of time.

    As we no longer have the communities where we are surrounded by Mothers, Sisters, Aunts or other family that can pop in each day to give you a hand to get through what are the options? I actually rang a Nanny agency last week to see if I could get some help for just a few hours each day for the next month so I could get some energy up to tackle our sleeping issues and was told Nanny's like full days of work and it would be hard to find someone for just a few hours a day. Even if Nanny's did this kind of work not every one can afford to hire a Nanny. Why aren't there government services available to all? I know I am just daydreaming about this as it would never be a government priority but it is something I feel strongly about at the moment as I feel the quality of my life is so strongly affected.

    Just a thought...

  16. #16

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    I've often had the same thought Lana In some countries they do actually value parenting a little more and have this sort of government-funded home help...

  17. #17

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    THANK YOU so much for all the replies and support!

    Quote Originally Posted by Arcadia View Post
    I wish I was the teary type, instead i am the rant rave and throw tantrum type.
    I'm usually the throw a tantrum type, but now that I'm teary as well I know it's really getting to me!

    Quote Originally Posted by RoyaUK View Post
    It can feel just awful some days waking and feeling more tired than when you went to bed. after i tried everything i wanted to try to change it, i just gave in one day. I accepted i couldn't do much more and that it would get better in time.

    Other things that help are 1) don't look at a clock in the night 2) don't count how many times you get up.
    I don't know why I didn't think of that before!! (well I do, it's because my brain function is ZERO!) I would always cover the clock if I knew I was going to bed late and tell DP "don't tell me the time!" and it worked so I will be doing that from now on, thank you for reminding me of that psychological trick! And yes the waking up more tired than when I went to bed is really getting to me as well.


    Quote Originally Posted by feeb View Post
    During days he would BF to sleep and only sleep on my knee or in pram,


    Hugs it will pass we will all get sleep eventually.
    We BF to sleep too, through the day he has only just started to let me put him down again to sleep...well actually, I lay in the cot which is pushed up to our bed and feed him laying down then can slip away after he feeds and he'll usually stay asleep. I know we will get sleep eventually, I just hope we can save the last of our sanity until then...we need it for the teenage years, I have a semi-feral 16yr old too and he's been getting away with a bit due to my sleep deficit!

    Quote Originally Posted by RumpledElf View Post
    We even accidentally bought a house during zombie phase, and of course it took absolutely forever to renovate the thing so we could live in it ...

    I suppose one 'advantage' of extreme sleep deprivation is that when you *do* have the chance to sleep, you go to sleep instantly. Where by 'chance' I mean simple stuff, like when your eyes close to blink, when you sit on any surface that is slightly comfortable, during breastfeeding, when stopped at traffic lights ....
    Very true!! I have done all three, although only nearly nodded off at red lights. LOL! Accidentally buying a house!

    Quote Originally Posted by MummaSue View Post
    I cope with the frequent waking by co-sleeping. Makes the night feeds so much quicker and we both go back to sleep as soon as they are done. Some mornings I wake and can't really remember if she has fed overnight or not!!
    We did get a cot and she slept a few times in it but I found it such a pain to get up and out of bed to do the feeds, so back into our bed she goes!

    Do you co-sleep?
    Sue x
    Yep we co-sleep, I tried out putting him in his cot in his own room for a few weeks, this was successful for a couple of my BB baby buddies, but no success here, and like you said, the getting up and down was a killer! I have to actually move him to the other side to feed when he wakes I haven't mastered feeding both sides from the one position so I still know when he feeds, and if I try to leave him on the same side to help himself he'll latch on then pull off and latch on and pull off...until I move him to the other side

    Quote Originally Posted by sloane View Post
    i have lots of different coping mechanisms - which seem to be strongly linked to whether or not i have pms

    the main one i have is that i co-sleep. it's the only way i can cope with a baby that wakes on a very similar schedule to your DS. i found having to actually get out of bed very disheartening & it's easier if i can stay in bed - especially during winter!

    i tend to rant & rave & cry when i have pms - that's the time when i feel like the situation is hopeless & that i will never, ever get a decent EVER again. and i say to DP - do you realise that it's been xx months since i slept for more than 2 hours at a time? (i think after 13 months he has a pretty good idea of how long it's been )

    i alternate between researching different gentle techniques & trying to apply them (so far unsuccessfully but for a week or so at a time i feel like i am actually doing something) and being at peace with myself that i am happy to let DS get there in his own time. my MIL said to me the other day that i have done this for so long now (although way less than a lot of other posters) that i should know that i can stick it out.



    i have found though that i have got into a spiral of eating crap (lots of sugar & caffeine) but that's not anything other than a quick boost & has made me put on more weight. so this morning i'm off to see a personal trainer & try to get into some better eating & exercise habits. i'm hoping this not only improves my health but also gives me some time out & that those lovely exercise endorphins will keep me positive

    hang in there chickadee
    I could've written that myself! My friend and I have a name for our PMS, we call here Suzie, she is not nice!! Like you that is the worst time and I do feel it hopeless then. Ditto on the eating crap too! Hope you have success with the exercise and better eating good on you for getting onto it

    Quote Originally Posted by Just Me View Post
    I don't cope with sleep deprivation very well at all - I go from teary to tantrummy and back to teary but I think survival kicks in a bit and I get through because I just have to.

    On days when I am so tired I feel sick, I don't drive anywhere because I don't feel safe enough and everything is so much easier to manage when I am at home.


    I also try and spend some time in the sun. Being in sunshine does amazing things to wake your brain up even when you are so tired you feel ill. I do my best for this too.

    I make all the food for the day for the kids first thing in the morning and put it in containers in the fridge



    I live in Townsville though and drying on the clothes line only takes an hour and a half even in the middle of winter so it is possible to do that here.
    I went through a red light the other day, no other cars around luckily, so now I only drive when absolutely necessary, or if I'm feeling particularly alert (so not often) ...poor DP cops a lot of crap!
    Not so good in Canberra for doing the laundry once a week, waaay to cold here in winter, although at the moment I haven't washed for a week anyway...it will be a challenge! The house will just be looking like a Chinese laundry for a while
    I am going to try to food prep in the morning.

    WOW that was looong! Very nice to know you're not alone xx

  18. #18

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    DD turned 2 last week & she has slept through the night less than a dozen times. I go to bed when she does most nights (around 830pm), we co-sleep, it's not very often I can sleep during the day but we have quiet time for an hour or so watching a movie & I'll lay on the couch.
    Im still not used to it & get teary at least once a fortnight & just keep telling myself she'll grow out of it eventually.

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