Sleep Deprivation
I Am A Mom, Thoughts On Parenting

4 Tips For Surviving Sleep Deprivation

Sleep Deprivation

If you ask me what makes me a good mom, I won’t hesitate even for a minute before I’m going to answer “sleep”. Sounds weird? It isn’t. Of course not everybody is so sensitive to sleep deprivation as I am but if you’re anything like me, you’ll know what I am talking about. The difference is like day and night. When I’m well rested, I am the mom who plays with her children and laughs and sings and goes outside and pushes the swing for her children. When I am sleep deprived, I am the mom who is crankier than her children, the mom who yells and the mom who has no patience left.

Now these tips are about surviving sleep deprivation.

1)      Choose your priorities

Think about what you consider really important. Do those things. Keep the other stuff to minimum, but don’t sweat it if you don’t manage everything on your list. And, please prioritize sleep. When you have to wake up at night, ask yourself the question: “Do I really need to deal with this right now?”. Is some cases, you do: if your child wets the bed or throws up during the night, yes, you’d better get up, change the sheets, and even better, put them in the washing machine right away. If you breastfeed, then yes, you’re the only one who is able to feed the baby during the night. If it doesn’t require your immediate attention, then it can probably wait until tomorrow. Otherwise, think if your husband can help you with this. Also, if you want sleep, try to squeeze as much sleep as you can: nap during the day or go to bed earlier if possible, of course.

2)      Do whatever works

If you prioritize sleep, do whatever it takes for you to sleep. If your children are cranky, consider sharing a bed or a room with them. Forget all parenting advice and do whatever works. If you’re tired, you may do things that you most probably won’t be proud of. But remember, this is not the time to beat yourself up. If you have a method that works, great! If you don’t, just try to survive, day by day. This is not a time to try new things, especially if they require you to spend more energy. Remember, your children can play with the iPad, or with things they’re usually not allowed to. This is an emergency situation. Just do whatever works.

3)      Be extremely kind to yourself

First of all be careful because if you can’t sleep, you won’t only be in a bad mood, you’ll also by clumsier than usual. And, since my usual is very clumsy, I often end up having cuts on my hands. So I try to be very careful when cutting veggies for dinner. I try not to do things that need me to reach up or operate heavy things. I think this is a way to be kind to yourself. There are other ways, too: eat good food- but also indulge in nice treats like chocolate. If you have a minute to yourself, don’t do anything, just sit down and read a book- just don’t read parenting books, please. You don’t need all the guilt right now. Also watch out for caffeinated drinks, while they can wake you up, they make actually cause sleep problems- since I had to get up early to get my girl ready for school, I can’t even drink tea because then I don’t sleep at night.

4)      Jump at opportunities

Even if you don’t sleep much, there will be bad nights and good nights. If you have a bad night, please re – read points 1-3. If you’re having a good night, however, and are feeling great, feel free to do whatever you’ve been wanting to do all these days when you were too tired: play with the children and listen to them. Clean the house. Prepare a nice, elaborate dinner. Finally get exercise. Choose whatever you wish and do it. You never know when that sleep deprivation will strike again!

Is sleep deprivation a problem for you? How do you deal with it? Share your tips for survival!


Sign Up for Our Newsletter
Previous Post Next Post

You Might Also Like


  • Reply my heart's love songs November 8, 2013 at 11:43 am

    Good advice!

    • Reply European Mama November 8, 2013 at 11:59 am

      Thank you- and welcome to my blog! Glad you found this advice useful!

  • Reply Lisa Lewis, MD November 12, 2013 at 5:31 am

    “Be kind to yourself.” Sometimes that simple point is overlooked, we parents are so busy. Great post!
    Lisa Lewis, MD recently posted…And the winner is…My Profile

    • Reply European Mama November 12, 2013 at 8:08 am

      Hi Lisa, thank you for your kind words. Yes, being kind to yourself is so important! We parents are not only busy but also deal with screams and cries and tears and it is hard, so I can’t stress how crucial being kind to oneself is!

  • Reply Delle26 November 14, 2013 at 2:38 am

    Great post! I so struggle with sleep deprivation. My problem is not being able to sleep even when I manage to get in bed at a decent hour. I’ve recently started misting my pillow with lavender and orange blossom essential oil and it seems to help.
    Delle26 recently posted…Sunset!My Profile

    • Reply European Mama November 14, 2013 at 7:52 am

      Thank you, Delle! When I was a teenager and had terrible problems with falling asleep and lavender oil (and lavender tea!) definitely helped! Now, as I have a baby and two more children, the problem isn’t falling asleep, the problem is because they wake me up in the night! But it will get better, of course! Good luck with NaBloPoMo and that your sleep deprivation problems will get better!

    Leave a Reply

    CommentLuv badge

    %d bloggers like this: