parenting

3 Tips for Surviving the Sleep Deprivation of Parenthood

December 10, 2019

I’m going to admit something. Before having my third child, I never truly understood what it meant to be exhausted. Of course, I’ve been tired. I’ve had sleepless nights, but nothing that couldn’t be restored with a couple of good nights rest.

I am blessed with 2 boys that are amazing sleepers. Mira, on the other hand is not going to follow the pattern of her brothers. We’ve had Ezra on a 7pm-7am schedule with a 2-3 hour nap for ages. Mira is 6 1/2 months old now and still waking 2-4 times per night, and her naps are essentially catnaps. We’ve moved her out of our room, she’s in her own crib. We’ve coslept, we’ve let her fuss it out. The fact is, she isn’t biologically wired to sleep all night.

That being said, Ezra now wakes at 5:15 am like a wonderful little alarm clock. No matter what his bedtime, no matter what our bedtime, he bounds out of bed ready to go. We are coming to the point of acceptance that we are in our season of sleep deprivation.

Some days, I don’t realize how tired I am until the kids are in bed and Gus and I take time to connect and watch something on our Britbox subscription. Sometimes it takes us 3 days to finish one episode because one of us is nodding off. Oh, the saga of parenthood.

I have had to find some solutions and relief (because a nap doesn’t happen) to get me through the day so I can still function without binging on coffee. I do enjoy a morning cup of coffee, but I like to leave it as a morning ritual, not a vice for mental clarity.

Lifting the Fog

  1. Vitamin D3– this is a powerhouse hormone in our body. There are many studies showing how a large portion of the population are vitamin d deficient. This is one of the first things I take in the morning along with my probiotic and multivitamin. I need to take it anyway since I’m breastfeeding. What it does physiologically is help the mitochondria which are “the power houses” of our cells to work efficiently.
  2. Hydration– something as simple as water is an amazing tool. Dehydration slows us down, causes us to feel stronger brain fog, and actually causes us to retain fluids. I try to consume 3-4 quarts per day, and it truly does help reduce fatigue.
  3. Opt outside– There’s an old Scandinavian saying “there is no bad weather, only bad clothing”– so by implementing this phrase, getting outdoors every day can be a priority. Luckily, we live in Florida where there truly is rarely bad weather so opting outdoors is always possible. Fresh air and sunshine do wonders for the mood (and vitamin D levels). I pack up the kids in their stroller and walk around the neighborhood– it’s a quick 15 min walk but typically causes them to chill out or fall asleep and energizes me. A win-win.

These are my simplest tricks. The first tools in my toolbox that I gravitate toward when I’m feeling rundown. I have many other tools for boosting energy and clearing the brain-fog that often hits my husband and I these days. What do you do to get through the sleep deprived days?

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