The cure for sleep deprivation

NoSleepingThere is a reason sleep deprivation is used as a torture device. Just a few days without quality sleep and you’ll probably be
1) stressed
2) seeing things that aren’t there
3) forgetting things (like important vocabulary words) and
4) your fuse may be quite short.

My little guy has been sick since the weekend and our blissful bedtime routine of sleep by 7 p.m. and sleeping through until 6 a.m. seems like a distant memory. The past few days I’ve been in full-on zombie territory, which makes my quest for self-improvement quite challenging. We have reverted to guerilla-style tactics where sleep is concerned, which basically means I’m catching z’s at every opportunity.

So what is the real cure for sleep deprivation? Unsurprisingly, it’s…


We all know that sleep heals and energizes the body. So how do you catch up on those hours of missed dream time? Well…you won’t. But you can try to alleviate the symptoms until you can get back to a normal routine. This holds true for everyone, not just those with the kiddos. All of us go through stressful times where we can’t get as much sleep as we need.

Here is what works for me.

1. Take naps. For those non-napping folks, even a 5-minute rest can give you results. When I worked in the office, I’d find an empty conference room and prop myself up against a wall for 20 minutes or even go out to my car.

2. Caffeinate. But be careful. Too much and it will put you into a tailspin.

3. Affirm. Remind yourself that this sleep withdrawl will end. (This is my daily affirmation right now!) Of course, if you have chronic sleep issues or insomnia, you’ll want to get this checked out. You may need medication to help get you back on track and get the rest you truly need.

4. Get help. If you do have wee ones, get your significant other to help with night duties or hire a babysitter/night nanny. (I know a couple with twins who did this.)

How do you guys manage sleep deprivation? I’d like to know!

Photo by Matthieu Aubry.

Categories: Parenting

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