How To Function When You Are Very Sleep Deprived

When you are sleep deprived and lacking in energy you may not feel interested in cooking. Failing to eat will make you feel even more sluggish and weak though.

I'm not an expert when it comes to health or wellness but I'd like to think I know a thing or two about being sleep deprived. My kids, thus far anyway, have not been "sleepers". Maybe it's them. Maybe it's me. The verdict is out on that one, but sleep hasn't played a massive role in our lives for a number of years now.

People often ask me how I function "so well" when I am so sleep deprived. It's funny because I've never really thought about it like that. It seems that over time I have developed a couple of strategies to get by on very little sleep because, quite frankly, I've had to. I am a work-from-home parent which means that I don't really fit into either of the parent boxes. I'm not a typical working parent and I'm not a stay at home parent. I'm a hybrid. I'm home a lot and I work a lot. I work from home, I work from an office and I get to pick my child up from school every day. It's a privileged position to be in but one that absolutely requires me to be focused, organized and... not falling asleep at my computer.

coffee on bed
When you are sleep deprived and lacking in energy you may not feel interested in cooking. Failing to eat will make you feel even more sluggish and weak though

Here are 10 realistic and genuinely helpful ways that help me survive and function despite being a prominent member of the no sleep club.

  • Don't forget to eat. This might sound beyond obvious but food is the fuel that keeps us moving. When you are sleep deprived and lacking in energy you may not feel interested in cooking. Failing to eat will make you feel even more sluggish and weak though.
  • Go easy on yourself when it comes to housework. These are not the years to have a show house. Some days it's all about survival. Remember there is a difference between messy and dirty.
  • Remember that sleep deprivation adds huge stress to your relationships. Communicate, show empathy and remember it's not the "tired olympics".
  • Go easy on the caffeine. It may be the ultimate coping mechanism but any caffeine after midday will affect your ability to drift off (when the time eventually comes).
  • Try to get a little bit of exercise in. No, I'm not joking. Some light exercise will improve your sleep so the quality of your sleep is better even if it doesn't last as long as you would like.
  • Don't make big life decisions when you are very much under the influence of sleep deprivation. You're not seeing clearly.
  • Fresh air is your friend. Walk around the garden, pop out to the shop or hang out some washing. You'll feel the benefit from it in a big way.
  • Give yourself a break. This is a difficult time. You're not being dramatic and this is not forever. You're also absolutely not alone - safety in numbers my friend.

Tracey Quinn

Proud mum of two who got married on Don't Tell The Bride and had an accidental home-birth (loves a good story). She's passionate about breastfeeding, positive thinking & all things cosy.

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