Opinion Saturday: Sleep

Today’s question is about sleep deprivation. Tell me some of your best coping tips for the morning after. How do you cope the next day when your baby woke 5 times last night, or when your toddler spent the night coughing or when you spent more of your night washing sheets than you did dreaming?

You have till Wednesday evening to answer: hit me with your best tip!

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  1. My initial answer is coffee, of course, but then I also give my body a few simple stretches to help waken it up, arms, neck, legs and back. Then it’s not so difficult to move around because your body has been awakened just a litte bit!

  2. IV of Dr pepper, a hot shower, and an easy school day.

    Or if it’s the weekend — bat my eyes at my hubby and tell him if he takes the kids – I may get some sleep and be amenable to “snuggling” later….

  3. Lots and lots of coffee and sweet tea. Sorry, nothing profound here. If someone had found the “answer” to the problem it would be a hot commodity!

  4. Came here by way of Everyday Mommy. Love the header! I intend on stopping by often, as I have 5 kids, ages 10, 6, 5, 4 and 4 (twins). Thanks for giving me someone to look up to:)
    As far as the sleepies, I find going for a 30 minute walk will do more for me than an hour long nap. The hardest part is just deciding to put on your shoes:) Take some favorite music or just take in your surroundings and visit with God.

  5. I love your new header! It is so cute! 🙂 I would say caffeine, of course, and also echo Net’s suggestion of exercise or walking!

  6. Caffeine doesn’t work for me as I’m pregnant and trying to avoid it, and walking doesn’t work because I have to take the 2-year-old and when he naps in the stroller I’m still up! So I let him watch a 30-minute episode of Classical Baby (not like Baby Einstein as it is not an advertisement for puppets to buy!) while I doze on the sofa. When it’s over he’s usually ready for a nap and I can actually go lay down on the bed.

    When I have 2 kids (let alone as many of you) this will probably be a completely worthless tip!

  7. Hey, love the header!

  8. Love the header! Nothing original here. I’m a coffee girl.

  9. Plain M&M’s and lots of Diet Coke.

  10. Bedtime yoga brings a need for less sleep, as your rest will be deeper. Viparita Karani or Legs Up the Wall pose is wonderfully restorative and beneficial. Instructions here:


    A lavender/spearmint eye pillow, sandalwood incense, and some restful Mozart are a lovely accompaniment. This pose is very settling for children, too. Make sure to get your derriere up against the wall so that you can relax completely. Sweet dreams and Happy Easter!

    P.S. Cute banner!

  11. i love the new header! so cute!

    and i have nothing about the sleep. sorry.

  12. I start with prayer. Truly, just asking God to replenish me because He knows what I need and when I need it. Then a cold splash of water on my face before “doing the stairs”. I walk up and down the stairs in our home for about 15 minutes, making sure to breathe deeply. Just getting the blood moving seems to help tremendously. I also open the shades to let plenty of light in the house. Light has a way of waking up the brain. I have my normal morning coffee and I have pasta for lunch to give me that carb boost. But, honestly, prayer helps the most.

  13. Just stopping by to tell you I love, love your new header, Mary. It’s perfect! Jules did an outstanding job.

  14. The day after in this house will officially be declared a “Jammies Day” and only the absolute necessities will be attempted. No one who stays home bothers with getting dressed. We all eat off of paper plates and napping for one and all is an absolute must. Hot chocolate & cuddling under blankets also adds to the whole recovery day. It’s a regular thing in our house when we have an infant or toddler, and it includes not much more than lots of reading, musical classic movies and Disney favorites. Of course, this strategy only works if Mommy doesn’t need to leave the house, but resting is really all that works. Why wear yourself out doing the household stuff that can wait while you and the little one(s) recover? From my experience, the dishes and the laundry will still be there waiting for you when you tackle it all the next day!

  15. Seriously, I pray my socks off.

  16. First – I LOVE your new banner!
    And what do I do about sleep deprivation? I take it easy – nap when the baby naps, let any little ones loitering around the house watch a movie or even palm them off on my dad for a stroll around town. This tired time won’t last forever.

  17. I’m with the “Jammies” day. What’s best for me is to decide that I can’t be hard on myself that day, I need to take it easy with household chores, and maybe catch a short “nap” during quiet hour.
    I don’t drink caffiene, so coffee and tea aren’t an option. But I’ve managed to get through those rough times. It helps to have a good partner (hubby) and friends and family that can help you out if it really gets bad.

  18. I can agree with so many of these, still I am going to offer my thoughts.

    After a sleepless night, the only way to get going is to actually get going. It is funny, but I don’t wake up well until I have brushed my teeth. So, to wake up I brush my teeth, shower and get fully dressed. Then, I pack up the kids and go somewhere public. We go walk around the mall or go play in the park. Sunshine truly energizes me in a way staying in the house cannot. With a new baby, public places can be especially energizing. Baby compliments are a great reminder why it is all so worth it. Then, I try to catch a nap with baby later in the day.

    Finally, if things are really bad and I’ve had sleepless night after sleepless night. I call my sister or friend and ask for help; just as they would ask me in time of need. I have found that sometimes the best way to keep standing, is to lean on one of my fellow women. We are stronger together.

  19. Shower and get dressed (including socks and sneakers). It’s absolutely the last thing I feel like doing, but it really helps to wake me up. Along with a good cup of tea.

  20. vegie tales, preferably the movie-length ones, so I can snooze on the couch. THen again, I only have two kiddos.

  21. It all has to do with perspective. If I have a “rough” night it is usually because there is a wet bed, a bad dream, or someone is sick. All manageable. All will be taken care of the next day or so. I try to focus on the fact that I have six children who are all healthy.

    Of course I have had those nights where multiple children have been up and it feels like my bed is a long lost friend. It also doesn’t help that my hubby can and does sleep through just about anything. So when I start going down the path of, “woe is me”, I try to gain some perspective.

    My friend, Lorraine, doesn’t have that luxury. Her rough nights are life and death with her sweet Jonathan. You can read about him here http://thelordheals.livejournal.com/. The thing is, I have NEVER heard her complain or bemoan the fact that this is a daily battle. An area I can sooo grow in!

    On a practical level, I pray like crazy that I will display grace and kindness even when I feel grumpy and sleepy. I then shower and dress as if someone, other then my kids, is going to see me. If it has been a particularly rough night, I take the kids to the park for breakfast.

    I usually drive through somewhere for breakfast which not only makes me the fun parent, but also keeps the kitchen tidy – which means less to deal with. They eat and drink their juice while I chug my Dr. Pepper. They also get a ton of energy out which levels the playing field, if you will. Fresh air always seems to help. We then do a modified school day and when it is time for the little ones to take a nap I am right there with them either reading or sleeping.

  22. Caffeine…Coffee, Cola, Both.

    Without ceasing mutter…I mean pray “God help me, I CANNOT do this alone!”

    Educational videos…for the kids. (Little House on the Prairie counts for that right?)

    Nap/Don’t nap. There are times when a nap is so helpful. And there are other times that I have been so exhausted that a nap actually made me more of a tired mess. So choose your naps carefully.

    Lastly “Fake it till you make it!” (easier said than done, but worth the effort.) 🙂

  23. I’ve been blessed not to have such terrible “tired days”since being a mom (of two), but I remember as a teenager wheni would babysit and had to stay awake. I would run my wrists under very cold water for 5 minutes or so – it would wake me up – fully awaken me- for the next several hours. I don’t know why it works, but it does.

  24. Late getting here, but the one thing that will get me(and the rest of us in the house) moving is some fast, loud music! One of my favorite tunes to blast when I am dragging…. Travis Tritt – It’s A Great Day To Be Alive.


  1. […] 12th, 2007 by Owlhaven Last Saturday I asked you all to share your best tips for surviving sleep deprivation. Along with my standard life-saver caffeine (apparently it not just me who needs the stuff!) you […]