Do you ever have one of those nights? The kind of night where the darkness won’t lure your child to sleep? Or her tossing and turning never seems to end? The kind of night where you wake up and wonder “Did I actually fall asleep?” In the last 5 1/2 years, I’ve never slept through the night. For 3 of those years, I wasn’t even sleeping ‘at night’. I would consider myself an involuntary expert in sleep deprivation. If your child thinks that 3am is party time then the sleep deprived mom’s guide to survival is for you.
First, a little back story, in case you haven’t heard me talk about our sleep problems before.
My 4-year-old daughter has Rett Syndrome.
One of the first, noticeable symptoms for us was that she would never sleep. Screaming for hours on end, days and nights. Most nights until she was 3-years-old, I would walk the living room floor with her tightly swaddled because it was the only way we could get her to scream less.
Somewhere between 4-6am she would get so exhausted that her sleep would get deep enough for me to lay down. Since that only lasted an hour or two, my hubby took the morning shift while I got a little bit of sleep before starting our homeschooling day.
Now that she’s 5 1/2, we took away her afternoon nap last month and she is only waking a couple times a night instead of hourly. And she’s ready to sleep at 9pm instead of 1am. So, I’m getting a little more sleep now.
I’m not the crazy, sleep-deprived lady that I was a year ago. *wink* Close, but not quite…
So I know a thing or two about existing on too-little sleep.
There are lots of resources out there telling you how to make your sleep count. This is not one of those resources.
This is the Sleep Deprived Mom’s Guide to Survival…
Coffee Brew, drink, repeat. Any questions?
Messy-Up Do The hairstyle where messiness doesn’t matter. You can collapse into your bed at anytime, then resume your day and no one will be the wiser.
Baby-proof Think, padded room…A safe place… There will be days where even toothpicks can’t hold your eyes open and your reactions are less than stellar.
Amazon aka Your new best friend. You order, they deliver. You don’t even have to put on your slippers & robe to go Wal-Mart.
Coffee Because the pot you made two hours ago is gone.
Shower Because if you lay down in the bath, you will fall asleep. Sleep+Bathtub=Bad idea.
Simplified Wardrobe On the days you do manage to get out of your pj’s you do not want to waste your few braincells on putting together an outfit. It is okay to have three of the same exact shirt… (However it is unwise to have two pairs of similar shoes…)
Technology Ignore all those voices telling you that your child will be forever harmed…she’ll be more harmed if you don’t get some rest… There is merit to letting her watch the same episode of Daniel Tiger 500 times.
Coffee I feel like I mentioned this before, but I’m too tired to care…
All joking aside, there really are some things that you really need…
Support Don’t be afraid to tell people that you aren’t sleeping. They want to help.
Good Nutrition You will be tempted to eat lots of junk food. You won’t want to cook. So, keep lots of easy-prep meal supplies on hand. Keep your fruit bowl stocked and prep lots of fresh veggies to much.
Quality Sleep Space Get the best bed that you can. Make sure your room is on the cool side. Use white noise. (To drown out the crying while someone else watches the kids!) We got a king-size Dream Bed, so that we wouldn’t be as crowded when our 4-year-old makes her nightly journey to the middle of our bed. Sinking into the softness of our bed without being shoved off the side of the bed has been a game-changer!
What would you add to the Sleep Deprived Mom’s Survival Guide?
Need help with Special Needs Kids & Sleep? Check out these great articles!
To The Exhausted Mom That Never Gets A Good Night Sleep | Natural Beach Living
When Nightmares Become Reality | Every Star is Different
When Parent Sleep Deprivation Becomes Deadly | STEAM Powered Family
Sleep Solutions for Special Needs Parents | My Home Truths
Sleep Solutions for Children with Sensory Needs | The Chaos and The Clutter
Sleep Strategies for Kids with Autism or Sensory Needs | And Next Comes L
The One Overwhelming Thing that Keeps Me Up at Night | Kori at Home
Seasons of Sleep for Special Needs Parents | 3 Dinosaurs
6 Steps to a Calm Bedtime Routine for Your Highly Sensitive Child | Carrots Are Orange
Surviving Night Terrors | Grace and Green Pastures