Monday, April 30, 2012

Surviving the Exhaustion


I don't get much of it. At all. I know I talk about it a lot (probably too much for many of you) but truly, when you don't get sleep it's all you can think about. Instead of lamenting my tiredness and circling around the reasons for Joseph's night waking and possible solutions for it, i'm giving you my tips for dealing with the lack of sleep. Because lets face it, after 6.5 months where the longest stretch I've gotten is 4 hours, i'm pretty much an expert.


1. Coffee. Obviously i'm touting the benefits of this one. The caffeine wakes me up of course, but so does simply smelling it. While the first pot of the morning brews, the scent triggers parts of my brain which tell me "hey, it's time to look alive!" I also love the taste, so on those mornings where I could potentially be pretty miserable, it perks me up and makes me happy. I am also back to my daily Dunkin Donuts habit, which I refuse to apologize for. I deserve it!

2. Water, water, water. When i'm tired, the last thing I want to do is add dehydration to the mix. I drink one glass of water for every cup of coffee, and then continue to drink water throughout the day. Even though recent research has suggested that 8 glasses aren't necessary, I do my best to get and exceed that amount. It helps my body feel more alert and less sluggish.

3. Wine. When I finally get Joseph settled for the night (wait, let me rephrase. If I can finally get Joseph settled for the night) I like to relax with one glass of wine. I keep it to 2 or 3 nights a week, which makes it a relaxing treat. I enjoy the taste of red wine, and it's something I can look forward to and enjoy before heading into a night where I may possibly be pacing the floors for hours on end.


1. Less sugar. I've noticed that when I consume large amounts of refined sugar I feel awful. I have a stomachache, I'm cranky, I get headaches and i'm beyond the point of sluggishness. That's not good when you're already running on little to no sleep. But I've often found that when i'm overtired my first reaction is to reach for a piece of chocolate or a cookie. I've forced myself to stop doing that, which has made a huge difference in the way my body feels.

2. More fruits and veggies. These foods naturally contain a lot of water, which aids in the prevention of dehydration. They also make me feel fuller longer so i'm less apt to binge on the sugary, processed foods that make me more tired. I've made it a point to include a serving of either fruit or veggies during breakfast, lunch and snacks and two servings at dinner.


1. When i'm tired, the last thing I want to do is work out. But it does give me energy, and an afternoon walk outside is just the thing to get me through the rest of the evening. The fresh air is an added bonus, but even on bad weather days I will get up and do some jumping jacks or dancing with Stephanie in the afternoon. Anything to get the blood flowing through my body.

2. Yoga. I've never taken a structured class, and for all I know i'm doing all the moves wrong and have terrible form. But boy do I love yoga. I've started incorporating it into my daily life and I feel happier, more relaxed, more energized, and more peaceful. I've also noticed my body becoming more toned, which is an added bonus. I use the yoga moves from our Wii fit, but even if I don't want to take the time to boot up the system I will do a move or two anytime I find myself sliding into exhaustion and crankiness. The mats we put down to prevent Joseph from slamming his head on the concrete floor have the added benefit of being an always-there yoga mat as well.

Clearly none of these things is a perfect substitute for a full night's sleep. But as any mom knows, there really isn't such a thing as a full night's sleep once you have kids. Even if your child has slept great since he/she was tiny, most moms deal with night waking at least a few times a week. Sometimes it's a nightmare, sometimes it's needing to use the potty (or wetting the bed), sometimes it's teething pain, sometimes it's just lonely kids who want to cuddle with mommy in the middle of the night. Whatever it is that's causing your  tiredness, I hope you find some of these tips useful. They have definitely been a lifesaver for me lately.

1 comment:

  1. These are all great tips!!

    I am a HUGE yoga fan - I haven't been to a class in years, I really need to get back - keeping up with the kids definitely requires being limber!!


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