Making Parenting Easier #3: Get Some Sleep

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22 January 2013 by thaliakr

La Méridienne oú La sieste, d’apres Millet (Noon, Rest from Work, after Millet), Vincent van Gogh, 1890, Musee d’Orsay

My toddler has been deeply asleep for two hours, and looks like he won’t need anything more than a lying-down, half-asleep feed between now and morning. So why am I writing a blog post instead of catching up on the sleep I missed last night when he was up every hour?

Because, like many parents, the few hours when he’s asleep and I’m not are prized and tagged for a million things I can’t do when he’s awake. Writing, reading, sometimes even housework. Facebook, for many of us, judging by the traffic in my news feed late at night in every time zone.

So here I am preaching what I seldom practise: get some more sleep, people! You’ll enjoy tomorrow so much more.

If you need a little more encouragement or information, you might like to check out some of these resources:

There are lots of reasons why parents of young kids might not get enough sleep, and I probably can’t help you with most of them. Your situation, if not unique, will be individual. But the one thing I can say right now that might help is that you very likely can choose, even just once a week, to go to bed when the kids go to bed and get a catch-up dose of sleep.

I know, I know, a) there are so many other things to be done and b) I don’t know the reasons why this is harder for you than it might sound. Both true.

Talk with a friend about how to get some more sleep in your particular circumstances. Do you need a babysitter during the day so you can nap? Or encouragement (even a phone call!) from a friend or partner to get off the internet and into bed at a reasonable time? Could someone even sleep over occasionally to help during the night?

What do you need? How can you make it happen? Whom can you ask to help?

If there’s no way of getting more sleep, at least while your kids are so young (and parents of babies, yeah, I know, it may well be pie in the sky), then repeat to yourself: this too shall pass. And consider increasing your caffeine/chocolate/jazz/prayer/Facebook/exercise/ intake in the meantime in partial compensation.

As always, your ideas are welcome. Please add a comment below if you’ve got sleep tips or other ideas for making parenting easier.

And here’s Big Runga with Get Some Sleep. If nothing else works, just imagine you’re sleep-deprived because you’re a star on tour!

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7 thoughts on “Making Parenting Easier #3: Get Some Sleep

  1. Yesterday I
    a) went to sleep on the lovely Mia’s massage table. While (I assume) getting a massage.
    b) went to bed with SBJ, and got to sleep significantly earlier than normal. Hurrah!

    Highly recommended (particularly b).

  2. […] do you manage to get enough sleep? Tell us what works for you, or what you’d like to do (and we can keep you […]

  3. Caroline says:

    You probably won’t believe this, but I honestly considered writing a reply to this blog post yesterday, but instead decided to go to bed early. I acutally managed to get to sleep earlier than usual (which is my usual problem) and my lovely mother-in-law took the girls for an hour this morning while I got some extra sleep, so today has been a good day. Good luck to everyone in finding a way to get a bit more sleep – even if it’s just a one-off.

  4. Andy says:

    this ties in well with sleep deprivation :)

    http://www.dilbert.com/2012-12-12/

  5. Ethan says:

    Hi

    Great article. Can I recommend my sleep website to you and your readers – it has loads of useful tips and advice for people struggling to get good quality sleep, and tries to cover interesting new theories and research as well as the classic pieces of advice:-)
    It is at:
    http://www.nosleeplessnights.com/

  6. […] on this side of the river, than living in the gap between reality and expectation. If you can get a bit more sleep and a bit more help from neighbours, you might find that where you’re living is green and […]

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