Motherhood // 20 things I’ve learnt about chronic sleep deprivation… so far

chronic sleep deprivation It’s been quiet on the blog over the past month hasn’t it? I blame Monsieur H-Bear, who hasn’t let me have a full night of sleep in 29 weeks. Sadly, I don’t see this resolving any time soon…

I’ve found the sleep deprivation very difficult; I haven’t had the brain power to compose a sentence, let alone a blog post… but last night I realised I could write about the very thing that has been hindering my writing ability: “Write what you know” and all that jazz.

Here are the 20 things I’ve learnt about chronic sleep deprivation… so far:

1. You spend a worrying amount of time in front of the mirror examining your eye-bags, wondering whether you could fill them with shopping rather than fork out 5p for a bag in Waitrose…

2. You rename your “Mummy Tummy”, “Obscene-amount-of-food-I-have-consumed-for-energy-because-I-no-longer-sleep Tummy”.

3. You cannot comprehend how you ever thought you were tired prior to pregnancy/having children. HOW?!

4. You spend hours wondering why on earth you didn’t take advantage of ALL the sleep before becoming a parent. All those hours wasted having fun when you could have been sleeping. Sigh.

5. You perfect your resting smile/grimace/bitch face after weeks of struggling to maintain the inner rage when someone who regularly gets a full night of sleep tells you they’re “tired”.

6. You’ve also become rather excellent at resisting physical violence when the above continues to occur.

7. You should probably take out shares in Yorkshire Tea (other tea manufacturers are available) for all the tea you now consume.

8. It might also be worth buying shares in a dairy farm for the above reason too.

9. There reaches a point where tea no longer has any effect, and therefore you turn to coffee, which prior to giving birth to a sleep-stealing bundle of love, you did not like.

10. Coffee is your best friend now.

11. You haven’t cried about being tired since you were a toddler, but here you are at the age of 28, sobbing your heart out because you just need to sleep for more than two hours in a row.

12. You find yourself staring in disbelief when friends without children tell you they voluntarily get up before 9am at the weekend. WHY WOULD YOU DO THAT?!

13. You are envious of television characters who are asleep on the screen in front of you; Mr Tumble, you lucky bugger.

14. You find yourself confusing facts and fiction. (The other day I was explaining something I’d seen on a documentary to Nick, only to discover that the documentary was actually Star Wars.)

15. You genuinely cannot remember why you walked into a room. Or the point you were making in a conversation. Or what your name is.

16. Um…

17. You are so desperate for sleep, that you find yourself wondering whether that twinge on your left side is appendicitis, and after you realise you’d be put under general anaesthetic if it is, you sort of hope it might be… just to have a few hours of guaranteed, uninterrupted sleep.

18. You find yourself pondering whether it would be best to have your final child sooner rather than later, because you’re in the land of the sleep deprived anyway, so what difference is a few more months of no sleep going to make?!

19. A smile from your baby at 4am can make up for all the lost sleep…

20. … Well, almost.
chronic sleep deprivation


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  1. 11th January 2016 / 7:47 pm

    This is brilliant! Can we join the no sleep club too? Parker was just starting to sleep through when we hit the sleep regression. Colds, chicken pox and throat infections have followed so we only get 2/3 hours at a time now. Damn I wish I liked coffee! Xx

  2. 11th January 2016 / 8:34 pm

    Oh God, I feel for you, Hannah. The boys are three and five now and they sleep don’t sleep that well. I’ve learnt to be kind to myself and know my limits. And saying ‘no’ has become very important. My family (extended) have a tendency to pass me everything to organise as I’m the bossy one, but I run myself in to the ground trying to fit everything in so have learnt to push back. Hang in there. It’s so, so hard, I know xxx

  3. 11th January 2016 / 10:21 pm

    Ouch, ouch, ouch. I wish there was something I could because at a time like this you really need more hands on deck! My M started letting me sleep a semi-acceptable number of hours once he was 15 months, and now he’s almost 3 I finally feel like I’m not drowning anymore. I’ve honestly never known such suffering as in that first year. It’s incredibly hard, and I hope you can do whatever you need to get through it – all the octonauts, ask for help, never mind about the state of the house. Whatever it takes. Xxx

  4. 11th January 2016 / 10:29 pm

    I am with you on this one lovely. Both of mine do at least sleep for reasonable stretches but they seem to tag team each other through the night so I’m up every few hours. And the person who said sleep when the baby sleeps obviously didn’t have a toddler to look after, or a baby who will only nap while being held, pushed or rocked!

  5. 12th January 2016 / 7:15 am

    I love this, I’m nodding away to them all – especially that 4am smile that seems to pull on our heartstrings

  6. 12th January 2016 / 5:12 pm

    Ah I nodded along with this. We are 2years and 2 months into this with Chloe and she is yet to sleep through the night (no matter if you think that means 6 hours straight or 12 hours ) she has been ill for a chunk of it but even now she is a bit better the sleep is still poor. We are both constantly in a daze and I have never felt so achy in my life from getting up and down ever single right. We have a nights break every now and again when our parents step in so we can rest although the first 14 months she was permanently attached to my boob so that wasn’t an option but you even so you can never catch up can you? I really really really hope it doesn’t go on that long for you as it really isn’t fun for any length of time. Always around for you to moan at if you need to.xxxx

  7. 13th January 2016 / 3:36 pm

    I’m nodding away to most of these and completely sympathise. My eldest is a good sleeper but some days (nights!) I wonder if my youngest (soon to be 2) will ever sleep through, we average 4-6 wake ups per night at the moment (Weeps) Here’s to more sleep! xx

  8. 1st February 2016 / 7:30 pm

    This is brilliant, I am guilty of all of these! Especially getting annoyed with someone when they moan about how tired they are!

  9. 16th March 2016 / 9:39 am

    Oh god, it’s awful isn’t it? Still waiting for a good night of sleep at 1.5 years. PS the shop ran out of Yorkshire Tea the other day! I panicked x

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