Wellness

Sleepless Nights – 3 Ways to Stay Functional while Sleep Deprived

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If you have kids you are bound to experience sleep deprivation at some point. As a mom, hearing a crying child, in the middle of the night, can spring you into action. Dreary eyed, you make your way to them, only to find them hard to console and even more difficult to get back to sleep. You try rocking, singing, rubbing their back and hope for a little miracle, so you can curl back up into your own bed. Sometimes you luck out and other times you’re endlessly defeated. As moms, we have all been there. The next day you are in a zombie like state, just trying to make it through the day, reaching for anything that has caffeine or might give us energy for the next 10 min. It’s tough, you feel tired and the one thing, pushing you through the day, is the goal to make it undisturbed to your comfy, cozy bed. For some that goal becomes a reality and for others the cycle begins all over again. How do you beat that exhaustion? Here are a few things that can help keep you going….

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1. Catch some zzzz’s – If you get a chance, go to bed earlier, so that you have had a bit more sleep before your little one awakes in the middle of the night, or try to sneak in a nap. Even a 20 minute power nap can help recharge your battery and do you a world of good.

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2. Avoid the junk – When you are tired your body naturally craves energy dense and sugary snacks because they act as a quick fuel source. Being tired can also cause us to reach for processed or fast foods, which take little to no effort to prep. While this may seem like it helps, by saving us the energy involved in preparing a meal, eating poorly can actually cause you to feel even more exhausted. Processed, fast or sugary foods are often carbohydrate rich, which can cause a sharp spike in blood sugar. These swings up are followed by a quick crash, leaving you feeling depleted. This causes you to reach for something else to eat (more junk) and the cycle continues. Your best bet is to stick with lean proteins, healthy fats (think nuts, hummus, or avocado) and fruits/vegetables (but remember not too much fruit as it can cause sharp spikes as well).

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3. Don’t over do it – For many, a cup of joe in the morning is necessary to emerge as a fully functioning person. Caffeine can be great, but when you have not had enough sleep, be wary of taking in too much to overcompensate for your depressed energy levels. Caffeine can be a double edged sword. Too much can cause you to feel edgy or agitated, and even make it difficult for you to get those much needed zzzz’s come bed time, causing your sleep deficit to continue to climb.

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