sleeping kids

Urgh Sleep Deprivation & Things That Help Me

sleeping kids

I’m not a doctor but I sure am (sadly) an expert on sleep deprivation. Give or take 4 flipping whole years of it. Don’t be fooled by the picture above, they nodded off together but were soon moved to their own beds and both woke up at least twice that night. Le yawn!

…My 4 year old, Oliver has suffered from acute glue ear since he was 15 months old making him at the time anyway, the youngest child in Yorkshire to have grommets put in at 22 months.

Although he’s a lot better now (particularly over the last 6 months) with only the odd infection, his sleep routine has always been interrupted by horrendous ear related episodes over the years. Bless him. Thank goodness for King Size beds eh!

Now baby Alexander started off great (in fact we had the best sleep of our lives when he was born with both kids sleeping soundly, who knew?) but then the dastardly teething begun (waking up his brother with his cries in the next door room a lot) and it’s been far too long since I’ve had a full 8 hours. Heck even a full 6. Yuck.

I’m def keeping Max Factor Pan Stick in business. Best. Concealer. In. The. World. Make that the universe. They need concealer at Nasa don’t they?!

Red lipstick (Mac’s Lady Danger) is a fave too, it never fails to wake up my face!

My husband and I share the nights and although there are some truly bad times (where one kid is ill before the next starts), on the whole we generally feel A-OK.

I mean people are amazed by our energy levels and although sleep deprivation’s a nightmare (oh the irony) these busters below are definite miracle workers…


90% of the time we eat low-GI slow releasing feel-good food that balances blood sugar, regulates mood and makes us feel good.

My own diet is low carb (not no carb just no refined carbs so most meals are protein filled, veg and fruit heavy with sides of pulses, lentils and spelt bread) and good fats.

Hello olive oil, avocados and coconut- everything.

Generally follow the clean, lean and green way of eating. Seasonal and organic if poss for extra virtuous brownie points.

10% of the time go enjoy something naughty like actual brownies. And relish every bite. Simples.

Peter is a pescatarian so is health personified. Literally. Although he does love the odd Krispy Kreme. Who doesn’t huh?!

Seriously though, lack of sleep can make you feel irritable, depressed and moody so let food help you.

Sleep deprivation means you want to reach for the sugar but sweet highs mean crashing lows, made worse when tired so try not to go there, most of the time!


No I’m not crazy.You’re tired, the last thing you want to do is work-out right but even gentle exercise will make you feel better, I promise.

I love a brisk walk with the buggy, so try get outside when you can and breathe in some fresh air.

It will wake you up and release those endorphin bad-boys, making you smile and feel alive!

I also find pounding the treadmill, however tired, makes me feel amazing afterwards.

Failing that, a dance around the living room with babes never fails to entertain, you and them! Laughter sure is this family’s favourite happy-making medicine!


So my doctor recommended these vits to help with sleep deprivation, mood and PMT.

Ask yours for their recommendations as these will vary from person to person and whether you’re pregnant or breastfeeding.

Don’t take the below with a mult-vit either as you could take too much of everything.

What I take:

Vitamin D3 (25ug) Because we don’t live in LA (not you, you LA-dwelling lucky readers)…apparently we’re ALL sunshine deprived so these little beauties are lovely rays in a bottle. They sure brighten up my day!

Vitamin B6 (100mg)  is a miracle vitamin with studies heralding these as helping to regulate hormones, reduce tiredness and fatigue and normalise metabolism.

Take no more than 100mg as high doses of vitamin B6 can, over time, be dangerous, and might well result in nerve damage or numbness that may eventually be irreversible. Love these.

Magnesium (250mg) contributes to the maintenance of normal bones and teeth and also the reduction of tiredness and fatigue and is on my must-take each morning list.

Zinc (15mg) assists with fertility, skin, hair, nails and immunity. Clever little vits.

Vitamin A with fish liver oils (8,000 I.U) are a recent addition.

Got bad skin with the lack of zzzz’s? This tiny capsule helps make me look 16 again after rough nights (OK let’s make a that a more realistic 28 according to a random passenger age-guessing me travelling from Leeds to London last week).

Vitamin A boosts immunity, iron metabolism and helps with maintenance of normal skin and vision, plus the ones I buy from Holland & Barrett, don’t even taste fishy!

Calcium (500mg) contributes to the maintenance of normal bones and muscle function and in recent studies has shown signs of helping with PMS.

I do take iron too around that dreaded time of the month and Vit C (500 mg) for a few weeks in the winter.

The above definitely help me feel like I’ve slept 10 hours when it might well be 5 (or less *shudders). Brilliant for PMS too. Swear by them all.

Disco naps

Naps. Sleep when your baby/ kid sleeps. Cleaning, facebook and that blog post can wait. Go. To. Sleep.

Same goes for switching off (phones, laptops) especially before bedtime or nap time as research shows it’s harder to get to the land of nod if you don’t turn off the electronics!

Trash TV

The Real Housewives of Orange County/ The Kardashians…

…Or anything that will make you laugh, escape your sleep deprived reality and help you realise your problems aren’t quite as bad as those crazy-rich ladies. You might have serious wardrobe envy though. You’ve been warned. Weep.

Zen it Out

Yoga, pilates, accupuncture, meditation. Any of these will help replace actual sleep and encourage it when you’ve indirectly, thanks to the kids, developed a rubbish sleep pattern for yourself. And ummmmm.

Ask for help
Share nights with your partner where possible (real experts advice 2 nights on, 2 nights off for your each so your body recovers) and if siblings, grandparents, friends you trust, offer to give you guys a night off, accept, accept, accept.

So what are your tips?

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