staying awake tips


In those early days of new bubbadom, as blissful as it can be, sleep deprivation can sometimes wreak havoc on our physical and mental wellbeing. Often, it’s simply not do-able to take a nap and we have to stay awake in spite of chronic tiredness.

Here are some helpful tips to stay awake when all you want to do is zzzzzzz…….some of these things might look like the last thing you want to do when you can barely put one foot in front of the other, but try to think about how you will feel on the other side of it.

1.  Move wildly every half an hour or so throughout the day: “Drop down and give me 10 push ups, SisterSoldier!”, dance all crazy, do 30 jumping jacks but whatever you do, MOVE.

2. Go outside.  Don dark glasses and a wide rimmed hat, pop bubba in the Ergo and just step outside.  Go down the park, look at things in nature, chat with others but be outside.

3.  Put on some upbeat music and then do step 1.

4. Snack lightly on good, healthy foods that are high in protein such as boiled eggs, nuts, cold meats, cheese and yoghurt. Also, lots of fresh fruit and vegetables.  Stay away from heavy meals and processed fare. Yukky for you.

5.  Steer well clear of sugar and high energy drinks.  All this will lead to an almighty crash – you think you feel bad now – you’ll feel even worse later. Try healthy sweet-y alternatives

6. Sniff stimulating essential oils such as peppermint.

7. Have your coffee, just don’t overdo it or you’ll get the shakes and get super cranky.  And be sure not to have too late in the afternoon or it will interfere with your ability to sleep when you finally can drop your head on that pillow…

8. Try the Breath of Fire (<video)- it takes one minute!:

  • Sit up in a comfortable position.
  • Elongate your spine upwards, lengthen your neck and subtly bring your chin back and in like a soldier at attention: aligning the spine with the back of your head.
  • Close your eyes.
  • Rest your hands in any comfortable position.
  • Relax your stomach muscles.
  • Begin to breathe rapidly through the nose with equal emphasis on the inhalation and exhalation.  It will be like very fast sniffing.  Keep the breath shallow, just at the tip of the nose.  Proceed at a comfortable pace and establish a steady rhythm.  Pay no special attention to the chest or diaphragm other that staying relaxed.  You will find the stomach pulses on its own in rhythm to the breath.  That’s it, continue for 1 minute.

9. Splash cold water on your face and hands

10. Try these simple acupressure techniques:

  • Pull down your earlobes
  • Rub the backs of your hands between thumb and index finger
  • Press against the backs of your knees, 4 fingers worth below the knee.

And stay off the grog.  If you’re limping towards the finish line (end of the day) and eyeing off that Pinot Noir, just don’t.  It will affect whatever sleep you are able to get tonight (even one glass) and you’ll feel even worse in the morning.

If you really can’t stay awake and you MUST find some way to sleep, go here for play ideas for children whilst you nap or here 25 more ways to overcome the sleep deprivation.

How do you fare with a lack of sleep?  What tips do you have for other mothers struggling with sleep deprivation?

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