Advanced search ask the sleep deprived, how the F**K do you do it?! Seriously.

(342 Posts)
DangerGrouse Wed 22-Jul-15 22:34:03

This is not a rhetorical question. I want answers and I want your stories. I am completely in awe/confused about people who function with sleep deprivation it utterly baffles me.
I have a two year old daughter who has always slept well and I am acutely aware of how lucky I am and I take no credit for this and I am not smug.
The night before last she had some random "hurty ear" and spent most of the night awake crying and wanting cuddles. So of course I spent the night cuddling her and dosing her up to the eyeballs with calpol and ibuprofen etc. Normal mumstuff. The night was of course awful - I was delirious and started hallucinating at one point I was so tired. Yesterday was consequently terrible and I felt physically sick and was grumpy from tiredness. From one bad night. In pretty much two years. And all I could think of was "HOW THE FUCK DO THEY DO IT?!" As in permanently sleep deprived mothers of non sleeping or ill children?
Seriously? How do you cope? What gets you through? Do you just accept it and deal with it, have a nervous breakdown or just live in permanent hate of your days and nights?
From one totally in awe mother to all of you sleep deprived warrior goddesses, I bow down and salute you.

ishouldcocoa Wed 22-Jul-15 22:36:43

You just get on with it, TBH. My DS woke 3-4-5 times a night until he was 4.

You feels crippled by it, then you sort of just get used to it.

Mind you, 17 years later, my sleep pattern is shot to pieces.

CurlyBlueberry Wed 22-Jul-15 22:40:02

You get used to it. And then it gets better, and then if you suddenly have one random bad night again you often do feel like shit and need a few days to get used to it again!

nocoolnamesleft Wed 22-Jul-15 22:40:22

Hallucinations from one sleepless night? Blimey! I didn't even hallucinate after 80 hours straight working in one shift (ie no sleep for 3 days and nights and a smidge)...although I did once keel over whilst talking to a patient...

I suspect different people have slightly different thresholds for what totally finishes them off? But one night, wow. Oh, really hope your dd is on the mend.

DangerGrouse Wed 22-Jul-15 22:42:50

Oh I am fully aware of what a total wimp I am. It's pathetic I know and made me all the more grateful that I have a sleeping child and all the more amazed/curious as to how the hell people cope with chronic sleep deprivation. I just don't understand how people cope without having a breakdown or something.

DollyTwat Wed 22-Jul-15 22:43:43

I threw me ex out when dc were 6 months and 3 and I was back at work full time. I fed ds2 about 3 times a night plus ds1 who woke at different times as he'd wet the bed.

I used to come home at lunch time and sleep.

The house was not very tidy

I have no idea what I did at work for about 2 years. Literally no idea. I was a zombie.

Thank fuck that's over grin

msgrinch Wed 22-Jul-15 22:44:20

You get on with it. It's a regular thing work wise for me and I can't say one night without sleep has ever caused anything you've mentioned. Ds didn't sleep more than 3 hours at a time until he was 3 maybe that built my lack of sleep tolerance up.

DangerGrouse Wed 22-Jul-15 22:44:31

Ps she's fine all better now. Totally recovered by the morning. We are hardy northern stock who very very rarely get ill but clearly can't cope with no sleep!!

LilyMayViolet Wed 22-Jul-15 22:46:21

It's bloody awful, somewhere at work there is a photo of me when Dd was months old. I was absolutely on my knees. I don't know how I got through it, I suppose I didn't have a lot of choice. I drank too much tea, ate a lot of sugary snacks and looked like crap most of the time. My god I appreciated sleep when she finally got old enough to sleep through.

mumof2oneofeach Wed 22-Jul-15 22:46:38

Coffee, lots of coffee. A bit of crying and more coffee.

AdeleDazeem Wed 22-Jul-15 22:47:29

Sounds untrue but you do get used to it and find a way of functioning. It's not a great way to live and potentially damaging if it ends up being a longterm thing but you just make the best of it. That's all you can do.

And this can help as a stopgap [coffee] Hope your DD feels better.

306235388 Wed 22-Jul-15 22:48:18

Ds used to not sleep longer than 1.5 hours until he was 3. You get used to it and you begin to think being headachy and a bit spacey is normal.

Ds is 8 now and Dd is 4 and has been a better sleeper. Recently dh was away for a few weeks and Ds was ill, then Dd then Ds then me then Dd again. I don't think I slept more than 2 hours a night the whole time. I felt terrible and very very emotional. Survived though.

somemothersdohavethem Wed 22-Jul-15 22:48:29

Dangergrouse I'm the same as you! One night of no sleep and I'm done for days!

AdeleDazeem Wed 22-Jul-15 22:48:58

^ That should've been blush

kally195 Wed 22-Jul-15 22:49:03

Yep - you just get used to it. My DD doesn't sleep - a good night (few and far between atm) is two wake ups and a bad night is lots. Lots and lots. She is 14 months.

I feel a bit foggy most of the time, but I'm still managing to run the house, do my degree and socialise. I don't really have any energy for myself though, if that makes sense.

DH jokes that when DD does start sleeping, I'll probably be bouncing off the ceilings.

fanjoforthemammaries7850 Wed 22-Jul-15 22:49:27

Dd is 8 and a bad sleeper.

You just have to "get on with it" . I can't just sleep all day and not look after DD really.

trilbydoll Wed 22-Jul-15 22:49:32

You get used to it. If you then have a good night, it unlocks this previously repressed well of tiredness and you feel even more shit, and wish you hadn't had that 6 hours uninterrupted!

Or you get pregnant again and lose all ability to hear your pfb in the night. My poor DH has spent hours crammed in dd's cot bed!

Pixi2 Wed 22-Jul-15 22:49:35

You just get on with it. I try to remind myself not to shout, to speak softer so the DC are forced to listen.
Mind you, I lost my hayfever tablets for a week then found them behind the new cheese on the fridge! There are certain places I'm really strict about things going - keys in the same place every night, dc's clothes in the same place in the same drawer, medicine and spoons in the same place at bedtime (daily nightime doses are part of my life). I get told its OCD but it really isn't, its a coping mechanism because I can't think where things might be if they're not where they should be.

WardenessOfTheNorth Wed 22-Jul-15 22:50:45

I have been sleep deprived for ten years due to SN DS. You really do get used to it. Coffee, cat naps, keeping myself busy then having very lazy days when needed have helped.

Can't handle alcohol anymore sad

Mumoftwoyoungkids Wed 22-Jul-15 22:51:03

You just get on with it. Because it is your version of normal. And occasionally have a complete breakdown for what seems no real reason whatsoever but in reality is a build up of months and months of it.

It changes your personality, it ruins your cognitive ability (I have a very technical job), it wrecks your relationship, it stops you caring about anything.

And yet - if you met me you wouldn't have a clue unless you asked me because I just carry on.

The worst bit is that it turns you into an insomniac because I am so used to being jerked awake over and over again that I can't sleep properly any more.

TheHormonalHooker Wed 22-Jul-15 22:53:11

I have had a chronic pain condition for 19 years and haven't slept well for that time. Over the last 4 or 5 years I've been lucky to sleep more than 3 or 4 hours a night.

I feel physically sick, I don't eat a great deal. My children are much, much older so if I feel the need to sleep in the day I do. I am often short tempered and suffer very badly with very frequent migraines.

It's very lonely at night when everyone else is fast asleep.

Alwayswiththechords Wed 22-Jul-15 22:53:30

Lots of chocolate and other treats, lots of distracting sitcoms playing in the background to forget how tired/grumpy/moody/fed up/sad etc I actually am. Never even attempting to do anything else than look after DS. House was a tip esp. for the first 18 months. Going out to the playground for long periods of times. Regularly having 5-10 minutes just by myself in the kitchen or another room, just to breathe and think this will all pass at some point.

SleepShake Wed 22-Jul-15 22:54:09

You don't have a choice, you have to, because who else will? There's no other option.

When I was 39 weeks pregnant, I read a book that said babies woke every three hours until they were about three months old. I was horrified. I really had no idea! I told DH I was worried about coping without my usual 8-10 hours a night and he just brushed it off.

Four years later... DS1 still doesn't consistently sleep through and DS2 has managed it once, unfortunately on a night when his brother didn't.

I don't think I've had more than four hours sleep in a row for four years. Sigh. Coffee keeps me going. And weekend lie ins!

I can't imagine how much better I am going to look and feel when they finally start sleeping through!

DangerGrouse Wed 22-Jul-15 22:54:54

Also does it make those who vowed never to let their babies 'cry it out' - change their mind? That's what I was wondering too. I wondered how long I'd be able to stay strong and not do cry it out if I was three or four days sleep deprived. I don't know if I could and I'd totally understand anyone who couldn't hack it.
Those are my thoughts I had yesterday in my knackered brain. I was in my pyjamas by the time the six o'clock news was on.

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