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How do you keep your cool when you're sleep-deprived? Patience running low...

(26 Posts)
makemineamojito Wed 12-Jan-11 16:53:43

Had about four hours' sleep last night (1 year old sleeping badly) and I always seem to have zero patience the next day. My temper is frighteningly short when I'm tired and I find myself shouting at my children when they're being difficult, which I'd rather not do. How do other mothers manage to stay rational and not fly off the handle?

lovemy2babies Wed 12-Jan-11 20:11:08

Honestly, I can't
Do your kids go to nursery or can they stay round Grans unti you can sort your sleep out?
Or can you all go to playground or indoor playcenters?
Take them somewhere where they can be self entertained and leave you alone.

I understand how sleep deprecation can effect the whole family.

I feel like I'm in some kind of hell when it's bad.

mousesma Wed 12-Jan-11 20:14:17

I shout at my cat, poor sod.

lovemy2babies Wed 12-Jan-11 20:32:50

Mousema, are you taking the piss??

mousesma Wed 12-Jan-11 21:14:54

No I am absoutely not although it sounded a bit glib.

I haven't slept for longer than 3 hours at a time for the last 6 months since DD was born. At times it's all I can do not to scream at her to shut up when she is being grizzly. I've found myself telling the cat to F off when I really want to say that to DD.

Yesterday I nearly cried in the car beacuse the "I'm falling to pieces came" song came on the radio.

I understand how awful sleep deprivation is I deal with the situation with humour, obviously this approach doesn't work for you.

Sunshine31 Wed 12-Jan-11 21:18:02

I can`t either. I have no patience at the best of times and worse when sleep deprived. DD 2 is nearly 5 months and only just started to sleep vaugely sensibly at night, so I`ve spent much of the past 5 months shouting at DD1 when she does anything remotely difficult. Dh works away and no family around. I hate it and get so annoyed with myself. I did find that apart from nursery and getting us out of the house, the only solution was a cup of tea, chocolate biscuit and Cbeebies until I had calmed down.

Sunshine31 Wed 12-Jan-11 21:18:58

I can`t either. I have no patience at the best of times and worse when sleep deprived. DD 2 is nearly 5 months and only just started to sleep vaugely sensibly at night, so I`ve spent much of the past 5 months shouting at DD1 when she does anything remotely difficult. Dh works away and no family around. I hate it and get so annoyed with myself. I did find that apart from nursery and getting us out of the house, the only solution was a cup of tea, chocolate biscuit and Cbeebies until I had calmed down.

Panzee Wed 12-Jan-11 21:19:33

Lucozade.

lovemy2babies Wed 12-Jan-11 22:03:02

Mousema I aplogise for being a tad wee sensitive and jumping on you.
Thought you were on a wind up mission

Astrophe Wed 12-Jan-11 22:08:04

Sometimes a whisper a lot. It sory of helps keep me calm, and when I do escalate, it turns to speaking loudly rather than shouting, as i started lower IYSWIM. I think the DC also know that when Mummy is whispering at them, something is up.

Its awful though isn;t it?

I am pg with number 4 at the mo, in the middle of our long summer holidays here and am tired and sick and grumpy and have no energy to take the kids anywhere and no patience for their mess and noise. I feel like a horrible mother

SlowComfortableShrew Wed 12-Jan-11 22:13:39

Real coffee helps amazingly but only before 4pm. A slow cooker so the dinner is made when you are at the best part of the day and ready for the death hour. I ended up on anti dependants though tbh.

SlowComfortableShrew Wed 12-Jan-11 22:14:22

Depressants I mean

missorinoco Wed 12-Jan-11 22:16:33

I can't. Minimise it with chocolate, and by getting out of the house as much as I can, but I find it very hard.

My nerves are frazzled when I am really sleep deprived and hitting the little red button to make me explode is oh-so-easy.

SycamoretreeIsVile Wed 12-Jan-11 22:19:49

I used to always have sugar in my tea in the mornings, and although things are better now the kids are older (3 and 5) a recent accident in the family has really put the strain on things again so we are all exhausted.

I tend to just cut everyone more slack - by that I mean I just let my standards drop, both in terms of what I expect from the kids, DH but also what I expect of myself as a mum.

cbeebies features heavily. Going for a coffee and some cake as an activity happens more frequently.

It is so tough at that age, my heart goes out to you.

Popbiscuit Wed 12-Jan-11 22:21:06

Avoid shops and cafes. I just tried this with my three as a "get out of the house" measure. I ended up crying in my car in the parking lot after my son threw a complete wobbly in Starbucks. Do not underestimate the amount of havoc that results in your brain after a poor night's sleep. Recognize that you are temporarily "insane" and treat yourself accordingly. I find that a little walk around the block (or halfway) does wonders for you AND the dc's--fresh air and exercise allow you to "reset" iykwim.

SycamoretreeIsVile Wed 12-Jan-11 22:21:14

Sugar, caffeine, getting out of your four walls.

BaggedandTagged Thu 13-Jan-11 10:22:59

I dont. I become a psycho. That's why I basically snapped and (whispers) started using an expressed bottle topped up with formula for the 10pm feed so I get a block of sleep.

montmartre Thu 13-Jan-11 10:33:49

Actually shrew- anti-dependents would be very useful! wink

It is hard, v hard... I eat more when I'm tired, and I know when I'm too tired as I have a heart condition that starts to play up...

You do get used to survivng on less sleep too... my almost 5yo still has us up in the night, and my toddler has bad nghts when he's teething or ill... I rarely get more that 5 hours a night, and haven't had more than 5 hours straight in over 5 years... it becomes a way of life.

Am sometimes more shouty than id want to be... I imagine my favourite mner is in the next room, and it helps me moderate my behaviour. I am also v grateful that my children are pretty well behaved and play with each other nicely about 97% of the time... its a lifesaver.

Lastyearsmodel Thu 13-Jan-11 10:44:41

Aw, I love this thread. Horrifically sleep-deprived women almost bickering, getting the wrong end of the stick, tearful apologies, typos appearing as if the writer had momentarily lost consciousness and slumped over the keyboard. This is just like my life! grin

DD2 (4mo, could be more, I've lost count) is a dreadful sleeper. I've started to feel dizzy, sick and headachey with tiredness. And sometime I'm so exhausted I don't even feel tired anymore - which leads to manic laughter, picking irrational fights with DP and irresponsible internet shopping.

And the bloody insomnia caused by having to force yourself to stay awake all day so that when bedtime comes you can't switch off.

So relieved to hear the remedies I'm using are widespread - caffeine, shouting, sugar, and every once in a while, a huge effort to be more organised so the 4-7pm after school bit goes more smoothly.

I also sometimes really resent having to go to bed early because I miss out on any evening time.

Sorry OP, I have no good ideas about keeping one's cool, apart from insisting on time off when DP is home. And getting out of the house once a day for fresh air. And knowing it will end.

lovemy2babies Thu 13-Jan-11 12:13:23

Lastyearsmodel grin

if someone told me how fucked up my health would have been after having kids I would have reconsidered my life style choice and chosen to travel the world working in bars

Actually... I would never not have my kids they are great!

See I have a sense of humor...

I actually got some sleep by having a long lie in this morning and I feel a million times better.

Just remembered why i started this post - Lastyearsmodel I was recommended bachs night time rescue on another thread as I couldn't turn off at night due to insomnia and it has really helped.

If only I could get my Dcs to sleep through

Lastyearsmodel Thu 13-Jan-11 12:59:54

Didn't know Bach's did a night time rescue - thanks, lovemy2babies. envy your lie-in this morning. Suddenly the world looks brighter when you've had some sleep. I make the most amazing plans to conquer the world (or housework) when I get more than 3 hours.

Sheesh, the health problems - every morning there's a new click or creak or ache. And I've got the GP on speed dial for the DCs and their winter ailments. Yesterday DD2 was dx with exczema (sp?) and today DS has gunk leaking out of his ear and just been told he's got to have antibiotics. I swear, I never used to go to the doc.

Someone on last night's Paul McKenna live chat said they'd played their 1yo his I Can Make You Sleep CD and it worked!

susie100 Thu 13-Jan-11 14:02:29

I could not cope and became a monster

Also as main breadwinner, being a zombie was not an option for me.
So come 6 months I sleep trained both dds.
Took 1 hour first night, 40 mins the next and 5 mins on night 3 and that is it.

OP - if your baby is one you can try it? I know its not for everyone but it saved my sanity completely and the DDs were a lot happier in the day.

acumenin Thu 13-Jan-11 14:28:31

It's hard. I think I last had a full night's sleep in about 2007. Now I am on a 120 minute (and two 180 minute per 24 thank god) schedule and have been on that since November 2009. You do get better at just clunking into sleep when the opportunity arises.

I have never been a patient person. The only thing I can do is try to be kind and say sorry a lot. And remember that I am unreasonable but so is everyone.

The things that have worked for me, coping with sleep deprivation:

1. treating it as a challenge and spending my energy on making it easier to cope with/making me more efficient rather than longing for smth I can't have, so self care:

-having a consistent bedtime, even if I don't sleep then, I get into my pyjamas and the big light goes off etc, so when I am really tired I can look forward to that instead of looking forward to sleep that might be available

-listening to the same audio book over and over so it's become like a meditative drone

-very good coffee at around 6.30 and another boost at around 1.30

-doing everything that can be done as soon as I can do it - if I have a burst of energy, I run round the house and pack in housework, write a dozen emails, make the most of every moment

-being realistic and stopping trying to do everything you used to do, which means going without sometimes but in the long run cuts down on those horrendous episodes where you're hiding in the world foods aisle, weeping, in an accidentally-pink shirt, with only one eyebrow, having lost the ability to comprehend paprika

-when the hallucinations and hypervigilance kick in, I find doing some pilates/yoga, wrapping up in warm clothes and eating a giant burger help with keeping your limbs working and keeping you moving and not entirely homicidal

goingwiththeflow Thu 13-Jan-11 14:43:11

lastyearsmodel "Aw, I love this thread. Horrifically sleep-deprived women almost bickering, getting the wrong end of the stick, tearful apologies, typos appearing as if the writer had momentarily lost consciousness and slumped over the keyboard. This is just like my life! "

you made me laugh so much I had tears in my eyes !!! grinthank you!!

... obv I am also very sleep deprived and building up to post school pick up mayhem wink

sarah293 Thu 13-Jan-11 14:48:12

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