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Effects of sleep deprivation (on parents)

(27 Posts)
ImNotAnsweringIt Sun 18-Sep-11 17:15:22

What are people finding and how are you coping? Apart from the obvious tiredness, I have a sore throat every day and am often dizzy. I also cry at the drop of a hat and feel generally depressed and have no energy. I find everything a huge effort. Pretty obvious I know but thought it might feel better to share and not feel so alone with the bleakness of it all.

I am very lucky to have 2 beautiful children <repeats and rocks>

hazeyjane Sun 18-Sep-11 17:27:16

I find I cope better some days than others. Sometimes if I can go back to bed in the morning, even if it is for 20 mins, it makes a huge difference. I always feel my worst around 5ish, which is of course when everyone else is tired so chaos usually ensues. I don't find I get any more ill, but I do tend to get headaches, and I comfort eat to get an instant ht of energy.

Oh and I drink far too much coffee.

flippyfloppy Sun 18-Sep-11 19:57:48

Hi there, I have a DD 3.11 who has slept through the night a handful of times, now have DS, 16 weeks who feeds from me every two hours after midnight. I also have good days and bad days, if I've had a three hour stretch of sleep in night I feel like a new woman. I'm really forgetful, i lost the iron (?!!) and my purse in one day last week. Had put them in wrong places when putting them away. Also drinking far too much coffee! I don't think you can understand the feeling of sustained sleep deprivation unless you have been there, however it is now my norm I always feel tired. Physically if you look at photographs of me now and four years ago I look about ten years older envy its a good job they are worth it! Xx

PaigeTurner Sun 18-Sep-11 20:01:35

I've got a bit more used to the no sleep now, but I did get dizzy and feel like I had flu most mornings until about a month ago, it was not nice. Still get lots of headaches, but generally I go to bed at 8pm (just off now!) - easy for me to do as am a lone parent so no one to entertain after DS has gone to bed.

I mostly find I have no energy to do anything for myself which is annoying. I bought a great face mask to cheer myself up, but at the end of the day all I want to do is veg and then go to bed, so it's still in the bathroom cabinet four weeks later.

CharlotteBronteSaurus Sun 18-Sep-11 20:03:03

tiredness-induced dementia
i forget a lot of basic stuff - like putting the handbrake on....
and agree about aging. i never used to look old for my age, but now people generally think I'm a good 5 years old than I am sad

Things are better when I eat well (including avoiding the vicious caffeine cycle), take zinc, iron, and a multivit; and get to bed by 9pm.

HandMini Sun 18-Sep-11 20:07:08

Wow, good advice from Charlotte. I'm afraid I cope with the much less healthy crutches of chocolate and coffee! The 4-6pm slot, just before The Battle of Bath and Bed begins is the worst time for me - I try and go for a walk with DD in the sling/buggy. Respect and ZZZZZs to those with more than one child to look after - I feel knocked out by my one tiny DD!

ImNotAnsweringIt Sun 18-Sep-11 20:23:15

Ah, its good to know I am not alone (though of course sorry for your suffering smile) Flippy that sounds horrific.

I have DS1 who is 3 and sleeps fine and DS2, 11 weeks who doesn't sleep great after his first feed. This is usually about 2am, lasts an hour, then back to sleep for 40-90 minutes before being unsettled until morning. Trouble is I can't sleep in that gap between 3am and 4am when i know he will stir again, so effectively I am awake from 2am. I think I am getting used to it but sometimes I just hit a wall and need a nap. baby naps dreadfully during the day so no chance ecven when DS1 is at pre-school.

Muti vit is a good idea. I have put on so much weight from comfort eating. I think your metabolism changes when you are not sleeping much (at night) too.

insicknessandinhealth Sun 18-Sep-11 20:30:20

Oh Lordy, just logged on to post about my DS terrible sleeping patterns and he is nearly 4!! I am woken by him up to 4 times a night, my completely deaf cat yowling at the top of her voice at least once a night, my DH coming to bed somewhere between midnight and 4am, he is disabled following a stroke and wears a splint on his leg with Velcro so loud it wakes me right up. I'm also an insomniac so sleep lightly anyhow. Today is one of my worst days for a while, at 6am I was in the bathroom in tears having had all these things wake me up in the night and my DS up for the day at 5.20am. Aaargh, basically! Thank goodness for wine and chocolate. I am resorting to putting a mattress in our room for DS to go into if he wakes, to see if that works. And getting him a bigger bed as I sometimes squash into his toddler bed. Sleep deprivation is definitely the hardest part of parenting. I'm having a day off work tomorrow so I can try and get some rest. Won't make sense in this state! smile

flippyfloppy Sun 18-Sep-11 21:26:32

You do get used to the lack of sleep, and it is no longer such a big deal! I do however have very little sympathy for those with good sleepers who complain if they have a bad couple of nights! Glad to see that sleep deprivation dementia is something recognised and not just me losing my marbles, wish I had known that when I left digital camera in back of taxi last Saturday (before I'd had a drink!) Also agree with Paigeturner about not being bothered to do anything for yourself, I'm full of great ideas but once the DC are in bed I am a zombie! Anyhow, I'm turning in, sweet dreams all!

Riveninabingle Sun 18-Sep-11 21:28:49

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

ImNotAnsweringIt Mon 19-Sep-11 14:35:05

Riven that sounds so awful, I am sorry you feel like that.

I also suffer with dreadful anxiety when sleep deprived. I feel really skittish and nervous and this is worse at night when I am awake and baby isn't as I am trying so hard to sleep yet expecting to be disturbed. Anyone else get this?

boredbuthappy Mon 19-Sep-11 21:51:48

I have this problem, I desperately want to sleep bt at the same time dread falling asleep knowing I'm going to be up several times, and then dread getting out of bed in the morning knowing I'm going to spend the whole day exhausted, putting on a smiley cheery attitude so I don't emotionally damage my kid.
Wonderful existence!

scrivette Tue 20-Sep-11 01:55:29

I also get a sore throat when I haven't been sleeping much and very forgetful. I find I no longer know the words to songs when I am singing along in the car.

naomilpeb Tue 20-Sep-11 05:10:07

I too get a horrible sore throat - I've had one pretty much constantly for a year! And am incredibly irritable with DP, find it hard to bother with things like brushing my hair, make up and wearing anything other than jeans and a t-shirt, and can't find the energy to do anything once the children are asleep. I also find it hard to get off to sleep if I go to bed when they do, which is so frustrating. Things I find help: limit myself to two cups of coffee, latest one at lunchtime; when DS has a nap, stick a DVD on for DD and lie on the sofa (she's started to get that I will not play with her at this time), eat dinner with them at 530 to give me some energy, and generally not set my standards too high with what we do in the day. I'm also trying to, when I get cross or irritated with the children, to just go in the kitchen and eat something rather than yell and burst into tears. I try to keep it to one dried apricot, but make it a biscuit or whatever helps! I know it sounds weird but I think it's helping me be less me a horrible shouty mother.

SpeedyGonzalez Tue 20-Sep-11 12:39:18

I'm so glad to have found this thread. Now I feel normal. grin

But oh, Riven!. sad

ImNotAnsweringIt Tue 20-Sep-11 14:55:03

I wonder if there are long term effects such as perhaps digestive or immune system problems. What do you reckon, are we dooooomed? I am going to ask the go about ads to try to steady my nerves a bit, might help me sleep in between wakings.

Riveninabingle Tue 20-Sep-11 16:24:06

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

Aloha31 Tue 20-Sep-11 16:50:57

Oh riven! You deserve better. It's just so tough. Have you considered Millpond? They cost about £250 but would help. Google their website. Just a suggestion, there must be a way and, while expensive, would be worth it?
Hope we all get some sleep soon!

Riveninabingle Tue 20-Sep-11 16:54:20

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

SpeedyGonzalez Tue 20-Sep-11 20:25:59

Oh, I'm sorry, I've just seen your second post about Millpond. Really sorry. sad

SpeedyGonzalez Tue 20-Sep-11 20:27:08

God I'm tired. That last post was a follow-up to my PM, Riven - I posted it in the wrong place: it was meant to be another PM!

Aloha31 Tue 20-Sep-11 20:59:00

Riven, my heart really goes out to you. Sounds like you are doing an amazing job for your little girl.

GingaNinja Fri 23-Sep-11 15:33:56

Thank god I'm not alone (sorry). Riven, I feel like I'm complaining about very little by comparison.

Does anyone know how long people in Guantanamo were sleep deprived for and what the effects long term were/are? I remember reading something about a DJ who stayed awake for a week back in the 60s for a world record or summat and I think he ended up with long term psych difficulties. I have crashed the car 3 times from falling asleep at the wheel; presently, the 2 oval shaped vents on the dash have spent the last 4 days floating around the car - unless I look at them directly when they stay still.

I'm glad I'm not alone with the inability to sleep when the child is finally unconscious because you're dreading the next bout. Can't sleep during the day - usually at work - and she won't nap during the day either.

DD is 841 days old today. She has slept through on 20 separate nights. I write them down to remind myself they have happened. (Definition of a good night: only up twice. Definition of slept through: not being awake between midnight and 5am. Though I'd take 11pm -4am. I'm easy pleased). Or maybe they were hallucinations too.

[bug eyed from lack of sleep emoticon]

Riveninabingle Fri 23-Sep-11 16:16:04

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

SpeedyGonzalez Sat 24-Sep-11 11:14:37

Don't you need a prescription for that, Riven?

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