Sleep Deprivation Training

So last night RJ had to work late, and I mean late…like until 3:30 am. I went up to the office around 9 pm to take him something to eat and I decided to stay because I felt bad for him there all by himself. Another reason I stayed was to test my ability to function on minimal sleep. Let’s be honest: My life is such that I get plenty of sleep where and when I want. I think sleep deprivation will be one of my hardest adjustments. I had a full day today so I knew I’d just have to muscle through and function on 3.5 hours of sleep. It started out ok but by about 12 I couldn’t focus real well and I couldn’t remember anything…not even the beginning of the sentence I was in the middle of and it pretty much got worse as the day wore on. However I did manage to keep a happy demeanor and smile (something that is usually hard for me if I feel like a sleepless martyr). Now I realize this was not an entirely accurate test-especially since it will not continue past today but it did boost my confidence a little. Now here’s where I need help…what do you tell yourself when you’ve gone for weeks/months on hardly any sleep? How do you manage to remember anything…or do you even care to remember anything? I see all of you out there managing to care for yourself, your families and small babies on very little sleep….how do you do it? What gems of wisdom can you share that I can remind myself of in a few months?

18 Comments on “Sleep Deprivation Training

  1. I think it’s different missing sleep needlessly and missing sleep because you’re keeping a newborn baby alive and well. I think you just get used to it. And also learn to take a nap whenever you can. I’ll always be around in case you need someone to take care of the babe so you can nap. 🙂

  2. I’ll be interested to see what people say too…but at least you know in advance, I really didn’t understand how little sleep I would really be getting. Being able to look at that sweet little thing and knowing it’s for her makes it much easier but it’s still hard. And I hear you girl, I love my sleep too. I think the best thing for me so far has been to try not to think too much into the future of my sleepless life 🙂 tehe. Just taking it one day at a time makes it manageable. As far as it affecting other parts of your life…especially with school I’ve just been reminding myself I’m doing the best I can and try to keep a sense of humor. You can call me at 3 in morning and talk to me feeding Evie while you’re feeding sweet Miller baby and we can forget what we’re saying to each other together. 🙂 Love you, good luck with that!

  3. You’ve always liked your sleep, you were the best one to come home from Kindergarten and still take a nap in the afternoon most days. My favorite sleep deprivation trick is to try not to look at the clock when I go to sleep late, then I don’t know how little sleep I got. I realize that you will have to watch the clock somewhat, to know whether that little sweetheart is ready to eat or just fussy, but try not to look when you actually go back to bed after a feeding, it really does help. Hopefully you’ll still be able to get a little extra rest while a certain semi-functional-already-sleep-deprived grandmother is there.

  4. Lindsay- You have met and conquered every challenge in your life so far. This will be no different. You will get lots of help…. This comment is from a certain semi-functional-wife-deprived Dad who is the husband of the sleep deprived grandmother.

  5. Lindsay, this is steven…..I will tell you my secret for staying up late and not getting tired. Convince yourself that sleeping is for the weak.

  6. You do it because you have to and you love your baby, and before you know it, she will be 2 weeks old, then 4 weeks, and then the magical 6 weeks old (how old my kids were when they started sleeping more regularly), and you won’t be so tired. Your body adjusts itself. Also, get a sleep book for when she’s older. I recommend Healthy Sleep Habits, Happy Child. It saved my life!

  7. I thought I was the only one who did the “don’t look at the clock” trick. Maybe your mom is the one who told it to me. I still do it when I don’t want to know how few hours of sleep I get some nights. You will adjust, there is no doubt!! I remember waking up with Tyler and discovering that Love Boat came on at 2:00 a.m. I don’t know what is on now, but I know it probably isn’t Love Boat!

  8. Somehow it all works at and mothers survive! I used to take a little radio in the pocket of my robe and listen to Herb Jepko (his real name) as he had some interesting late night shows. That always helped the middle of the night feedings go a little faster. You will do great!

  9. My only advice is don’t think about how tired you are. If you calculate in your head exactly how many hours of sleep you got, and then subtract that for a normal night’s sleep to figure out how much more sleep your body NEEDS, then you’ll be tired all day thinking that you needed that sleep. I just don’t think about being tired, and I get through it. I don’t take naps either, because then I’m even more drowsy when one of my kids alerts me awake LONG before I’m ready to get up.

  10. I think you get used to it too. I love sleep too. Before Cade I was used to at least 8 hours of sleep. Now I am lucky if I get 5. But I do it everyday and yes somedays I really want to nap but other days I feel like I have so much energy. You’ll figure it out!!It’s getting so close!! I can’t wait to see her!

  11. Everyone has very good advice- and mine isn’t much different. My best tip would probably be to sleep when the baby sleeps- especially for the first little while. Your body does adjust on it’s own, but it can take a week or 2 for it to happen. I always tried to have a magazine or book handy so I wouldn’t spend those minutes while feeding gazing at the clock and getting stressed. As far as remembering what you’re going to say next, no help there as I still do that. 🙂 You’ll be fantastic- you will adjust quickly! I can’t believe it’s getting so close!

  12. After awhile, you just forget what it’s like to sleep through the night, and to get a solid 8 hours every night. Also, you take more naps during the day. It’s all good. You know, you just do what you have to do.P.S. Dad’s comment about being wife-deprived made me laugh. Poor Dad…it’s all for the greater good. 🙂

  13. I don’t know that I have any good advise, because I’m not that good at it. All I can say is sleep when the baby sleeps. You’ll want to get stuff done, but let it go and sleep!I feel like I haven’t seen you guys in forever. How are you? Your projects are looking awesome!! I can’t believe you’re getting so close…it is very exciting!

  14. This pregnancy I discovered that recovering is like being born yourself. You start off like a newborn and all you do is eat sleep and cry (hormones). My first week I had people take my other kids and I was awake maybe eight hours a day for three days once I got home. (At the hospital you will be more sleep deprived because people wake you up to check everything and anything every two hours). The second week I graduated to toddler and sleep like McKinley at 18 months does (a nap in the afternoon and early to bed late to rise). This is the end of week three and I have gone three days without a nap, but I do a lot more resting than I usually do. So, treat yourself like a baby at first no matter how good you think you feel. One more note – with Lincoln all I had heard was how sleep-deprived I would be and how he would keep me up all night, so when he woke up I went to the living room, turned the TV on, fed him and got ready to stay up. After a few times of doing this I realized I was keeping him up! So now I feed the baby and go right back to sleep and so does the baby and I am actually not that sleep deprived! So maybe it won’t be that bad and you will get a good sleeper.Fun times. There is nothing like a newborn. I wish I could express how excited I am for you!

  15. Well Ive never had a baby…but I had MANY sleepless nights with 5 toddlers…and still got up and made it to school! but I think you just get used to it cause that is what you have to do!!

    There is a pro to me still being single….I do love sleeping till 11 AM on Saturday… 🙂

    You are going to be great!!

  16. Hey sister, you need to post again. I’ll even help you out and give you a topic….”miracle miller’s nursery”…ok, now have at it! lots of pictures please!! 🙂

  17. Hey sister, you need to post again. I’ll even help you out and give you a topic….”miracle miller’s nursery”…ok, now have at it! lots of pictures please!! 🙂

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