Yep, lack of sleep is still a definite issue for me. It has been for awhile. I think it affects my energy level, my eating, and my weight.
Part of the price I pay for the blessing and privilege of having children is giving up sleep. It started in pregnancy, continued through babyhood and young childhood, and then I got a bit of a reprieve when my boys got old enough to go to bed and STAY in bed at night and to get up and watch some cartoons with a bowl of cereal on weekends. I think I got sleep for about 2 years, from the time my youngest son was 7 until his baby sister was born. Then all bets were off again.
You'd think that with adult children, it would be easy! Adult kids don't need Mom to get up and see them off to work or college or even make them breakfast, and if they stay up til 1am it doesn't affect me because they are considerate and not loud. But since my bedroom is right off the kitchen, and I am a super-light sleeper, I wake up anytime someone goes in there to get food or eat. Which is a lot, with this many kids.
If I had my way, I'd go to bed at 10 every night and sleep soundly until 7am. But it's just not happening. There's a "no cooking after 10pm" rule, but that only helps a little. Here's how my nights often go.
9:45pm: I am tired, I start getting ready for bed. Teenagers start showing up asking for stuff they need for school, or help with homework, or they are starving to death and need a cracker. I get the old dog medicated and put in his pen. I get the pup fed and settled in her crate. She has a lot of energy and doesn't settle well any earlier. I have to give her a small meal RIGHT before bed, because if she goes more than 8 hours without eating, she pukes bile.
10:30: I get in bed.
11:00: I fall asleep.
12:30: My daughter comes in crying because she had a nightmare, or she comes in telling me she needs to use the bathroom, or she sort of sleepwalks out of her room and into the hall in a confused state and then I have to redirect her back to her bed. She gets up in the night about 80% of the time for one reason or another.
1:00: I fall back asleep. It always takes me a long time to fall asleep...
2:00: I wake up and have to pee.
4:00: I wake up with a kid in my bed who flails around a lot. I put a row of pillows between us.
5:30: I wake up because my son is in the kitchen eating breakfast because he has to go to work.
6:15: Another kid is now in the shower, which is on the other side of my bedroom wall and wakes me up.
6:30-6:45: My little girl is all bright eyed and chirping, "good morning!!" The old dog is barking to get out of his pen, and the pup is puking bile in her crate if no one fed her yet, and they both need to go out to pee.
And that's how it goes, pretty much all the time. On days there's no school or working kid, the happy princess wakes me up. And on the very rare occasion she sleeps in, the puking/barking dogs still get me up early. If I try to go to bed earlier, the dogs bark and puke earlier. Ah well...
And no, I do not nap. Yes, it is logistically possible. No, I cannot fall asleep. Lord knows I have tried, but the only time I ever succeed at sleeping in the day is when I am very sick. Otherwise, I just lie there being annoyed that I can't sleep. I do try and take a break mid-day, but not a nap. And sleep aids are not really an option for me, as I need to be able to get up in the night and take care of a child or whatever else I might be called upon to do. They just seem to give me headaches, anyway.
I try and see this as a phase that I will someday miss, kind of like those sleep deprived days when I was nursing newborns every 2 hours round the clock. Someday I will miss the sound of that old dog barking. Someday I will wish my kids were still here waking me up instead of moved out, living their own lives. I know that. So I just try not to let it frustrate me. The only problem is, I do believe lack of sleep is affecting my health. Not sure what I can do about that right now.
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