Rachael from PANDAS remembers sleep deprivation well, and says it's OK to admit it makes life hard...
Sleep… a five letter word that pre children I took for granted and never realised how much lack of sleep affected me.
I suddenly became friends with sleep deprivation, where the TV remote ended up in the fridge and dirty washing in the bin… you get the idea. I had reached the point where moving my eyes hurt and was unable to focus. I think with any opportunity if I had been left in peace for five minutes against a wall, I would have dropped off and began a rather unattractive loud snore.
I did find it irritating when people said ‘sleep when baby sleeps’, that is right, but if you are anything like we you also don’t like mess or a sink full of dishes or the strange noises your baby makes wake you up. If I tried to nap when either of my two were asleep, I would be waking up every 30 seconds wondering what was going on and where I was. It just resulted in me feeling more tired.
However, I did discover lavender oil. I always associated the smell of lavender with my nan's clothes drawers, but I came across Lavender Essentials Oils where I could place a few drops on my pillow and or in the bath and would help relax me and my mind unwind.
During a catch up with a friend, she recommended I go onto You Tube and search for meditation and I came across an 18 minute one for ‘deep relaxation’. The video starts and you can hear the sound of waves gently hitting the beach. I had never done guided relaxation before. Now whether it was the meditation along with the Lavender essential oil but I didn’t make it till the end of the 18 minutes.
We have become very good in our society at joking about how tired we are. In all honesty, we are guilty, as mums, at not looking after ourselves. We are often too busy running around looking after everyone else or when your head hits the pillow it feels as if your brain has been on Red Bull and you end up worrying about anything and everything, along with have I forgotten anything. You need to look after yourself, ensuring you allow time for you, and if you can’t manage to sleep try and fit in time to rest. If you feel tired or exhausted it makes everything else a lot harder.
Don’t be afraid to ask for help, if you have any friends or family near you to ask to look after your children for a couple of hours to nap or rest. Ask them. Always remember ‘It’s OK not to be OK’.
Are you experiencing sleep deprivation at the moment? What's the hardest thing about it?