Monday, November 16, 2015

Healthy Ways to Survive Sleepless Nights

We have been battling a nasty bout with the flu here for the last 2 weeks! Both of the little ones have had it and I got it worst of all.  I looked like every single parent you have ever seen in a cold medicine commercial - with the 14 layers of pajamas, the grey skin, droopy eyes and a house coming down around them in chaos. And all I wanted was to sleep - actually, all I wanted was for my kids to sleep - so that I could sleep. 

I think we have the worst part of the sickness behind us, we seem to be much much better and no one else has come down with it yet. 

But poor Charlie is getting two teeth - On the Same side... and one is a molar.  He the most miserable that I have ever seen him. It is such a terrible cycle... teeth hurt, sad baby, baby hurts, won't sleep, tired parents. Last night my husband and I took shifts walking him and trying to comfort him so the other one could sleep for a few hours. It looks to be a long day ahead. 

This happens to all of us, more than we would like it too - sick kids, job worries, heavy responsibilities at work, not feeling well yourself. Sleep is something we all run short on sometimes. 

Of course the magic solution is to try and get some more - I think we would all be doing that... If we were able, most times we're not.  So how do we pick up and carry on without doubling our caffeine and eating straight sugar. Sure a double sized coffee drink or an x-tra large soda from the gas station chased with a chocolate bar might get you jump started - but they are doing to send you crashing - and most likely you will be even More tired than you were before, and probably feel cruddy to boot. 

Start with some Sunshine - That bright beautiful light is meant to wake us up. Try and get as much as you can. Even better, if you are able, take a few minutes to step outside during a break and smell the fresh air and let your whole body soak it in. You'll feel refreshed and not only will your body feel more awake, but your mind will as well. 

Get Moving - Even though you may be tempted to skip your exercise because you are "to tired" sticking to your normal routine will benefit your body / mind and movement will get all those good endorphins and adrenaline pumping through your body. If you aren't able to do that - take short breaks through out the day to get your body up and active - Stretch your whole self, take a quick walk around the block, go up and down the stairs a few times. Shake those cobwebs out of your mind and the blood circulating through your body. 

Eat a Good Breakfast - Stay clear of sugar cereals and simple carbohydrates. Eat some protein like an omelet or slow release carbohydrates like oatmeal. 

Stay Hydrated - Drink lots and lots of water. The effects of dehydration can be as bad as sleep deprivation. Nobody wants a double dose of not being able to focus - who can afford that?! **PLUS, all those trips to the bathroom can get you up and moving - Yeah activity**

Keep your Meals Balanced - eating smalls meals through out the day will keep you more alert and feeling better than having a huge lunch which will make you have that stuffed feeling that makes you just want to sleep it off. 

Try and stick with your healthy eating habits and snack on fruit, nuts and veggies. 

Share the Load - Don't try and make up for it all in one day - Prioritize your day and the things that have to be done, If something can wait until tomorrow or next week - let it.  If something can be done by someone who is willing to help you, Let them. 

It happens to all of us, Nothing is more universal than saying to a friend, " I did not sleep at ALL last night" -  You can't change the way that last night went down - you most likely won't have much control of what is required of you today. But don't make things harder (or nearly impossible) for yourself, but not giving your body the food / fuel to accomplish the things you are asking of it.