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Longterm sleep deprivation – why did nobody warn us?

It’s one of those things that they ought to warn you about before you start on the business of trying to have children.  When you stop using contraception you should be issued with a notice that warns you of the rather unfortunate side effects that may follow – the bomb blast that small children will have on your life.  And on the amount of sleep that you are going to get for many, many years to come.

But would you believe them?

I can scarcely believe that we are here, three and a half years into sleep deprivation and it’s still going strong.

Admittedly we do have the rare night when they both sleep but it is very few and far between and more noticeable by it happening then when it doesn’t.

But seriously – three and a half years.  This is crazy.

In any other circumstances I’d be able to call someone and suggest that my human rights are being infringed and that someone has to do something to make this go away.

Except it turns out that once you have had children that everyone who has already got children knows about the sleep deprivation but they forgot to mention to it to you before.


More importantly could someone please send the Sandman over to ours and persuade Bigger that sleep is not for wimps.  Or at least sleep on her own is not for wimps.  And persuade her sister that there isn’t actually a competition to see who can force the parents to a state of wimpering inability to cope.

I know that this is a passing phase but the inability to keep my eyes open at my desk during the day without industrial quantities of caffeine is far from ideal.

Here’s hoping that her new big girl bed, us settling back into the school routine and less TV do the business.  Either that or I’m going to have to start investigating where a person can get a supply of sleeping gas from.

Any killer tips to make them sleep?  Please

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16 comments to Longterm sleep deprivation – why did nobody warn us?

  • No tips to give, sorry, as I live in a sleep deprived state too! Will be watching with interest for others tips though.

  • There’s nothing worse than sleep deprivation. It’s definitely a form of torture. My daughter’s been up in the early hours for the last few nights. She eight. It does get easier though, don’t be too alarmed. No helpful tips here just a lot of sympathy.

  • I totally agree. Obviously I knew that babies did require feeding in the night, but I thought that once that was over with (a few months in) it would only be the odd night that was disturbed, perhaps when the little one was ill.

    We are now approaching three years with very few nights of undisturbed sleep (on odd occasions when we had babysitters!). Nights when the biggest did sleep through, he was ready to start his day at 5am. Last night both were up three times each, at different points during the night, today I feel like a zombie.

    Afraid I can’t really offer any advice, only commiseration, but if you are struggling with early mornings we did find that a sleep training clock did work. It didn’t work during the night though!

  • Angela

    Sleep deprivation started when pregnant with my first set of twins 10 years ago. My second set of twins are now 4. I believe there are grades of sleep deprivation. The worst kind is in the beginning when managing twin feeding; lucky to get 3 hours per night in 40 minute blocks. Gradually gets better or at least it has for us. I’m only disrupted 2 or 3 times per night now by either one or another or both 4 year olds and my own bladder. Can’t wait for the teenage years and beyond when I’m awake worrying if they are ok!

  • Redbedhead

    I feel your pain. Have caved and called in a sleep consultant for the second time for Florence having accepted that I genuinely can’t function on 3 to 4 hours of broken sleep every single night. Granted it is an improvement on a few months back where she never slept for longer than an hour at a time but still, being back at work and having to cope on minimal sleep just isn’t fun.

    When you find out the answer to getting them to sleep, please share!

  • I didn’t sleep at all last night. I’m quite good at keeping my eyes open regardless, but … It really affects my mood, and my ability to keep track of things (which I need, my job involves responsibility for project management and children) and I feel like I’m not functioning at all.
    Do I have tips? No. My best friend said that she didn’t sleep properly for 6 years, but once her second hit 3 years, it all changed. 2 more years to go then for me.

    • Our 2nd is the better sleeper but Bigger just seems to need less sleep and more help turning off – I guess I should be glad that they want us and need us and that at least there are two of us so we can share the burden

  • The Mad House

    We have a super king size bed. we made the decision that if the boys were going to come in to our bed that we might as well all be comfortable. So we are making the most of the nights that Mini sneaks in (every night at the moment) as you never hear of 16 year old boys sleeping with their parents!

    Maxi has always been happier in his own bed, but Mini likes the cuddles and it isn’t hurting anyone at the moment, as the bed is huge!

  • Super king bed here too, Miss Eclectica is 2 1/2 and very rarely slept in her own bed. Oh well, if she is still there by age 16 we’ll get worried!

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