Sleep is over-rated

Day 248: We are going through a tough time at the moment on a night with our 2 year old who up until recently was a decent enough sleeper (doesn’t nap in the day anymore and doesn’t have milk. She generally sleeps through).

You get drawn into a false sense of security and contentment with kids. She’s had a viral infection lately which left her with a bad chest and she’s not shaken it off. During the day she is fine but about an hour into sleeping she starts coughing and it wakes her up. The pattern continues all night. Cough. Cry. Wake. Cough. Cry. Wake.

My wife takes the brunt of it as she is a lighter sleeper than me so is quick to respond. We can’t really leave her crying for too long because we have a 6 year old daughter across the landing who may be woken by the commotion and she can be a nightmare during the night when she wakes too.

Sleep is something many of us take for granted before you have kids and I don’t think I’ll ever get back into the rhythm of sleeping like I did pre-fatherhood. Period. Even when my daughters are all grown up I bet the night time disruption in my sleep pattern continues. Giving up alcohol has certainly helped with the ‘quality’ of my sleep albeit at the moment the quantity of sleep is reduced. I could have what I thought was a good 8-9 hours in the past but that came off the back of two bottles of wine or half a bottle of whisky. I’d still feel wrecked and tired all day. I’m finding at the moment I’m averaging about 5-6 hours max and whilst I feel tired when I first get up, my body can adjust fairly quickly and if I push through with exercise and drink plenty water, the day is good.

The reality is this period of broken sleep will pass. We’ve been here before with our oldest child. It isn’t easy at 2am when you are half asleep and trying to settle a kid but it could be worse. People have it much worse. Some people can’t sleep at all and that’s regardless of children. It must be so difficult.

So my plan of action this weekend is to get up at 5am on Saturday morning for a 15 mile bike ride whilst everybody else is still asleep (hopefully) and I will do that regardless if tonight brings broken or unbroken snooze. I’m doing a couple of 5km runs each week at the moment too so I’ll aim to do that on Sunday early doors along with some Yoga practice before I head to my 6th class next week.

That’s my priority. Sleep is important but if I let the lack of sleep dictate how I live my day I’ll end up in a hole. Power through and get some fresh autumn air in my lungs. I’ll soon wake up!

I do appreciate running tights and bright trainers!

Author: Happy Daddy

A married thirtysomething Dad of two young daughters navigating my way through life a day at a time

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