Sleeping With More Than One
When you’re the parent of multiples, you fantasize about sweet, solo sleep that lasts all night. However, we all know how far that fantasy takes us! Being sleep deprived affects us all day long, but there is good news. There are things you can do to help yourself concentrate throughout the day, despite being sleep deprived all night. According to the International Journal of Science, lack of sleep affects memory, concentration, control over emotion, and alters verbal command dramatically. It is essential to learn a few quick tips to help you survive your most wakeful nights.
Learn the Art of the Cat
A quick ten-minute snooze will rejuvenate your brain for a few more hours, at least. If the kids all sleep at the same time, sneak in a longer cat nap, up to 30 minutes, at least. You’ll be able to get through the afternoon on these blissful daytime breaks. You’ll also be able to make better decisions when you can grab a small break in the day. Also, learn to realize that you cannot train yourself to sleep less at night. The New York Times reviews a sleep study that proves that people need different amounts of sleep and those who try to retrain themselves to sleep less fail in cognitive tests. Rely on those cat naps for better concentration rather than trying to overdo it with reduced nighttime slumber.
Learn Your Limits
Admit that some days are going to be a complete loss simply because you haven’t had enough sleep. Learn to seize the moment when you’re awake and able, but take it easy on yourself when you’re just too tired. Hang out on the couch while the little ones watch a movie, or have blocks of time when they play quietly with each other. If you need to rearrange shopping trips or outings, do it. Taking care of yourself sometimes means taking a day off from the pressures of leaving the house. If you’re at your limit, admit it, and put everything off until the next day. This will help your overtired brain rest, even if you don’t get any sleep out of it.
Ask For Help
If necessary, get a babysitter and take an afternoon for a longer nap. No one would blame you if you needed to have someone else sit with the kids so you could have some personal time. After all, you’re facing your biggest, most important challenge yet: raising more than one amazing little person. Enjoy the health benefits of sleep to keep yourself available to your kids when they need you.
Sleep is fleeting in parenthood, and even more so when there are more of them than there are of you. However, realize that it is important, and learn how to grab it whenever you can.
Editor’s note: If you’d like to find out how much sleep you and your children really need, check out Sleep Advisor for recommended sleep times.
This is a guest post. If you’re interested in contributing to Multiples Illuminated, please head to our submissions page for more information on how to do so and what topics we’re interested in publishing.
Jane Sandwood is a freelance writer and editor. She has written for both digital and print across a wide variety of fields. Her main interest is exploring how people can improve their health and well being in their everyday life. And when she isn’t writing, Jane can often be found with her nose in a good book, at the gym or just spending quality time with her family.