Tips for exhaustion
Newborn babies invariably wake up repeatedly in the night for the first few months. As they get older, they do settle down, but over the years there will be lots of reasons why your little one may start waking again in the night. This can result in feeling totally zombified the next day. Disturbed nights can be very hard to cope with so I’ve shared my tips for exhaustion to help you cope with those zombie days that follow an awful night.
Guess what? I am not a morning person. Even when I’ve had good sleep I find it hard to jump out of bed and dance around, full of the joys of Spring, unlike my lovely family who seem to always be bright eyed and bushy tailed whatever sleep they’ve had! One of my main tips for exhaustion (apart from coffee,) that sorts me out is a hot shower! If I’m particularly knackered – a cool shower is the business!
When you are totally shattered, especially in those early days – it is so very tempting to hang out in your P.J’s all day and not get changed, do your teeth or brush your hair, and while I totally love a PJ day, I have to say a shower and fresh clothes will make you feel so much better about facing the day ahead.
I find a nice smelling shower gel works magic! There are three scents that can really wake you up:
Jasmine, which increases beta waves (the brain waves associated with alertness), and citrus and peppermint scents, which stimulate the same nerve that’s activated when you’re revived with smelling salts!
Coffee for the win!
I am a proper grump in the morning without my coffee! Enjoying a good cup of coffee really helps keep tiredness at bay.
I’m not suggesting caffeine overdrive here, just a little happy perk-me- up to keep you going through the day.
If you are breastfeeding, and want to avoid caffeine, or if you aren’t a coffee fan – even just smelling coffee can give you a boost. In experiments with exhausted laboratory rats, han-Seok Seo found that coffee aroma helps reduce the stress of sleep deprivation. Clever eh? So sniff those coffee beans my lovelies for that wide-awake feeling and put the knackered parent brain on pause.
Without wanting to echo my lovely Nanna aged 92 who still follows her own advice – ‘always start the day with a good breakfast!’ The last thing you feel like doing when you are exhausted is eating properly – I do understand, but a healthy breakfast, believe me, will set you up for the day after an awful night.
I’m guilty of reaching for the pastry or even biscuit tin when I’m shattered – and in moderation this is fine, but when sleepless nights keep you up over and over, especially as a new parent – you need to fuel that tired body of yours.
Did you know eating an hour after waking (on what little sleep you have had) will make you feel more alert and ready for the day ahead? True story. So instead of the coco pops or blueberry muffin – go for a breakfast that contains slow energy releasing carbohydrates like porridge with raisins for an extra sugar boost! It will soon have you feeling more human.
Energy boosting foods: For meals throughout the day (and it’s important to repeat an earlier sentiment about remembering to eat suing the day and have regular meals) go for foods that will help you with that Mombie or Zomdad feeling.
These foods in particular offer some energy boosting magic:
Sweet potato: Sweet potato is high in carbohydrates and loaded with vitamin A and vitamin C. Make into little homemade dips to dip in hummus or serve as a jacket potato with beans!
Honey: Did you know that a spoonful of honey is nature’s equivalent of an energy drink? Smart eh? Not only is it a slow time release energy food, it’s also great for a sweet kick instead of sugar. Add to your morning porridge, yogurt or add a few drops to your afternoon cuppa for a little boost.
Bananas: Well know as a healthy treat, bananas are an easy snack to carry around with you in your bag! Great for a mid-morning break or to slice and pop on your breakfast!
Almonds: These magical energy snacks are packed with protein, manganese, copper and riboflavin! Copper and manganese play an essential role in keeping energy flowing throughout the body and Riboflavin aids oxygen-based energy production.
Fi’s ‘Bad night Booster’
This fatigue fighting bad night booster is both nutritious and delicious and filled with energy boosting ingredients. It’s great for fighting the Zombie parent days! So many of the parents I’ve shared it with have said it really is a mood and energy booster, and kids absolutely love it too!
The ‘Bad night booster’ will give you that little kick you need after an awful night’s sleep. It’s also quite a fab drink when you have a cold too – so great for when you’re feeling under the weather!
Ingredients: (makes two smoothies)
- 2 x Bananas 2 x tsp honey
- 2 x tsp cinnamon powder
- 2 x pint semi-skimmed milk, Soya, Oat or Almond milk.
Chop the banana and add all the ingredients into a blender. Add ice too for a real wake-up kick! blend until smooth. Add more milk/Soya if too thick for your liking.
As you now know, honey is nature’s equivalent of an energy drink, and Banana is a nice, slow releasing energy food. The cinnamon gives it the taste kick that not only improves the body’s ability to utilise blood sugar, but the smell boosts brain activity too! This really is a clever little smoothie to give a boost after a bad night!
There are lots more Mombie/Zomdad tips in my child sleep books or follow me on social media for daily parenting tips and ideas for making the days go smoothly and as chilled as possible.
Despite being a Child Sleep Consultant, I’ve had many sleepless nights caused by illness, teething or nightmares. I’m such a grump without good sleep and I just can’t function properly. I hope these tips for exhaustion help you with sleepless nights throughout your parenting journey!