Candace Derickx: See Mummy Juggle


Sleep Deprivation: A Public Health Problem

My Action Plan to Get More Shut Eye

Last night, I collapsed into bed after a day of my head bobbing while in the car (passenger), on my Dad’s boat, sitting on the couch and working at my computer. Any time that I was not standing or moving, was a cue for my body to shut down. This has become an all too frequent occurrence. August, in particular, is a busy month for me and I not only look like the walking dead but I feel like it. I am completely and utterly exhausted with too much on my plate and not enough hours in the day to fit it all in. It also doesn’t help that I have to a tendency to look for things to add to my plate. It’s a sickness. A sickness that I share with millions of women and mothers around the globe.

So, back to my original point. I collapsed into bed and slept. Hard. I didn’t hear my husband come to bed, my youngest daughter didn’t wake me up in the middle of the night crawling in with us, my dog didn’t wake me, even my dreams, which are normally quite vivid and interrupting by nature, stayed quiet. It was a slumber for the record books. When I woke up, my body felt like it had the release you have after a really good cry. I felt serene and calm. The to-do list hadn’t got any shorter overnight, but I felt better equipped to deal with it all. Like I might get more done.

Then it hit me. I don’t get enough sleep. D’uh, right?

As stupid as this sounds, it was like an epiphany to me. I am really sleep deprived. So much so that I’ve found myself getting sleepy making a fifteen minute drive in the city. So, not only am I not very bright, I’m also very dangerous. I’m not going to lie, I’ve felt my head bob while at the wheel. Since the birth of my first daughter almost 9 years ago, I have been running a sleep deficit that has finally caught up with me. A very modern epidemic has risen up to bite me in the ass. So I’m making a commitment to myself that I will get my full 40 winks and see what kind of difference it makes in my productivity.

So here’s the plan.

Bedtime is 11:00.

No computer time after 10:00. This will allow my body to wind down before bedtime. This by the way will be the BIGGEST hurdle of all. If you see me on Twitter, Facebook, Pinterest etc. after ten, kick me off. I’m just going to have to find a way to have my fun on these social media sites earlier or not at all *sob sob*.

Keep an “off my mind journal”. Spend a few minutes between 10 and 11 writing down every single thing I need to do. This can be groceries, working, blogging, children, volunteering, working out, or calling friends. Also this will be a good place to put my worries or stresses for the evening. I can always pick them up the next day when I review but I may feel differently about it in the morning.

Wake up at the same time every day. Even on the weekends. Next to no social media after ten, I’d say this one sucks the most. I relish a little sleep in time on the weekend. It makes me happy. I do know though that it messes with my sleep for the rest of the week when I do this. So I’ll defer to the experts on this one and get up at 6:30 on Saturday. For the record, I do this begrudgingly and under duress. I do not like being the early bird. I just felt the need to note this somewhere. Not really relevant to the blog, but somehow makes me feel better.

So there you have it. My little four step plan to getting more sleep. I’m interested to see if this will increase my productivity or decrease it. I’m curious to see if I can reduce the size of the bags under my eyes. Most of all, I’m curious to see if I can stick to it? Can I really give sleep a top priority position in my life?

What about you? Do you get enough shut eye or are you running on empty? Could you make getting enough sleep a priority?