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The Struggle in Sleep Deprivation - and how to Thrive!

I truly believe we struggle to thrive while suffering in sleep deprivation. As a whole, it impacts our bodies, our health and mentality and it can feel impossible to be at our best.

Our Focus is one of the main things we notice. We struggle to keep our brains focused and keep attention. And another noticeable trait it our temperament! Have you noticed that when you are exhausted that you become more irritable? More irrational? Less emotional control? This is because of the "chimp paradox" - where the chimp like side of our brain overrides our more human and rational side of our brain when sleep deprived.

This then brings the spiral of mum guilt - "I wish I didn't snap like that today.. I wish I'd had more patience". It makes us feel worse in the moment, and we've all been here. Don't let this get to you - your body is actually responding as it is designed too when exhausted but it doesn't help our cycle of emotions - so please be kind to yourself!

Anyone else also reach for the caffeine and sugar filled goods when we are tired? I've been there too. We tell ourselves we need the sugar fix and our diet takes a knock too. And then there is stress eating! We are in that full cycle of emotions and feeling irrational, that often we turn to food as a response to the stress which also takes a toll on our health, and then because of how we are wired we often feel guilty about that too and the cycle continues.

Women outside with her hands holding her head
Exhausted Parent

Did you know woman especially are more likely to suffer with serious health conditions due to lack of sleep? Sleep Deprivation can impair glucose tolerance and making women more susceptible to type 2 diabetes. We are also more likely to have increased weight, depression, heart and liver issues!

Then we move on to our mental health - not including the truly difficult suffering of post-natal depression, our anxieties and mindset take its toll too. We are so exhausted that our whole belief system is knocked - we overthink, we become more anxious and with little energy to focus on this to improve it. Our thoughts then become our beliefs, and reinforces the action we take and this spirals the feelings we have in ourselves. And all of the above leads to major burnout and mental exhaustion.

I like to focus on the good so this blog feels particularly saddening, and I don't want to be that person to freak parents out who are utterly exhausted but this is why I do what I do - and helping families and parents. These impacts can be so true and real for many parents and this is what I want to change!

So here are some tips to help -

  1. Prioritise sleep where you can! I won't preach to you the standard "sleep when baby sleeps" because I know this is easier said than done. Often we want time for us, and that's perfectly normal! But if we can get some earlier nights to help restore our own sleep we may just feel more ready to tackle the next day.

  2. What makes you feel energised?! Good music? Fresh air and long walks? Doing something productive? You may not feel like you want to do any of these things, but if we can make our brains believe we have the energy it makes it feel much better. And exercise brings those endorphins too!

  3. Where can you share the load? It can take a lot to partner switch for bedtimes and routines but where you can, make small steps to allow someone to help take the reigns. Whether it be the bedtime routine, before helping with awakenings and see this through! It's worth taking the steps to get there.

  4. When we aren't feeling our best - try fuelling our energy with water and good food! It takes that binge cycle guilt away and gives us more natural energy

  5. Download the "Exhausted to Thriving" eBook - this focuses on tips for our little one's as well as parents!

  6. Seek support - don't hold back in this as your health and sleep for you and your baba is not selfish nor something that needs to be shifted down the priority list!

Mum, dad and child holding hands outside near a beach
Happy Family

I'd love to hear from you in how you help your energy in the day at times when you least feel like it - and feel free to share it in our "Exhausted to Thriving Community Group".

And if you need further support - reach me anytime at

Jade x

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