Even before I had kids, sleep was pretty much all I thought about. One of the reasons I married my husband is because we both like sleeping so much, both happy to turn in around 9.30pm, lights out and actually off and asleep by 10.30pm absolute latest.
Then after having kids, sleep took on an urgency it never had before. Especially as Sam, my youngest, wakes up in the night. It’s usually no more than once, but it’s once a night, every night. Last night he woke up at 5am because the rain was pattering onto the roof window in his room and he hates the sound and he wouldn’t go back to sleep, so today has been such a laugh I tell you.
Anyway that’s unusual – the normal run of things is that he wakes up once, I give him a bottle and a nappy change and everyone goes back to sleep. Please do not think I have not tried absolutely everything in order to cut out this bottle-nappy change thing. I have tried it. I have tried. Everything. Some things work for a bit and then they stop working. Most things just don’t work. I’m simply waiting for him to grow out of it. Or until he can get his bloody bottle himself and just go for a wee.
What I’m trying to say is that I know something about being under slept and I would like, rather controversially, to recommend to you two very light over-the-counter sedatives to take, which will enable you to go back to sleep after having been woken in the night – because so often it’s not being woken up in the night that’s the issue, it’s getting back to sleep afterwards.
These are also both very useful if you’ve had a period of sleep-deprivation (unwell child for example) and now that period has ended but you just sort of feel like you’ve lost the knack of conking out.
Neither of these will stop you from being woken up by, say, a crying child in the night or a smoke alarm – they won’t make you feel weird and groggy in the morning either. They will also not work if you have actual insomnia or you’re going to be up two or three times a night. They are both very light taps on the head – a little shove over the edge.