Dealing with Sleep Deprivation

It’s a rare thing to wake up in the same bed I went to sleep in…


When the lights go out in my house the musical beds begin, and I pride myself on having slept in every bed and most chairs in our house. There’s something very cute about my four-year-old son climbing into my bed in the middle of the night that won’t last forever – so I’m hoping that he grows out of the habit at some point. I’m sure having a 16-year-old do the same thing is a whole lot less cute – but I guess I’m okay with it for now. One of the great tests I’ve faced as a parent is operating at normal life when getting an abnormally little amount of sleep.

I empathise with those struggling with lack of sleep and playing musical beds as a result of someone who snores. My worst experience of snoring was during Faith’s pregnancies – I’ve never known anything like it. There were times where I genuinely thought she was awake and playing some kind of joke – she was practically shouting. She blamed the unborn children resting on her diaphragm. And to be fair the snoring left when the boys arrived… at least I think it did. During the following years of nighttime feeds and colicky babies I’d have slept through a jet taking off given half the chance. On more than one occasion I slept on the floor with my wife and newborn in my bed – if he was asleep I wasn’t going to move and ruin it all. To be honest I quite enjoyed sleeping on the floor.

According to the very reliable source of the internet the world record for sleep deprivation is 11 days held by a 17-year-old boy in San Diego. And, apparently some of the side effects caused by sleep deprivation include clumsiness, grumpiness and hallucinations – which all sound like a pretty terrible combination. I can certainly relate to the first two but I’m not sure I’ve ever hallucinated in the throes of newborn baby parenting – though I did frequently wake up in various locations unable to remember how I got there. One of the advantages of not sleeping and waking up stupidly early was that I did get a lot of entirely useless things accomplished. I watched Frozen several times before going to work most mornings and my fantasy football team had never looked so good – apart from the weekend I experimented with a 3-5-2 formation (the less said about that the better).

But, I'll gladly take my current sub-par fantasy football career with more sleep over those blurry newborn nights, or my wife's window-rattling pregnancy snoring. The game of musical beds we still play nightly means I don't often sleep eight solid hours, but it sure is a lot quieter around here than it used to be... during the night at least. The days are a different story, but that's less to do with Faith and more to do with two little boys.

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