Sleep deprivation torture

Torture is a big word. I do not use it lightly. If you haven’t had kids yet, maybe don’t read on…

Because last night was probably the worst night of sleep Mark and I have ever had. Ella had her measles vacc on the weekend and one of the side effects is 5 to 7 days of grumpiness and interrupted sleep. And she has a bad cough. And, you know, the invisible teeth – all the teething symptoms, no actual teeth. The combination of those three plus general over-tiredness from a few nights of bad sleep made last night the worst. night. ever.

Aside from two stretches of two hours, she woke up every 45 minutes. Howling. Wide awake. Gave her Panado, that didn’t touch sides. Fed her, that didn’t help. Rocked, patted, sang, nothing worked. This morning she seemed better and had a normal sleep, but I am writing this on my phone as she’s strapped to my chest because this afternoon she slept for a measly 30 minutes and so help me God we are going to break this over-tired cycle!

I am actually way past exhausted now, into the soft, slow phase of fatigue… I reckon it goes tired – exhausted – sleep deprived – fatigued – bone weary. Bone weary is where you get sick, so I’m in the danger zone here and desperately need to get some sleep soon (please oh please oh please) but somehow I have managed to function as a normal human being today! Last night, however, I was pretty much weeping from tiredness all night long.

And the trouble is, there’s nothing I can do. It’s not that she doesn’t know how to sleep – she slept beautifully from 3 months, only waking once a night (if that). But she is sadly following in her brother’s footsteps and giving us 6 months of bad sleep thanks to bloody teeth, etc.

We did very gentle sleep training with Arthur (1 min, 2 mins, 3 mins, 4 mins crying, then back to 1 min) around 9 months, and we’ll probably do the same with Ella once the teeth are out, because this interrupted sleep definitely becomes a really bad habit.

But for now it’s a case of going to bed as early as possible (I thought 8.15pm was early enough: I was wrong) and wading through sleep deprivation to get to the other side.

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