Let’s talk about sleep…

…or lack of sleep.

First allow me to back up so you know just how important sleep is in my life.

On a typical school night in high school, I tucked myself into bed between 9:00 and 9:30pm. After 10:00 on a school night was late for me. I clearly remember the ONE and only time I stayed up until midnight completing a project. The only reason for my late hour was because I didn’t realize the assignment was due until shortly before I was heading to bed. On the weekends I knew how to stay up late or all night with my girlfriends, but I slept until noon the next day to make up for this sleep deficiency.

In college I remember explaining to friends my freshman year that “I require a lot of sleep”. My suitemates called me a grandma for going to bed around 10:00 most school nights. I ran into a little problem when I started dating Nick. He worked 3-11pm five days a week so I had to adjust my sleep schedule in order to spend time with him. I took a nice long nap after classes ended so I could stay up and see him when he came in from work.

Student teaching my senior year and later needing to leave the house around 6:45 to beat traffic into downtown lead to a continued early bedtime. Then came pregnancy where I sometimes didn’t make it past 8:30 before turning in for the night.

I knew how important sleep is in order to function properly the next day. I’ve always been well rested. I’ve never fallen asleep in class or church, I didn’t need caffeine to get me through a day.

Then came my children….

God blessed me with babies who slept through the night very quickly. For some psychotic reason I set alarms to wake up my first born throughout the night to ensure she was getting enough to eat. When her pediatrician assured me being in the 95th percentile for weight meant I didn’t need to do this, I was soon back to full nights of sleep. And of course with the first child, I could nap when she napped.

It was later in her life she began to wake up multiple times in the night.

Then we had two children.

Lana was a great sleeper in the beginning. Of course that’s when Mariah started to wake up in the night. Then Lana turned 11 months old and I can count on one hand the number of nights we’ve had a full nights sleep since November. Not only are we up multiple times for her to rock, snuggle, give milk, replace a pacifier… our girls wake up early. As between 5:00 and 6:00 many mornings. If they sleep past 7:00 I worry they’re dead. They also team up so when one sleeps through the night, the other one wakes up a few times.

So I don’t understand those foggy newborn days most moms suffer through. I was tricked. Tricked into thinking my girls were great sleepers. Tricked into thinking I could continue to get adequate sleep each night when raising children. Tricked into thinking I had done everything right in order to “make” a good sleeper.


I’m tired. Exhausted. In a fog.

And when I’m tired, I’m extra emotional. Short tempered, easily annoyed and unable to function. I’m nowhere near the best mama or wife I can be.  My brain is so mushy I can’t think clearly when making a shopping trip and I wander the isles aimlessly. I also tend to drive through red lights on these sleepy days.

So on these foggy, tear filled days I cry out to God. I cry for strength and I cry for more sleep. Please! More sleep, God! I feel my prayers are unanswered most days which makes me more emotional. Why?! Why won’t they sleep? What am I doing wrong?!

I’ve learned that nothing I do will bring me more sleep. Believe me…we’ve tried everything and have gone crazy tying to find a pattern or reason. So I turn to God for strength. Clinging to the promise that he won’t give me more than I can handle. Trying my hardest to believe he is all I need to get me through the day. Remembering that this will soon pass.

In the meantime, it’s hard. Really hard. I wish I liked coffee or that caffeine didn’t make me sick and jumpy because I think it could help. All the more reason to turn to him I suppose. And I will. I’ll continue to rely on God for my strength and cling to the hope of a time when every night is a full night of sleep.


6 comments on “Let’s talk about sleep…

  1. oh man girl! i can so relate. Ava was sleeping 6 hours straight by the time she was 3 months old. she was always an awesome sleeper taking two naps a day and sleeping through the night. Then came Zane, and well let’s just say he doesn’t sleep. He cat naps like a champion, and is up at least twice in the night. I feel like I never sleep. You’re not alone. I keep trying to tell myself, it won’t be like this forever…right?! And to enjoy these moments and try too.

    • Rachel says:

      I tell myself it won’t be forever too Andrea…one day we’ll be dragging them out of bed at noon on Saturdays and this will all be a faint memory.

  2. Bree says:

    Rachel thanks so much for sharing and being so vulnerable.