Simple Parenting

Exhausted Parent Survival Hacks

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Have you ever had to power through the day even though you were exhausted?  Surviving on little sleep is one of the hardest adjustments of becoming a parent for many people, and the consequences can go far beyond nodding off when you meant to throw in a load of laundry instead.

Maybe someday, we’ll all get eight hours of sleep again. Until then—try these trusty exhausted parent survival hacks to keep you going until you can finally snag a nap.

Cool It

Having a little one in tow means you can’t just hop in a cold shower whenever you need a perk-up. 🚿

Here’s a tip: Holding an ice cube on your wrists or temple can have the same effect!

In fact, researchers found out that simply chewing mint gum makes you feel less sleepy (they think it’s because it boosts activity levels in your brain).

Start Smart

Mornings are so busy, it’s tempting to skip breakfast (or just eat your kiddo’s scraps). But that only saps your energy more!

To help shake off a sleepless night, eat a healthy breakfast that includes protein, whole grains, and fiber within an hour of waking up, and drink plenty of water. This winning formula will keep you both nourished and hydrated, which is key to optimizing your energy level.

Make Your Move

You may also want to try going for a walk at the time of day when you feel most sluggish.  Moving gets your blood pumping, and the sun and fresh air give your body a natural wake-up call.

If you can’t get outside, any physical activity will do! When I hit a mid-afternoon slump, my boys love it when I turn up the music for a midday dance party. It works wonders for them as well as me!

Every parent deals with sleep deprivation from time to time (or ALL THE TIME) — it just comes with the territory. Hopefully these hacks will get you through until you can get those much-needed Zzzs.

Robyn is Editor-in-Chief at ParentsTogether and is co-author of several NYTimes bestselling anthologies. She lives in southern Michigan with her husband and five children.