Double jeopardy for a mom who needs her caffeine and sleep


Do I even have a right to complain about lack of sleep if I’m drinking tea at 10:33 p.m. as I type this?

I know. But, you see, it really is a Catch-22. It helps me unwind. And, really, it’s not THAT much caffeine, is it? Apparently, and unfortunately, according to Mitchell Janasek, MD, a Banner Health family medicine physician, it’s enough to play with your (uh, my) sleep.

As I try to keep everything prioritized at home and work, juggle deadlines, the kids’ hunger pangs (and a need for extra hugs right in the middle of that final email for the day), I desperately need my “me time.”

I don’t know about other busy mommas, but most days, unless I fall asleep while reading Elmo to my baby at night, I need some quiet space, some alone time to catch my breath and to catch up on what happened across the world while I plugged away at life all day.

That’s where the problem begins. “My” time doesn’t start until about 9:30 or 10 p.m. once everything is done (don’t judge if you’ve never had to pick up two kids from day care, play tag and build make-believe airplanes, bathe them, dress, feed, brush, floss and put them to sleep). And if you’ve accomplished all that between 6 and 8 p.m., please send me an email with bullet points on how you perfected that.

But, this is about me and my lack of sleep.

So, do I also just play along and close my eyes, because it’s the right thing to do? I simply can’t. It’s like how all those parenting books tell you to sleep when the baby sleeps. Really? Who needs to shower, pump, pay the bills, get groceries and all that once you become a mom, right? Not to mention, the body clock may not cooperate.

For me, it’s been five years since I slept through the night. Heck, I consider it a lottery win if I get six hours at a stretch. Any stretch.

I have also wondered once in a while whether randomly waking up at 3 a.m., or just not being able to go to sleep well into the night is becoming a problem.

So, when I realized that there are, in fact, places called Sleep Centers, that test your sleeping pattern to see if there are any issues, I seriously considered getting one for myself. But before that, I took a sleep survey, and really, I was well within the normal range (sigh – just blame it on the kids).

But if any of you have had trouble sleeping, snoring (not me!), waking up tired, waking up with a headache or feeling sleepy during the day, experts say you could have sleep apnea.

I dug up some helpful sleep tips for getting more shuteye. Help is also at hand at various Banner Sleep Disorder Centers.

It’s 11:32 p.m. now. I think I’m done catching up. I think. Just that one last funny YouTube clip my best friend told me was a must-see…

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