A lifestyle blog from a forty-something mum

Saturday, 30 August 2014

The Trouble With Sleep...

Sleep deprivation, lack of sleepThe end of summer is a busy time of year in the Anderton house. For starters more than half the family have birthdays between 29th August and 13th September, this includes my husband and twin daughters. The girls also head back to university mid-September and before that, they're going on holiday for a week. Sophia also has an interview in Birmingham and is cramming in as many rowing events as possible before she leaves again.

Consequently my mind's on overdrive as I negotiate present buying, arranging parties, fathoming out whether (or not) we're all available for various social events and thinking about the girls' going back to uni.

And the trouble with sleep at the moment is... I don't ever seem to get enough...

On Tuesday night my mind was so overloaded as I attempted to sleep that instead of sleeping, I kept on thinking. The more I tried to silence the random thought bubbles forming inside my head, the worse it got.

When my daughters spotted the trailer for I Don't Know How She Does It a few years ago, their comments were, "Mum, does this remind you of anyone?" Yep, if ever there was a film that hit a nerve... this was it! At the time I was working for the NHS and although I loved my career, there were days when I had no idea how we made it through till bedtime unscathed.

You can check out the trailer here and if you haven't seen the film already, it comes highly recommended....

It was a shocking realisation once my daughters were all grown up that some of the issues are still right at the forefront of my troubled mind and responsible for many a sleepless night. Obviously, some have disappeared altogether, but only to be replaced with thoughts like...
  • OMG, where the hell are my daughters?
  • Are they going to get out of bed in the morning, we need to do x, y and maybe even z!
  • Have they remembered to... insert whatever (there's always so much to choose from!)
So, inspired by the film, here is a little quiz I've compiled all about the things that keep me awake. Warning, there are a few tricky ones in there with more than one correct answer. To help you out, there are also one or two clues. Good Luck... 

1. What are my daughters doing as I head off to bed on Tuesday night at 11pm?
      a. Watching a film.
      b. Reading and/ or studying quietly.
      c. Sleeping like babies.
      d. Listening to music and giggling a lot.

 2. It's 1am on Wednesday morning, what has woken me up so far?
      a. Nothing.
      b. Sophia taking a shower at midnight.
      c. Mr A fidgeting.
      d. Olivia popping in for a chat about books.

 3. Now it's 2am on Wednesday morning, what am I doing?
     a. Sleeping peacefully.
     b. Reading a good book.
     c. Meditating.
     d. Making a list in my head of all the things I need to remember tomorrow.

 4. After failing to get back to sleep for another hour, what am I doing at 3am?
     a. Yoga.
     b. Enjoying a pot of tea.
     c. Checking Twitter notifications.
     d. Writing a list.

 5. What are the rest of the family up to at 3am?
     a. Sympathising with my inability to sleep.
     b. Sophia: sleeping.
     c. Olivia: also sleeping.
     d. Mr A: sleeping and snoring.

 6. How many random tasks compiled in my head in the early hours of Wednesday morning did I actually
     manage to complete?
     a. None. 
     b. One or two.
     c. About half.
     d. Are you kidding? All of them! Tomorrow's another day and tonight there will be a whole new list under

  7. It's after midnight on Thursday morning, what's keeping me awake now?
      a. Absolutely nothing, I'm completely shattered after yesterday.
      b. A combination of heavy rain and Mr A breathing.
      c. The family pet who's just wandered upstairs because someone forgot to feed her.
      d. I need a glass of water.

  8. The girls are going to a party on Friday night, how will I sleep? 
     a. Like a log.
     b. I'll doze on the sofa while awaiting their safe return.
     c. On and off, while repeatedly getting up to see if they're home.
     d. I won't sleep a wink until they're back, despite the fact that when they're at uni I know nothing and this
         doesn't bother me.

So, there you have it. If you correctly guessed answer 'd' to questions 1, 3, 6 and 8 - well done. The slightly trickier questions were 2, 4, 5 and 7, the correct answers were actually b, c and d!

So what was on the list in my head in the early hours of Wednesday morning exactly?
  • What do I buy my mum for her birthday next week?
  • Check train times and location of hotel for Sophia's interview.
  • Remember to call Dad and invite him over for dinner on Thursday evening. 
  • Remind Sophia to double-check she has all of the documentation required for her interview. 
  • Make appointment at the vets for Kitty. 
  • Remember change for the car park at the station: no one else will! 
  • Don't forget to deliver Nephew's birthday gift before leaving for Birmingham. 
  • Make a start on the housework before going out (as always when the girls are home, the house is a tip!)
  • Attempt a couple more loads of washing as there's still a formidable-looking laundry pile left over from daughters' camping trip last weekend.
  •  And finally, how do you dry 2 sopping wet pairs of trainers that are currently abandoned on garage floor after the aforementioned rain-soaked camping trip?
I've tried making lists in the evening before heading to bed and discovered only this...

There will always be one thing I've forgotten and this will bug me for the rest of the night! I need to be able to write lists in bed, it's the only way to go.

I'm happy to report that Sophia's interview was successful and if all goes to plan she will be working in the US next summer. I'm guessing that's something else that's going to give her mum a few more sleepless nights, but I couldn't be happier for my daughter.

Until next time...

Copyright©2014 Izzie Anderton


  1. I love that scene in the movie and can relate to it so much! I can sleep perfectly fine in the afternoon, but my mind goes wild at night. Congratulations on your daughter's job! That will be exciting for her. I hope you can come and visit! :)

  2. I'm absolutely knackered just reading that Izzie! Congrats for your daughter :)

  3. We've just been talking about lack of sleep. When z was up through the night I craved and longer for a decent night and a decent lie in. Now he does have lovely long lie ins and my body clock gets me up at 6am for some bizarre reason. Bah

  4. I had never heard of this movie but after watching the trailer I may check it out. Congrats to your daughter hun and I think all of us woman have those bedtime lists going on, I know I do! lol x

  5. I tend to over-think things when I go to bed but I've found that switching off from the internet by 8pm and reading in the evenings has helped loads. But then my girls are little so I don't have the same worries - which I'm totally not ready for!!

  6. Wow... you do have a lot going on... in life and in your head! Honestly... I used to be like this and if I am stressed I still am. These days I am not too bad and fall asleep quite quickly. I think general exhaustion helps! #sharewithme

  7. I can SO resonate with this! I was going to say until I got near the end of your post that I always write a list on my phone just before I go to sleep, at that seems to help me, but I can see you've already thought of that! I've read the book 'I don't know how she does it' but haven't seen the film- I think I need to! #sharewithme

  8. I've said this before, but i can so see my future self in the way you describe your life. I feel after just five years of parenting that I can do so much more with so much less time and sleep, so am hoping to be a pro like you when mine are older!! Congrats to Sophia, exciting xx #brilliantblogposts

  9. Lately, i am not sleeping too. My son will start school. I am excited, nervous and feeling a lot of other emotions. Hard to be a mother. Whether your child is 4 or 18 or 40! #brillblogposts

  10. Gosh, an exhausting exhaustive list! I find it difficult to sleep when my mind keeps going - like it refuses to admit there's an 'off' switch. Frustrating and difficult to solve, but breathing/relaxation techniques can help you drift off (sometimes). xx #brilliantblogposts

  11. My mind goes crazy at bedtime too - sometimes I get into bed and can write a while post in my head and hen have forgotten it by the morning! I am learning to switch off slowly - but am sure I will have all these worries as my daughter grows. Great to find you via #brilliantblogposts

  12. Oh I remember reading that book many years ago and laughing as I thought that my life would never ever be like that. Little did I know what was to come! I struggle to sleep too and over recent weeks I have really struggled. Sometimes I think that I should just get up and do some work, but I rarely do. I think people think that life gets easier as your children get older but that isn't the case at all is it?

  13. Relate but what's helped me is switching off 90 minutes before bed so no TV or phone/blogging (read that helps in US Glamour when on holiday) and it really has. I give myself a routine so bath, camomile tea with milk, vit b6 helps too and a protein heavy meal/ and snack before that evening. A bit of banana before bed helps too-potassium. I've got a post in drafts on switching off so must finish it and share. Thanks for linking up to #brilliantblogposts

  14. I have this all the time. It never stops going. I swear I lose more sleep due to my brain not shutting off than I did with both my newborn babies and feedings in the night. It's awful. I really wish there was a switch we could press. Great news for your daughter too so happy for her. Great post. Thanks for linking up to Share With Me I hope to see you again tomorrow for another great round. #sharewithme

  15. Poor you! I can really relate to this, although it's not as extreme for me - I'm always worrying about how I can fit everything in and it just keeps me awake!


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