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Working day and no sleep

working day and no sleep

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Picture the scene: Your little one wakes up just as you head upstairs to bed, so you settle him/her back down and get yourself ready. No sooner has your head hit the pillow, than the wailing begins again. More milk, a clean nappy and several nursery rhymes later, and you’re still trying to persuade your child to go back to sleep.

No luck, so there’s nothing for it but to bring her/him into your bed, where you spend the next several hours putting up with wriggling and multiple elbow-ings to the face. You eventually accept that he/she is wide awake, so downstairs you both go for some soothing CBeebies. And finally (around about 5.30am probably) they’re asleep, so you can catch a quick snooze on the sofa.

But the next thing you know it’s ‘beep, beep, beep’ – time to get ready for work. ‘Work?’ you cry, ‘but how on earth will I manage that? A working day and no sleep!!!!’

Getting through a working day with no sleep

You are not the first. Here’s the drill:Start by having a hot shower and washing your hair. It’ll perk you up, and sticking to your usual routine can help you feel like you’re getting ready for a ‘normal’ day.

Make yourself look better

Ladies, put on a coat of make-up, even if you don’t usually. If you do, then consider extra lippy or another coat of mascara. You’ll look better than you feel, and you can do worse than literally putting a brave face on things – it’s not known as ‘war paint’ for nothing. And fellas, if make-up’s not for you then a really good shave will have to do (and maybe a little bronzer… no?)

working day and no sleep

Eat a healthy breakfast

Make sure you eat a healthy breakfast. ‘Go to work on an egg’ and ‘get up and glow’ might be advertising clichés but they came about for good reason. There’s plenty of evidence that eating a good breakfast enhances academic performance in children and adolescents – so why not you?If you commute by car, keep in mind those motorway signs saying ‘tiredness kills’ and make sure you take extra care this morning. Taking public transport to work might be safer, but don’t get complacent. A power nap might seem like a great idea but if you sleep past your stop, you’ve just made a difficult day even harder for yourself.

Tips for keeping calm

  • Take a realistic look at your schedule for the day and postpone any meetings that can be put off, especially if they’re likely to be tricky. Today is a day for keeping your head down, not for being drawn into making tricky judgement calls when you’re not at your best.
  • To tell, or not to tell? It’s a tricky one. If you share your pain far and wide, then you risk people looking for the cracks in your work, if they’ve a mind to. But a little strategic sharing, with a close colleague or an understanding boss, could relieve the pressure – you’ve got someone watching your back.

switching off after work


  • You’ll be tempted by an extra shot in your coffee, a vitamin boost or energy drink, but use sparingly. You don’t want to get jittery, or compound your suffering with a massive slump when the effects wear off.
  • Get outside at lunchtime (make sure you take a lunch break, today of all days). In lieu of a good kip, some fresh air and a little exercise could just clear your head and revitalise you enough to get you through the afternoon.
  • Keep a stock of healthy snacks close at hand – and a treat or two. Eating little and often will keep you on an even keel, and you can use each snack as a staging post to get you through the day.
  • Hopefully you told your child’s carers about the kind of night you had, so they will have ensured your little one is sufficiently rested, fed and exercised that they’ll actually sleep tonight.

And then, it’s a glass of wine, a takeaway or ready meal and an early night for you. Sleep tight.










About Alison McKay

About Alison McKay

Alison McKay is a charity PR professional with over 15 years' experience in full-time, part-time and jobshare roles. Since being made redundant while on maternity leave, she has divided her time between working for a local museum, freelance and volunteer writing, and being chief wrangler to a two-year-old mud-magnet and an almost-seven-year-old wannabe dog-care worker with a penchant for hair accessories. Alison's hobbies include yoga, reading cookery books and putting away just enough clean laundry to keep the pile below 3ft tall.

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