We Need Eight Hours Sleep They Say

I’m tired.

Oh so tired. Nearly always.

I’m tired of not getting enough sleep, and these days its more my own fault than the kids’. (Well, mostly, there still are nights that I wake up with a chubby foot on my neck and I wonder when she climbed in beside me.)

I’m tired of driving and sitting in traffic. Tired of making lunches and cooking dinner.

Tired of planning. Tired of staying on top of my game.

I’m tired of people telling me I look tired, and tired of people telling me how not to be tired.

“Drink more water”

“Have you any idea how much water I actually drink?”

“Give up coffee”

“I drink five cups a week, absolute max. But thanks”.

And the best one.

“You need to be getting eight hours a night of sleep”.

There I was the other night at approaching midnight, reading an article about how not getting enough sleep is going to shorten my life

(Irony, huh?)

Eight Hours.

E I G H T. Count them.

It’s really important. Science has told us that it is, there are studies. I’m not disputing the science bit.

But I do I have one question.

When, exactly should I get these eight hours?

The whole parenting-working-commuting thing is a pretty full life you see. Busy. One of those “busy mums”.

The alarm goes off at 5.45am to facilitate my early start at work, allowing a shower, the plaiting of hair, the distribution of lunch boxes and an hour-long drive before it starts.

Fast forward to the end of the day I’m home in the house with the kids at around 5.45pm. To get my EIGHT hours (did I tell you to count them already?) I have four hours to fill before I sleep. Filling them isn’t a problem AT ALL.

So I make dinner, eat it, clean up after it, bring a child (or children) to training, get home, make post-training snack.

Then it’s time to say hello to my husband before we cajole children to shower, clean teeth and get dressed for bed while we fold and put away clothes and get swimming/football gear sorted. A short school-day debrief (essential, and the later it is the more facts will be shared)  prayers and stories follow.

When they are all settled we set about getting the lunches made, and plan to watch the news. There are always jobs like signing a note from school or looking for a shinguard/swimming hat/drink bottle and inevitably we hit the “live pause” button and watch the news on delay.

We assemble lunches and snacks while the news stays paused. Around 9.20pm ish our bums hit the couch. We watch the news. It ends around 9.45pm.

*Not my actual couch, nice though isn’t it?

And to get my eight hours to let me live longer I need to go to bed now. The likelihood of me sleeping now is pretty slim though, I haven’t wound down at all. I’m too tired to exercise, another thing I need to fit in to stay alive, so my lunch hour when I take it needs to provide me with that.

So I watch TV, or scroll on instagram or even write something for my blog and then go to bed with a window of less than eight hours, feeling that I’ve failed the sleep people, the exercise people, the me-time people and the health people.

I ‘ll have my no-excuses me-time while exercising my way up the stairs to get my eight hours of sleep I guess. Unless those scientists can figure out a way for me to optimise sleep or pause time.

Over to you science people, you got me into this mess!


  1. Well said.
    I’m too old to know an answer – how do you get rid of the hamster wheel ?
    Quality of life is a real dodgy subject – I honestly think we are cornered. And that’s defeatist.
    Sorry – I’m no help.

  2. Yep. All of it. I saw that article too but I couldn’t bring myself to read. 8 hours sleep is impossible so I’m going for the head in the sand option.

  3. I hear you on every single word of that. I am baffled myself! My Fitbit is constantly reminding me how useless I am at sleeping, which doesn’t help lol!!

  4. Haha, I need to quit life so! 8 hours sleep falls in to the same category as the one where exercise gives you more energy. Elusive and overrated!!! “Experts” and their lack of knowledge of my life! Stressors they are!

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