A sleep deprivation marathon tag team

This year has had many of us dig deep into our energy reserves. As the year is drawing to a close, I’m wondering…. do you feel exhausted?

Exhaustion can look different to each and every one of us.

  • Do you find it difficult to peel yourself off the sofa to go to bed?
  • Maybe you struggle to get up and at it in the mornings?
  • Perhaps you are operating at ‘tired all of the time’?
  • Maybe you are doing well in this area of your life but would like to recognise the signs and symptoms more rapidly?

When Oscar was 22 months old, Jenson was born. Sleep seemed like a distant memory. Jenson fed every 3 hours day and night like clockwork, but Oscar would get up in between. It was like a sleep deprivation marathon tag team. I remember clearly one day feeling so dizzy from tiredness, I had no option but to lie down.

Triggering Events

It can be fairly easy to recognise a triggering event causing exhaustion.

  • A new baby
  • Pandemic
  • Project deliverables

It can be less easy to recognise the insidious build up over time.

Insidious Build Up

Not so long after the sleep deprivation marathon tag team, I returned to work. In a bid to manage it all and stay in control, I operated most of the time from Superwoman.

I was so tired that my face ached! I was a shell of a person; running on adrenaline, sugar and caffeine to get through the day.

If you are at the stage where you can’t get out of bed because your body or mind says no, then you are already in burnout and the very best place to start is the GP to look at underlying medical conditions, hormones or deficiencies.

Signs & Symptoms

1. Numbing

  • Escapism by staying up late to watch Netflix
  • Avoiding exercise
  • Using sugar and caffeine as fuel
  • Using alcohol to unwind

2. Reduced Executive Functioning

  • Brain ache in your forehead and temples
  • Difficulty making decisions, setting priorities or boundaries
  • Struggling to find solutions

3. Withdrawing from Relationships

  • Saying no to social engagements
  • Pulling away from your partner, family or close friends

4. Overanalysing

  • Pre-empting, worrying and ruminating
  • Over-critical voice
  • Emotional

Exhaustion is tough. This year has been tough. Over the next couple of weeks I’ll share some top tips and tools to get you replenished before 2021.

PS Can’t wait to share with you some top tips and tools to get you replenished before 2021.


See Your GP

If you feel you are at burnout where you can’t get out of bed then please contact your GP to look at any underlying medical conditions, hormone in balance, allergies or deficiencies.


A study by Nature revealed that getting 1 hour extra sleep a night provided the equivalent happiness levels as a £54,000 raise. Most of us underestimated how important sleep is but for me it’s my lead need. If I can get enough sleep, meeting all my other needs becomes easier. I am more likely to make good food choices, less likely to reach for sugar and caffeine fixes in the afternoon slump. But how much, exactly, do you need? Is it 8 hours, 7 hours, 6.5 hours? Are you getting it consistently? What do you need to get in place to ensure you are in bed on time?