Dog tired

What an angel!

So, this happy – but weary – looking photo of me and my gorgeous puppy, Louis, should help to explain my absence over the last week or so.

Looking at his angelic little mug, you wouldn’t believe that my lovely Louis has spent the last nine (painful) nights barking and howling, and generally doing everything he possibly can to keep me and my other half from sleeping. The key to stopping the wimpering and wailing  – so we’ve been told – is to ignore him. And so, save for a brief lapse on night two, we’ve stuck to our guns and tried – really, really tried – to drown out the high-pitched whining with the calming symphonies of Classic FM, with the hope that somehow we’ll nod off…

Of course, we look like participants in a sleep-deprivation experiment.  For the last week I haven’t been able to think straight, or concentrate, and I’ve lost count of the number of times I’ve forgotten the end of my sentences. Every time the morning alarm screams that it’s 5:15am – time to see what gift Louis has left for us this morning and give him his first feed of the day – I wonder when I am ever going to get a full, uninterrupted, eight hours sleep again. Not in the next few weeks, that’s for sure.

But somehow I’m feeling almost human again today. Look, I’ve actually managed to write two whole paragraphs. That’s a step up from last week’s efforts! My savior is the short, sweet little word: the “nap”.

This weekend my other half and I have taken every opportunity to snatch an extra 40 winks. Well, actually, an extra 20 minutes or less or an extra two hours or more, because we’re “good” at napping. Yes – before you ask! – there is such a thing as a “bad” nap! It’s one that lasts for more than 20 minutes but less than 2 hours, and leaves you feeling dozy and disorientated. Not good.

As it happens, after having played his new favourite game of “chew the laptop charger” for the last 20 minutes as I’ve been writing, Louis has just found a little spot to snooze between my feet. Which means only one thing for me: it’s time for a cheeky 19 minute nap…..

How to cope with early starts

The Sleep Geek: A man in glasses who knows a lot about sleep

Rising earlier than usual often means getting less sleep than usual. In addition, the thought of getting up early can cause stress and worry, making falling asleep more of a challenge. The result of an early start is typically fatigue, lethargy and increased appetite. Simply put, you feel rubbish and want to eat rubbish.

Thankfully there are some simple ways to make an early start a little easier. The Sleep Geek has helpfully shared his tips for handling early mornings in his new article “Early Starts and Little Naps” – read it by clicking here.