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- 2 Aug 17

I don’t know whether it’s old age, parenting or what… but I’m going through a period of feeling permanently knackered. I go through the day feeling like there’s a giant life-sapping monkey sat on my back. I sigh whenever I clamber into bed at night and am usually asleep by 9.45pm.

A grown woman and I go to bed before 10pm! What a sap!

The last few weeks I’ve been experimenting with different things to combat this extreme tiredness. Some of them are well-known solutions, others less so. If you’re feeling drained then you might find a couple of them useful:

Lots of Coffee

It seems that whenever I look at my Instagram feed, everyone is going on about coffee. Coffee works. I tend to make a pot first thing and drink 2-3 cups each day. The only thing I would say is that it can make you feel WEIRD. I’ve had a couple of days where I’ve thought I was having a panic attack but was actually high on the milky, brown stuff. I had an incident with a police car whilst driving to the supermarket where I thought I was being pursued and kept shouting out the window and driving irratically.

Two cups good. Three cups bad.

Sweet stuff

Again there is a temptation to go for things that’ll give you an immediate energy rush. It’s a well known fact that new Mums eat cake non-stop (with their coffee) and it works. Cake is not only pleasing on the eye, but it also gives you a burst of energy and general good vibes. The problem is half an hour later, you feel terrible. I have a friend who is very healthy and well informed and she tells me a banana is a good idea.

I think banana bread with butter is a good compromise.

Don’t talk about it 

Some days it feels like there’s a bit of a competition going on amongst my friends in terms of how tired we are. If we’re meeting for a playdate then the first thing we’ll say is: ‘God I’m so tired, I only got 3 hours sleep.’ And then the reply might be- ‘3 hours! You’re lucky. I got 1 hour!’, ‘1 hour you say? I had 10 minutes,’ ‘Well I never slept at all. I just got up and got dressed again without shutting my eyes for a second.’

I am not sure when it became cool to rant on and on about how tired we all are but it’s definitely true that the more you talk about it, the more drained you feel. I’m not saying you have to lie completely but maybe try something else as a conversation kick-starter like- ‘Yeah it’s a bitch but what about Prince Andrew and Kylie?’ or ‘Did you hear about the police chase I was just involved in?’

I promise the conversation will be far more enlivening than all that tired chat.


It feels counterintuitive but movement can actually make you feel more awake. This can range from a full on sprint around the block (maybe shouting I’M NOT TIRED. I’M NOT TIRED while you go) or a gentle walk or even just a few stretches. Since I turned 40, I wake up each morning with my shoulders scrunched by my ears. If I don’t stretch I look like a ironing board with a scarecrow head stuck on the top. The more you move, the better you feel. Simple.

Rap music

Music and specifically loud, energetic 90’s rap (maybe played through headphones), can really help with the knackered blues. Do you think Dr Dre ever moaned about how tired he was? What about Public Enemy? No, they just got on with it and BROUGHT IT and whipped all the competition each and every day. Pretend you’re a rapper at the top of your game. Visualise yourself on stage, microphone in hand, ready to SLAY the entire crowd.

Feels good! At least you feel less tired yes?

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Anniki Sommerville

I'm Super Editor here at and love reading all your fantastic posts and mulling over all the complexities of modern parenting. We have a fantastic and supportive community of writers here and I've learnt just how transformative and therapeutic writing can me. If you've had a bad day then write about it. If you've had a good day- do the same! You'll feel better just airing your thoughts and realising that no one has a master plan. I'm Mum to a daughter who's 3 and my passions are writing, reading and doing yoga (I love saying that but to be honest I'm no yogi).

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