Sleep deprivation

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    All three of my kids were sick with a virus this past week, and I spent several nights getting up repeatedly with all of them. I felt soooo crappy – it TOTALLY brought back flashbacks from the first 3 years (had 3 babies in 3.5 year, and nursed each) when I was CHRONICALLY sleep-deprived). :guilty:

    DO HopefulDO Hopeful

    That’s a good question . . . I’m just getting over the flu myself, and knowing that residents are up for 30 hours, aren’t they susceptible to getting sick easily? I get really grumpy if I haven’t had enough sleep . . . but then again, these days with 2 little ones, I don’t think my body knows what “enough sleep” is anyway. I guess I’ll have to work on the grumpiness by the time I go through residency (which is years from now . . . I’m still trying to get through premed).


    I’d say sleep deprivation would be a prerequisite for medicine…not saying that is a good thing but it is true…and I think we stayed awake for…36-38 hrs…but anyways, I went to a great lecture by a female pulmonologist/sleep specialist and she did a test on a lot of us in the room and we FAILED!!! ( Our scores showed we were sleep deprived)


    Speaking of that, my 3 and 4 year olds have a fluelike virus…..ugghhhhh.
    I am usually sleep deprived, I can go 23 hours without sleep and still have difficulty falling asleep. I was thinking to myself “Maybe I can survive residency then”.
    I do admitt somedays my moods are better than others, and I do get snappy. Sometimes it doesnt matter if I get sleep or not. I have been working on that for the past month or so since me and my daughter had a heart to heart talk. It is much better now that I am making a conscious effort. So I know where you are coming from there.
    My insomnia/deprivation began to affect me negatively aside from my mood, I began to have to call off work because I hadnt slept, when my husband was working a MN/Day double shift. I could have made it fogily through the day but would have have to have been (that’s alot of “haves” he,he) more consciencious of making mistakes though, my problem was that I knew I wouldnt be able to take care of the kids without any sleep and knowing my hub would have to get some sleep after working so much. I felt I had to call off. This is when I decided to do something about it. I saw one of my friend docs (neurologist) and he prescribed Restoril, boy does it make a world of difference for me.
    I know there’s a difference between having and not having the opportunity to sleep–it started out for me having to be sleep deprived to where later when I had the opportunities, I couldnt do it. So now, I dont take the restoril if I know I have to be up to study etc.


    SLEEP, what is sleep? Having a 7,5,and 17 month old should be required at least 8 hours of sleep. :tired: Hopefully when the time comes for that many hours needed to stay awake, it will not be such a huge problem for me. :rotfl:

    Well I need to go rest for awhile, all this thinking has made me TIRED!!!! :Michelle


    The plus for being a med student and intern without kids was that when I was not on call, I could sleep. I found it much harder when I was a resident and had a toddler, even though he was actually a great sleeper, because there’s no “post-call” with kids. I found having babies much more difficult than internship in terms of the sleep deprivation. I also think it’s getting more difficult as I get older…


    I know EXACTLY what you mean. Sometimes I choose to get 5 hrs of sleep for 2 hours of peace. Can be very therapeutic, yet sleep depriving.
    Girls, I dont know how we do it!



    I feel for you, 🙁 I know how it is when the kiddos sick. Hope they are doing better. Makes sure you get some rest!

    I figured out today how much sleep I get on a everday basis. I get 4-5 hours with waking 3-4 times. :yikes: Yikes I need some sleep.

    Michelle 😀


    RESTORIL, Michelle, RESTORIL!!!
    Any of you docs have a pen and a script pad at hand? (Just kidding!!) :p


    I wonder if the lack of sleep associated with residency will be easier on us moms since we already don’t really know what sleep is – lol.

    My last baby was colicy and a power-nurser. That kid woke to nurse every hour for nearly 2 years (yes, I believe in extended nursing!). My sister used to be astonished that I could function, but honestly, I just got used to lack of sleep and didn’t need as much any more. I was able to function on much less then I was used to.

    I imagine residents are much the same (yes? no?). That yeah, they are dog tired. But they eventually get used to less sleep.

    At least I hope!


    I am so worried about sleep deprivation in the future. I’m currently premed so I won’t know what those long hours/sleep deprivation feels like until I’m there! I’m very concerned about not getting enough sleep. Unlike most people here, I am not a mother and therefore I get a lot of sleep every night–7 hours a night. I try to get between 7-7.5 on weeknights and on Saturdays I sleep in–so it’s usually between 8-10 hours. On Sundays, I volunteer at the hospital so I have to set my alarm to wake up for that.

    What advice do you moms have for a single woman like me who is used to sleep? I am very worried that someday I will accidentally kill one of my patients b/c I will be so sleep-deprived. :footinmouth:



    Thanks for your replies. When my kids aren’t sick I usually get a solid 6-7 hours of sleep/night now, so I’ve certainly “come out the other side” of chronic sleep deprivation. I will have to get re-conditioned to it I guess.

    But I am worried about how my family will be affected, you know? I KNOW what it is like to be so sleep-deprived that you don’t feel safe driving a car. I think that I can “do it all”… but I worry that at the end of a 36 hour shift, I won’t have ANYTHING left to give to my dh and kids who already have been without me for several days. Arrrghhhh, why does this profession have to be so ridiculously unhealthy in this regard? 🙁


    I have to admit that the amount of sleep deprivation also has me worried about accidently killing a patient. I think this is the thing that I’ve been worrying over the most. Any thoughts? Anyone? Anyone?… :confused:


    Mimicat- you’ll be fine. Yes, residency sucks but nursing babies is much worse. At least with residency you sleep post call, it’s not every single night.
    Now with all the new regulations, it’s much better anyways. They don’t let you work that long anymore. My longest week in residency was 117 hours, I think I fell asleep standing up during rounds :tired:


    Trust me, I thought that having a new baby (the sleep deprivation part) was going to be a snap, after all, I was a surgery resident, I worked 110 hours a week every week and took call every other or every third night year round. I guess sometimes ignorance is bliss…because that’s what I was-IGNORANT!

    The joke was on me! Nursing my daughter (who only got up every 3-4 hours instead of every 2 hours so not SO bad, although she didn’t sleep through the night until 5 months) was a wonderful experience- except for the fact that by the end of the first month I could barely function. Zombie mode! Residency is tough, sure, but being up EVERY night with your new baby, or sick toddlers, or kids in general-100 TIMES HARDER (not even comparable, really!) You’ll be fine, if you managed with the kids you’ll surely manage residency!

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