Sleepy, Tired Autism Parents – Power Up Your Day

When I’m up throughout the night with my autistic son, I dread the next day. My son seems little affected. I however feel like a zombie that has to rise from the dead. Especially when we have several of these nights in a row.

What’s a sleepy, tired mom to do? Over the years I’ve tried many things and have accumulated what I call my Power-Up Kit. The first of course is caffeine. It gives me a jump start to my day, helps me feel more alert. Many of us drink coffee or tea to get going. I don’t drink too much as it makes me jittery.

Here are some other things in my arsenal:

Nutritional Yeast Flakes.

Its name doesn’t sound appealing. But this yeast stores energy-boosting nutrition. Nutritional yeast is sourced from whey, blackstrap molasses or wood pulp. When the yeast is harvested, it is washed and dried with heat so that it stops growing. After this heat treatment, it’s crumbled or flaked and packaged for consumption.

From looking at the label I can see it has a lot of B vitamins, helpful for when you’re undergoing a lot stress.

Some people will sprinkle it on popcorn as a seasoning, or even mix some into macaroni and cheese. I like to have it in the morning with a cup of hot water. It tastes like a low-sodium chicken broth.

Smoothies. It’s a well-known fact that fruits and veggies can power up our energy levels.  It’s one of my must-haves in the morning. I like to blend frozen berries and kale with water, careful to minimize the sugar.

I also like to mix in Barlean’s Omega Swirl Fish Oil – Lemon flavor. I know it sounds gross. But this fish oil actually tastes great! It’s sweetened with xylitol and adds a nice flavoring to my smoothie without adding sugar.

The Omega Swirl also comes in other delicious flavors such as Key Lime, Strawberry and Mango. Fish oil is great for keeping your immune system strong and fighting off infection.

Sometimes I will also mix in plain greek yogurt for protein. I get the Trader Joe’s stuff that has 22 grams of protein per cup. I don’t add in a whole serving, maybe a third of a cup.

Apple cider vinegar. To keep my energy level consistent throughout the day, I add a teaspoon of ACV to about 16 ounces of water. At first it might seem like you’re drinking water flavored with a hint of salad dressing. But the flavor is faint and you get used to it. Alternatively you can also try drinking it with a straw.

Benefits? It helps regulate your blood sugar. It can also help with mental clarity and alertness.

I do see bottled apple cider drinks at the store and have tried them. They taste great. But they don’t give me the energy boost that plain water and vinegar does.

Some days I will try all of the above and it won’t cure the kind of tired I’m feeling. When that happens I just have to lie down and close my eyes, even if all I have is five minutes. Mini naps throughout the day help revive me.

What about you? Any healthy tips for when your kid has kept you up at night? Or when life gets overwhelming? Share in the comments below!

Leave a Comment