Posted in Humor posts

8 Ways to Know You are Sleep Deprived…

When my oldest was born, she awoke every 20 minutes during the night for a feeding.  I calculated the amount of sleep I was getting and it totaled two hours a night! This was a bit challenging as I was working full-time (with my daughter in tow) at a highly demanding job with a heavy caseload.

No wonder when I look back at photographs from those days my eyes are always closed – I was desperately attempting to squeeze in a nap whenever I could!


Fast forward many years later and there are still clues that I am sleep deprived.

So, how can you tell that sleep deprivation has made its entrance into your life? Here are 8 ways:

1.  You make your husband’s sandwiches for the next day’s lunch as you always do. However, when your husband arrives home from work the following day, he breaks the bad news to you – could you please remember to put the ham and cheese on the sandwiches? After all, a mayonnaise sandwich is hardly tasty, let alone healthy!


2. After you drop the kids off at soccer practice, you realize a startling fact – the sliding rear door of your minivan is left open and you’ve been driving it that way for the past 3 miles! (This happened to a friend of mine who wishes to remain anonymous).


3. You begin unloading the dishes on a particularly tiring day. What you don’t realize until minutes later is that you have been unloading the dishwasher of dirty dishes and putting them in your cupboards. Two words for this: EWWWW! and GROSS!


4. Speaking of house cleaning duties, you hear a clunk-clunk as you are vacuuming and discover to your horror that you didn’t realize in your sleep-deprived-state that there was Polly Pocket clothing and accessories on the floor of the playroom. Alas, those same articles of clothing and accessories have now fallen victim to a Hoover upright vacuum – known as “Big Mr. Blue.”

5. Studies have shown that sleep deprivation messes with the memory. Case in point: You get your children’s names mixed up, or call them the names of the characters in your books. Or worse yet, you accidentally mix up the names of your children with the name of the family pet!

6. You drive home after grocery shopping and drive right past the turnoff to your house, but don’t realize it until you’re in the next town. This might have happened to someone who is writing this blog post who might have been sleep deprived. But we won’t mention names. 🙂


7. We’ve all been in those grocery stores where they ask for your telephone number at the checkout. You’re so tired that you stutter about, not remembering that you had a telephone, let alone a telephone number.


8. Speaking of telephones and telephone numbers, here is one of the best measures of how to know you are just wiped out from lack of sleep: have you ever been having a challenging day and needed to call a friend for encouragement and prayer support? My friend called me one day in tears. “I really needed to talk to you, but when I called, your phone was continually busy.”

I was perplexed. After all, my landline phone can never be busy since I have call forwarding. If I’m on another line, it will automatically ring to my cell phone. “Really?” I asked.

“Well, at least that’s what I thought,” began my friend, “Until I realized that I had called my own phone number and that’s why I was getting the busy signal!”


What humorous side effects have you experienced from sleep deprivation?


Penny Zeller is known for her heartfelt stories of faith and her passion to impact lives for Christ through fiction. While she has had a love for writing since childhood, she began her adult writing career penning articles for national and regional publications on a wide variety of topics. Today Penny is a multi-published author of over a dozen books. She is also a homeschool mom and a group fitness instructor. When Penny is not dreaming up new characters, she enjoys spending time with her husband and two daughters and camping, hiking, canoeing, reading, running, gardening, and playing volleyball. She is represented by Tamela Hancock Murray of the Steve Laube Agency and loves to hear from her readers at her website,, her blog,, and through her newsletter via

19 thoughts on “8 Ways to Know You are Sleep Deprived…

  1. Oh, Girlfriend!! I could SO relate to this! When Thing 2 arrived, he slept in hour-long increments. Every night. For five months. And now? Well, now he’s nineteen months old… sleeps like a champion… but gets out of his crib at 5:00 in the morning. To keep him from breaking bones by a long fall from the crib, I have resorted to just laying awake in bed all night, waiting for him to get up, so I can go get him immediately. I figured it’s cheaper this way, what with there being no ER visit. However, it makes me feel like we’re back in the beginning days, of sleeping in hour-long bursts. This morning, I was warming a bottle up in the microwave (Don’t judge me; I heated it up in a BPA-free plastic bottle; we can’t all slowly warm our bottles by submerging them into a larger cup of hot water.). I poured the bottle of milk… put the bottle of milk into the refrigerator… and put the gallon jug of milk into the microwave. Yesterday, I scraped the leftover macaroni and cheese off of a dinner plate after lunch… scraped all of those orange noodles into the sink… and tossed the REAL plate and the REAL fork into the garbage can. I’m thinking about Benadryl shots for everyone tonight!

    1. You are sooooo hilarious! I am still laughing about the gallon milk jug in the microwave and the baby bottle with milk in the fridge – too funny! And the fork and plate in the garbage? Such is the life of a mom!

    1. lol! I’m glad you enjoyed the post, Debbie. And yep, there are others who do silly things out of sheer exhaustion and having a permanent “mom-brain” (not mentioning any names here, but it might be someone who wrote a blog post about sleep deprivation, ha ha!) Nope, you’re not alone!

      1. Good to know I’m not the only one!! At least I can sit back and remember days long past when I would go to bed at 9pm and sleep through the night and wake up at 6am. About once or twice a year, I might sleep through the night, but then when I wake up, my back is hurting so bad it makes me wish I’d been awake hours before!! Getting old is not for the weak!

  2. I have been known to drive home and not remember the drive at all, I think my Guardian Angels were driving then! My mom will go through the gambit of children’s names, grandchildren’s names, nieces names and the pets names before she finally hits on the person’s right names! LOL

  3. Thank you! This made me laugh because it is all so true!
    Yesterday I stood in my kitchen for a good five minutes trying to think of “that thing I have to do” which ended up being “Cook Dinner.”
    Oh…to be a Mama!

    1. Your comment gave me a good laugh! Oh, how many times as moms we do funny things like that. You know it’s bad when your kids start to remind you of what you needed to do that you forgot that you need to do, lol!

    1. Hi Britni ~ Glad you enjoyed the post! I agree, these are definitely symptoms of mommy brain – a symptom that can last many, many years, lol! Have a wonderful week and God Bless. 🙂

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