This has been a really busy and extremely stressful year; and according to The Better Sleep Council the number one thing that people are vulnerable to is the zombieitis bug , which has been going around for a while. The zombieitis bug is an epidemic that affects both adults and children and leaves suffers with slow brain function, feeling tired and looking like, well, zombies. Though I pride myself in my beautiful sleep patterns and well-organised bedtime routines and rituals, two of my own almost fell victim to the disease...
Hubby and older Young Mister lead busy lives; hubby has to juggle his work life (nine to five) and also try and keep the business solvent, which means a business trip every two weeks and frequent late nights. My oldest son has all these committees he is a part of at school: rugby, soccer, the newspaper, RCL (Representative Council for Learners) and the events committee; all this with the regular load of schoolwork and chores at home and his ‘fomo’ (fear of missing out) social life.
The symptoms of Zombieitis
Hubby exhibited a lot of these symptoms and they truly worried me:
• Irritability (we didn’t call him papa grouch for nothing)
• High blood pressure ( thankfully this, according to our GP, is still under control)
• Weight gain (the busier the months the more I had ‘more to love’)
• Headaches (that was my son’s theme music, every night he reported a headache, which Young Mister pegged as big brother trying to evade dish duty)
• Decreased brain function (ever had an entire conversation with your beloved and all he can say is “huh?” or “uh huh...”?)
• Dark circles under the eyes (the most documented symptom).
The exact steps in the guide for curing zombieitis listed on the Stop Zombieitis website are as follows:
• Go to the zombie’s home.
• Evaluate their mattress.
• If needed, purchase a new mattress.
• Capture the zombie.
That plan is nice enough, in fact it might work for some people, but not for my two men because their beds weren’t the problem to begin with. So I got creative:
No coffee (hubby could have all the coffee he desired before 16h00)
No bright lights (dim them an hour before bedtime)
No prescription drugs
No loud television before and during bed (Supersport was a big part of their before and in-bed rituals)
A decent bedtime
This step entailed revising the whole family’s bedtimes. The two youngest added an hour and a half, which brought them to eight and half to nine hours of sleep per night. Hubby and my oldest son’s only change was that they get a minimum of seven hours of sleep.
Thankfully, the changes were worth it. I am happy to report that our home is now a zombie-free zone and I hope these tips and links prove helpful to you too. Sweet dreams!