Leading Brexit campaigner Michael Gove reacted to victory by telling his wife Sarah Vine: "Gosh, I suppose I had better get up."
The Justice Secretary had gone to bed shortly after polls closed but was woken by a mobile phone call in the early hours telling him the Leave campaign had won.
Mrs Vine said it was "hard" to help her husband "make the right decisions in such a short space of time, on very little sleep and under such stressful conditions" after the result.
She revealed that "at the height of the hysteria" her son "led us all in a surprisingly therapeutic game of Monopoly".
The couple had been close friends of the Prime Minister and his wife Samantha but the campaign has strained the relationship.
In her Daily Mail column, however, Mrs Vine insisted: "David Cameron was not supposed to go.
"This was not what this referendum was about; that was not why Michael backed Leave."
Mrs Vine said she had been "perfectly prepared" for a Remain win but voters had showed "incredible bravery".
"They ignored all the threats and lies, and voted according to their principles," she said. "Which, from where I'm standing, makes the result even more terrifying. Because, given Michael's high-profile role in the Leave campaign, that means he - we - are now charged with implementing the instructions of 17 million people. And that is an awesome responsibility."
The reaction to Brexit has "shocked even a Twitter-hardened old hack like me", she said.
"I think it's because many of the most passionate Remainers are well-educated, articulate people in positions of authority, used to getting their own way," she added.