Tuesday, March 30, 2010

Sleep: The Last Unicorn*

People who say they sleep like a baby usually don't have one.
- Leo Burke

I was reading about sleep deprivation last night. And although I was reading a book** about child development, the book mentioned as part of its chapter on children and sleep that studies performed on adults who were averaging about 6 hours of sleep a night functioned similarly to individuals who had not slept in 24 hours.

I can’t remember the last time I had a full eight hours of uninterrupted sleep. I feel that I am irritable, prone to weepiness, and not ever functioning at optimum capacity. Not surprisingly, it’s not a good feeling.

One of the best ways, I have read, to ensure that you get enough sleep is to establish a bedtime for yourself. Before I became a parent, I pretty much just went to bed whenever I felt sleepy. This meant that some nights, I could get ten hours of sleep, or, if I was feeling particularly peppy, that I could stay up late and get by on five or six hours. Right now, with my sleep debt, the concept of eight full hours of sleep seems like the most heavenly thing imaginable. I told Sweet Dub last night that we need to get to bed by 10 PM. He thought that was really hilarious, and not really helpful, since we are being awakened every night in and around the 2 o’clock hour by Miss Celie. It takes at least 20-30 minutes for her to get back to sleep in the middle of the night, so even so we will not get a full eight hours of sleep.

We are the Crabby Blah Blahs. Hear us whimper.

P.S. it looks like Miss Celie may have another ear infection, so we’re heading back to the pediatrician this afternoon. (The screaming you hear is just inside my head.)

* By which I mean: it's rumored to exist, but has proved elusive. Have you ever read that book? I went through a Peter S. Beagle phase when I was about 15, but that is a tangent which I am cutting short --hmmm, right now.

** The extremely popular NurtureShock! Read it and weep! No, actually, it’s really fascinating, in the “I know I should go to bed but I just got sucked in to read the next chapter” kind of way. It pokes holes in a lot of assumptions we have about modern parenting. I’ve been wanting to read it for months, was waiting for it to come out in paperback, and finally just gave in and bought the hardcover. I regret nothing!

1 comment:

Kristen {RAGE against the MINIVAN} said...

Oh girl, I hear you on the sleep thing. And the crabbiness. Good Lord, the crabbiness. I am one irritable mama.

I just got Nurture Shock, too. Great, now I'll probably stay up way too late reading it and be even more pissy to my husband and children!