by humanmama on June 10, 2013

Sleep defines so much of who we are.

If you have enough of it, you’re free to be who you are. To do as you please with the other 16 hours of your day. If you’re getting too much you might be depressed, or unhealthy. Maybe sick? But when you don’t get enough sleep, there’s really something going on. You might be in training for something (Navy Seal?). You might be sick. You might be pregnant. You might be cranky. Rude. Short with people. You might be quick-tempered. You might gain weight, be exhausted all the time, have difficulty focusing or remembering. You might have a baby.

Or several.

Ahh, children. How having 8 hours of sleep makes you love them. And it’s amazing when they first start sleeping through the night, how the functionality of your body just comes rushing back. Suddenly you might feel like eating right again! Or exercising! Or doing the laundry! Suddenly you may take on a project or two, or perhaps your boss will notice you’ve been really picking up the slack!

And, how less than a good night’s rest (or five…or ninety…) can make you an irritable slob. Totally out-of-focus. Fuzzy. Lots of sleep deprivation means you can’t function as you might usually, no matter how hard you try. Sleepy driving has been studied as worse than even drunk driving. And I’m pretty sure sleepy parenting looks about the same. You can’t focus. You can’t think. You can’t remember what you…um, wait, where was I?

So it seems that there’s a benefit to your kids growing up. Even though they’re going to smell like teenagers, and roll their eyes at everything you do, and talk about you to your friends (and not about how great you are), they’ll let you sleep. In fact, they’ll be dying to sleep. So in the future? When you’re standing outside a bedroom door knocking for the tenth time trying to wake them up? Remember these days when you had no sleep. And smile.


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