Sleep. Apparently, we spend a third of our lives doing it. And it is important. I’m becoming slightly obsessed with it, so I took the BBC sleep profiler quiz to see if I was indeed sleep deprived (www.bbc.co.uk/apps/ifl/science/humanbody/sleep/profiler.) It was a little frustrating. The most amusing question was ‘during the last month have your children woken more than once a week?’ Try 3-6 times a night!!!! It turns out my sleep is ‘reasonably optimised’. But the survey is deeply flawed if you are the parent of an insomniac.
The State Department (America) lists sleep deprivation as a form of torture in its annual report on human rights abuses … (http://un-truth.com/human-rights/sleep-deprivation-is-torture). Apparently it makes people more suggestible. One detainee was kept awake for 6 days but now it is law to have 4 hours sleep in every 24 hour period. I’m going to tell my girl that. I get how it works. I was in Tesco’s last week after a night of very poor sleep, wandering around for ages completely unable to make a simple decision about what to buy for tea. Walking the aisles, dazed and tired, I would have confessed to anything in that moment.
We are in the unfortunate position of having roller coastered from Pete working away, into Christmas, followed by two weeks in Wales, a stomach bug and a chest infection (the latter is still raging). It would seem that none of these in isolation, and certainly not in sequence, are sleep enhancing.
Deaf people I talk to reckon they sleep better than hearing people because they don’t hear much at night. In theory, smiling flower should then sleep well. Sadly, CHARGE children tend to not sleep well and often ‘party’ in the early hours. Then of course there are countless parents whose kids are neither deaf nor charged and they also have sleepless nights for years… The million dollar question then is which side of the sleepy fence will our girl fall? She seems as frustrated as us that she is waking in the night, so maybe she’s just suffering from the over-reassurance of first time parents.
Sometimes, smiling flower also looks at her cot in real terror. We’ve wondered if her imagination is kicking in. Are the cows and rabbits from the supermarket taking on garish qualities and charging through her cot at night? She has LED fish which slowly change colour at the end of her cot. They are very beautiful – not the normal garish cartoon figures. But sometimes, even they look sinister to me. Up until the age of about 8 or 9 I used to convince myself that there were sharks in the local swimming pool which were invisible to everyone but me. They helped me get a bronze medal once as I got into a panic about it and paddled like fury.
Whether it is a powerful imagination kicking in early, or a desire for a bit of status quo, let’s all hope that we start enjoying some REM moments again soon. Giraffes only sleep for 2 hours in 24, whereas Tigers like 16. Esthers like a solid 10 but survive on less than 6. How do you like yours?