I recently had a very intense bout with jet lag and it all came back to me: the despair, irritation and resentment of anyone sleeping anywhere; the cravings for crappy food, the ineffectual caffeine binges. This is the life of the sleep deprived.
Amazingly, during this week of lost or “bad” sleep, I managed to get lots of housework and child-schlepping done because, guess what? A depressed, gray-faced zombie can actually do repetitive, mindless tasks. But was I able to really work? Write? Teach? Think? Generate an idea more sophisticated than: “Coffee”? Was I patient with my kids?
Like all mothers, I’m a veteran of sleep deprivation. That first year of interrupted sleep can feel like a test. It’s brutal. But what’s the reward here, the knowledge gained? I can only hope those years made me wiser or stronger, (though I’m pretty sure they just caused a more pronounced crease between my eyebrows.) One thing I do know now is a lot about…. sleep. And what happens when you don’t get it. Here are the highlights:
The Cost of Exhaustion: The real effects of mom sleep deprivation