Tuesday, June 14, 2011

Tuesday Tidbits - No Sleep for the Wicked(ly cute)

...or for us.  Little A bomb has us on a roller coaster with his sleeping.  He'll go for stretches sleeping from 6:15pm to 4:00am (K's normal waking hour) to waking up at all hours of the night.  He falls asleep without any problems, but some nights cannot get back to sleep if he wakes up.  So this has been our solution lately:

With him being our fourth (and most likely final), we're a little more lenient and accepting of his schedule (or lack of).  While doing some reading/research on sleep, I came across some interesting tidbits: 
  • Anything less than five minutes to fall asleep at night means you're sleep deprived. The ideal is between 10 and 15 minutes, meaning you're still tired enough to sleep deeply, but not so exhausted you feel sleepy by day (my head hits the pillow, and I'm out:)).
  • New baby typically results in 400-750 hours lost sleep for parents in the first year (I think we've surpassed that amount). 
  • Seventeen hours of sustained wakefulness leads to a decrease in performance equivalent to a blood alcohol-level of 0.05%.
  • After five nights of partial sleep deprivation, three drinks will have the same effect on your body as six would when you've slept enough.
  • Tiny luminous rays from a digital alarm clock can be enough to disrupt the sleep cycle even if you do not fully wake. The light turns off a "neural switch" in the brain, causing levels of a key sleep chemical to decline within minutes.
  • To drop off we must cool off; body temperature and the brain's sleep-wake cycle are closely linked. That's why hot summer nights can cause a restless sleep. The blood flow mechanism that transfers core body heat to the skin works best between 65 and 86 degrees. But later in life, the comfort zone shrinks to between 73 and 77 degrees - one reason why older people have more sleep disorders.
  • Some studies suggest women need up to an hour's extra sleep a night compared to men, and not getting it may be one reason women are much more susceptible to depression than men.
  • Experts say one of the most alluring sleep distractions is the 24-hour accessibility of the internet.
  • Not getting enough zzz's may make you gain weight.  Sleep deprivation leads to higher levels of the hunger hormone ghrelin and lower levels of the hormone leptin that makes you feel full.
  • 1 in 4 married couples sleep in separate beds (my grandparents did).
  • You'll die from sleep deprivation before food deprivation.  It takes 2 weeks to starve, but 10 days without sleep could kill you.
  • The way you sleep could indicate your personality type:
Fetal:  gruff initially, but have warm and open hearts; Log:  social butterfly; Yearner:  perceived as open, but truly suspicious; Soldier:  reserved; Freefaller:  fun; Starfish:  excellent listener
  • Feeling tired can feel normal after a short time. Those deliberately deprived of sleep for research initially noticed greatly the effects on their alertness, mood and physical performance, but the awareness dropped off after the first few days.  (not me, I continue to feel the effects:))

What's your sleeping style?  Does it coincide with your personality type?
What helps you sleep at night?
Any suggestions to get little A bomb to stick with the schedule?!


  1. I'm a fetus sleeper when Jeff is in bed, otherwise I'm a starfish. My family will tell you I'm NOT a good listener, and they're pretty accurate.

    I know that there have definitely been times I've been so tired that I know I've been impaired. Very thankful to have kids old enough to sleep through the night now.

  2. I used to be a fetal sleeper but now more often am a soldier -I guess that makes me reserved.

  3. I'm feeling for you...sleep deprivation, as your stats show, is really tough. Both my kids are great sleepers and were pretty easy as babies that way too, but I still literally have dreams that I am going through sleep dep. with them. I hope you figure out the right solution for your little one!

  4. I am a fetus sleeper! I think that is pretty accurate. I hate being sleep deprived, my second baby was a non sleeper unless she was being held, that was enough for me to decide she would also me my last baby. I would just cry sometimes I was so tired. I also used to take call in a large operating room and worked up to 27 hours in a row, never thought that was safe.

  5. I've just accepted the fact that I will be still sleep deprived for another few years. I'm way too laid back... so I have no advice to offer except from what my friend always told me...let them cry. She promised it only takes 4 or 5 days. I could never stand it. Which is why I still rotate bedrooms at night. :) My 3 year old still likes me to stay in his room til he falls asleep. Guess who falls asleep in his room at least 4 out of 7 nights a week...

    I'm a survival sleeper. Sneak it in whenever I can. ;) Good luck! If you're strong, I say let them cry!

  6. I don't think I sleep like any of those!

    Avery had lots of trouble sleeping, and we used a combination of tactics from "The No-Cry Sleep Solution" by Elizabeth Pantley and Marc Wiessbluth's "Healthy Sleep Habits, Happy Child". Weissbluth's book helped us a little more. I'm not sure if A is breastfeeding or not right now (not sure how old he is), but Ave was no longer night nursing when we used the book. We also practice attachment and peaceful parenting and didn't use the 'cry it out' solution. Not sure if we mesh with parenting or not, but there are some suggestions, fwiw!

  7. This was fascinating. I'm a fetus sleeper and that does seem to fit me.


Have you tried this gear? Something similar you like better? Something I should try? Let me know by leaving a comment!

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