Sleep shouting

Sleep is one of my favorite topics these days, for obvious reasons. Anyone with a baby is VERY interested in sleep. How to get it, how to prolong it, how to stay asleep once you get there. I have had many sleep troubles in my life, but I have never had trouble staying asleep once I got there until after I became a mother. I would have trouble getting to sleep, yes. Staying asleep, no.

My husband has absolutely no trouble falling asleep most nights. He sleeps so hard, in fact, that he has no idea who he is or where he is when he wakes up, especially in the middle of the night.

Max is also a very good sleeper. He has been falling asleep between 6 and 8 p.m. (The time varies with his naps.) and sleeping until either 5:30 or 6:30 in the morning. He eats and then goes right back to sleep for at least an hour or more, thank goodness. (I’m sorry if I have detailed Max’s sleeping schedule on this blog before. If I take the time to check right now, there will not be a new post tonight.)

So, you can imagine our surprise when Max awakened at 3:30 a.m. a few weeks ago. I figured he wanted to eat. Chris got up to get him for me. As I was lying in bed waiting for him to come back, I suddenly heard a loud, sprightly shout of “BABY!” over the monitor. “What the HELL is the matter with him?” I thought. I waited for him to come back in the room and asked him why in the world he was shouting at Max at 3:30 in the morning. Turns out Chris did not realize it was 3:30. In fact, I had to tell him three times before he realized what I was saying.He thought it was time to get up.

Turns out you have to strike the right balance between sleep and lack thereof when parenting. Since you cannot be guaranteed a regular amount of sleep on a regular basis, you have to stay just sleep-deprived enough to be aware when you wake up, but not too sleep-deprived as to be dangerous. I have noticed myself that I seem to be slower and, well, stupider on the mornings when I suddenly get a little extra sleep. It is evening out now, but it turns out that, even with sleep, there is such a thing as too much of a good thing. Luckily for our son, I am usually pretty with it when I first wake up, and Chris generally sleeps better than I do and gets better as he wakes up, so there is always a lucid parent to pick up the other one’s slack. Lucid enough anyway.

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