Thursday, July 26, 2012


I just might be on the verge of getting more sleep, but I've found these interesting when in my sleep-deprived state:

"The effects of sleep fragmentation are similar to the effects of reduced total sleep:  Daytime sleepiness increases and performance measurably decreases.  Among healthy adults, only one night of sleep fragmentation will produce decreases in mental flexibility and sustained attention, as well as impairments of mood" (Healthy Sleep Habits, Happy Child, Weissbluth, 1999, 35).

"It's been known for many years that the effect of lost sleep accumulates over time.  When you constantly have insufficient sleep, the sensation of sleepiness when you should be awake increases progressively. . . .  When adult volunteers have their sleep shortened by a constant amount, you can measure impairments in their mood and performance during the day.  If the sleep disruption is repeated night after night, the actual measured impairments of mood and performance during the day do not remain constant.  Instead there is an escalating accumulation of sleepiness that produces in adults continuing increases in headaches, gastrointestinal complaints, forgetfulness, reduced concentration, fatigue, emotional ups and downs, difficulty in staying awake during the daytime, irritability, and difficulty awakening.  Not only do the adults describe themselves as more sleepy and mentally exhausted, they also feel more stressed. . . " (Healthy Sleep Habits, Happy Child, Weissbluth, 1999, 47).

"Western industrialized societies have such high numbers of sleep deprivation that what is abnormal sleepiness is now considered normal" (from our mechanic's newsletter -- go figure).

It's amazing we mother's survive.  But, it must not be that bad or our Heavenly Father wouldn't have made it that way.  He wouldn't have made it so bad that His Plan would be frustrated by moms passing out left and right, but just hard enough that we could figure out a way to make it all work out.

emphasis added

9/18/12 Update:  I've finished the sections in Healthy Sleep Habits now that I've wanted.  I've quite enjoyed the book.  I really like all the scientific research on sleep at the front of the book.  Healthy Sleep Habits has some differences compared to The Baby Whisperer and Baby Wise, but overall, it's the same idea. One major difference, however, is that Weissbluth does say it's okay to nurse your baby to sleep; whereas, the others don't.  He also says babies actually can't sleep long periods of time before 3/4 months because their bodes are lacking the chemicals to sleep that long.  (i.e. Sleep training really won't work before that age.)  He also says it's okay to still be feeding a baby up to 2 times a night by 9 months (I think it was); the other books lean toward 10-12 hours of sleep without feeds earlier than that.  Because I know my kids have started sleeping 10-12 hours a night from around 3/4 months without feeds, I know the other methods work, or at least encourage babies to sleep longer.  This baby #4 is tougher and the methods do help, but I think Weissbluth's book is a bit more realistic in what actually happens with a baby.  So, I'm shooting for a balance between the different ideas.  Now, I need to go buy myself a copy!

No comments: