Wednesday, January 23, 2008

Sweet Sleep

Ahhh. The Oreo. Tasty chocolate cookies on the outside, and best of all, lovely cream in the middle.

My sleep is like eating an Oreo all wrong.

Picture twisting the Oreo apart, eating the top layer, then taking the best part- the middle- out and throwing it away. Then finish it off with the bottom layer. Don't get me wrong- the outside is good- but without the middle? No, no. It just isn't right.

Yes, I'm getting somewhere here.

REM sleep- that's the sweet, sweet middle. And unlike the Oreo middle- full of trans fats and meant to be eaten almost never- REM sleep is essential. You see, I've gone four straight months without REM sleep. Hudson's breathing problems (I've described them in previous posts) make nighttime rough. Here's how it goes: I get the first round of sleep (the top layer of the Oreo- good stuff, but just a preamble to the best part). Then we get up in the middle of the night when breathing is the hardest. Hudson eats, and gets back to sleep (after a few interruptions until his breathing calms down). Then I finally get back into bed for some (probably interrupted) more sleep- the other cookie layer. After a couple of hours of that- BAM. It's all over and it's time to get up. What's missing? The wonderful middle. You see, you need to sleep for a while before you get into the good sleep. Unless you get that, it is sleep (and any sleep is good, trust me!) but it's not really the restoring, GOOD stuff we need to have to have optimal performance of body and mind.

How do I know for sure I haven't gotten it in four months? Because when you've been without it and you get it back again you KNOW it. You feel better than you can remember feeling, well, since before you stopped getting the sleep you need. Last weekend Jim waited until the girls were down for their naps and quiet times and he took Hudson to the store- leaving me all alone in a quiet house for a few hours of complete sleep heaven. After my nap I felt incredible. My body seemed to know there was no chance for my sleep to be interrupted and it instantly fell into a deep slumber. Afterward I had more mental clarity and physical energy than I'd had in months. I've grown accustomed to the lack of sleep and for the most part I feel "normal"- the good sleep reminded me how very, very far from my normal self I am! It also immediately returned to it's elusive status and I haven't seen it since- but for one day, I felt great!

Like I said, I'm not getting that kind of sleep that gives true rest to my mind....therefore occasionally I feel like I'm losing my mind. Whether it's the last five years that have taught me to savor the precious fleeting moments of childhood, or the grace of God giving me over and above all I need (I'm sure it's both)- I really don't mind. Just don't ask me to do ANY math, or to recall what we ate last night for dinner... or what my home phone number is (yes, I've even forgotten that a couple of times...).


Andrea@Sgt and Mrs Hub said...

I'm right there with you! Boy, do I miss that REM cycle. And I know what you are talking about - when I actually get good deep sleep I really do feel like a new woman! I am looking forward to those days...

I remember telling Daniel a long time ago that when our kids all leave our home he should just plan on me doing nothing but sleeping for a few years. :)

Kimberly said...

Oh girl, I totally know where you are coming from! Noah was sleeping through the night at 10 weeks, I mean 12 hr stretches, and Im lucky if Abigail goes 5. It hurts, I know.
Praying Hudson's breathing problems clear up!