And On The Seven-Hundredth Day, She Rested

February 27, 2009

Sleep has come to our household.

Sleep has come to our household.

I’m reluctant to say too much about it, or even to explain it (let’s just say that a combination of doctorly advice and husbandly heroism and sheer desperation and luck and blessedness probably have much to do with it.) I am terrified that if I even say the words aloud – sleep, glorious sleep, how I have missed you! – the gods will be quick to smite me for my arrogance and ingratitude. So I am reserving any commentary on this issue until I am reasonably certain that the gods are no longer paying attention, or until I have banked enough sleep that it doesn’t matter if they take it away from me again.

Because, sleep. Is precious. I want to hold it close and never let it go. So, don’t ask me how I accomplished this, what deity I prayed to, what divine strings I had to pull. Also, consider making sacrifices on my behalf. I hear that burnt offerings of 700-thread count Egyptian cotton bedsheets are particularly effective with the lesser Olympian gods.

Not shown: lesser Olympian gods.

In the meantime… my body has become convinced that it is going into hibernation (understandable, really: why else would it suddenly, after nearly a year of never sleeping more than two to three hours at a stretch, find itself curled up in a den of quilts, laying completely, uninterruptedly still for almost seven hours? Two nights in a row? I would make the same mistake) and I find myself wandering around in a sponge-brained, stumble-clutz zombie state, fighting off sleepiness at every moment of the day. Is this normal? Does this pass? And more importantly: is there a cure for this, other than actually, you know, hibernating, which is not option because 24 hours/day minus 7 hours sleeping = 17 hours, during which I’m still on duty. Are multiple shots of expresso my only recourse, or does someone out there have a cure for sleep-induced narcolepsy?

(Listen to me, asking for remedies to ward off sleep. I must be dreaming.)

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    Shannon February 27, 2009 at 1:48 pm

    I doubt I could give you any advice that you haven’t already thought of. Just wanted to say I’m so happy for you! :)

    Jodi February 27, 2009 at 1:49 pm

    Congrats on the sleep!! I usually take B12 drops everyday, and they give a great energy boost. The ones I have are flavored and from GNC, but any drugstore or vitamin shop should have them!

    redneck mommy February 27, 2009 at 1:50 pm

    Take some speed. it will keep you bright eyed and bushy tailed thru the day.

    Er. I mean, eat lots of veggies. Or take some ritalin.

    Aren’t I the happy pill pusher. I know peoples who know peoples…

    Just sayin’.

    Ms. Moon February 27, 2009 at 1:50 pm

    My youngest is almost twenty and no, the whole sleep-deprivation/need-to-hibernate has not passed for me yet. Sleep is my joy and my hobby. I get up in the morning by promising myself a nap.

    Norm February 27, 2009 at 1:52 pm

    I find myself wandering around in a sponge-brained, stumble-clutz zombie state, fighting off sleepiness at every moment of the day. Is this normal? Does this pass?

    Gods, I hope so. I mean, I’m over 45 and my kids are lining up for college, so I’m really looking forward to some serious sleep and mental clarity after that’s over with.

    Uh. Mayyybe that’s not what you wanted to hear. Your mileage may vary!

    Mrs. Chicken February 27, 2009 at 1:52 pm

    Hydrate. With water. Potassium?

    At any rate, I know how you feel! May the sleep gods continue to bless you.

    sam {temptingmama} February 27, 2009 at 1:54 pm

    hallelujah!!! Congrats to you, it’s about fuckin’ time.

    (We’ve been a little luckier around here too – sme nap time during the day even!)

    Natasha February 27, 2009 at 1:54 pm

    No, that cute thing there is definitely not one of the LESSER Olympian gods.

    There’s been a lot of research on vitamin D lately that really highlights how much we’ve misunderstood it’s crucial importance for all healthy functioning. You should be taking at least 3000 mgs. I take 4000. The recommended dosage is waaaay low. And it’s been proven that even if you suntanned all day in winter, your body would not absorb any vitamin D. Or hardly any. Something like that.

    B12, iron, vitamin D, omegas. All important. Also, maybe get your adrenals/thyroid checked? Being a mom and being really sleep deprived, nevermind whatever stresses I’m sure you don’t blog about, can max out your stress management system.


    Karen Sugarpants February 27, 2009 at 1:54 pm

    It’s about stinking time. YAY!!!

    paperfairies February 27, 2009 at 1:55 pm

    COFFEE. Lots of it.

    P.S. I’ll burn a napkin for you.

    Marylin February 27, 2009 at 1:56 pm

    SNAP! Our youngest has *finally* started sleeping through properly, and now so have I. Last night I had an awesome 7-hour-straight sleep and this morning i woke up shattered and groggy. It’s weird isn’t it?

    I had a nap later this morning when he did and felt better afterwards, but that’s not exactly something I can do on a regular basis as i’ve got a 3yr old around most of the time too!

    Hey, at least we’re finally getting some sleep, right? :)

    Mommy Melee February 27, 2009 at 1:58 pm

    I’m so glad you’re getting some rest, lady.

    yasmara February 27, 2009 at 2:00 pm

    After having 2 babies 19 months apart, the 2nd of which didn't sleep until he was 15 months old, I still sometimes feel like my body is demanding extra sleep even though Younger Son is 2 years old now. I have tried to oblige as much as possible, going to bed early & taking naps on weekends when possible.

    I echo the encouragement to add Vitamin D supplements. Our (mainstream) pediatrician encourages Vitamin D supplements for everyone (we live in MN) because most people are chronically deprived in the U.S. My mother-in-law (who lives in sunny NC) found out she was severely deprived when her doc ran a routine blood screening.

    Janet February 27, 2009 at 2:00 pm


    Or however one would spell that.

    I remember the ‘still drunk’ feeling associated with sleeping through the night after so many, many months of getting up every few hours to nurse. *shudder* Your system adjusts within a few nights, I think. Then? You move your preschooler to a big bed and they start to get up through the night again! Every single night! It blows! Boo.

    Karen @ peckedbyducks February 27, 2009 at 2:02 pm

    First Hallelujah! Hallelujah! Hallelujah! Hallelujah! And actually is is totally normal. It’s called REM recovery. After you have been sleep deprived for so long, when you finally do get some sleep, your body goes into a sort of hyper REM state so you wake up tired, like you have run miles in your sleep. It will pass. It can take a couple of weeks to a couple of months depending on the level of deprivation (guess which one you’ll get). I just finished with it and I promise I am starting to feel normal again. I PROMISE!! :)

    geeklady February 27, 2009 at 2:17 pm

    Really, the only cure is to sleep off your sleep debt.

    (Some studies have shown that a person who cuts an hour off their total time sleeping for 8 days is just as sleep deprived as someone who stayed up all night, but didn’t know it. Sleep deprivation is creepy, it’s proof that motherhood=superpower that we can function at all.)

    Try to go to sleep and get up at the same (and reasonable) time, this will help, and don’t look at a computer monitor, tv, or other light source right before you go to bed.

    Here’s hoping you can continue to let your body sort itself out!

    Veronica Mitchell February 27, 2009 at 2:19 pm

    With each of my kids I have found myself super-tired and sleepy AFTER they start sleeping well at night. No idea why this happens. If I start getting 7 reliable hours a night, some switch flips in my head. So, yeah, normal. And it passes.

    The Scholastic Decoder February 27, 2009 at 2:25 pm

    I aleways sweasr it’s like your body has forgotten what it was like, then goes that was goooood and wants more. When you catchup on some of your deficit it will get better. Meanwhile, since sleep tends to beget sleep with kids, take naps when you can,and just let them rings around you the rest of the time.

    Atlanta Mommy February 27, 2009 at 2:26 pm

    Sweet, blessed sleep. I’m so happy for you. I’m sure it will take a while to adjust. Trying to keep a normal (or whatever the hell that is) schedule might help. Going to bed at the same time, etc.

    Enjoy, and sweet dreams!

    Schmutzie February 27, 2009 at 2:32 pm
    Mary Moore February 27, 2009 at 2:33 pm

    I’d take sleep over a diamond ring.

    It does get better, eventually. Obviously, you need the sleep!

    My kids are almost 14 and 11, and I still find myself doing what you describe…

    Pamela February 27, 2009 at 2:51 pm

    I’m in my final month (oh God I hope it’s the last month, anyway) of my fourth pregnancy, and I know that exhausted, foggy feeling. My midwife told me a vitamin B complex and also vitamin D would help. I just started, so I can’t really say how it’s working yet, but she was sure it would clear up my brain.

    So glad you’re getting some sleep!

    Corinne February 27, 2009 at 3:02 pm

    I’m in the EXACT same position right now – too funny! After over two years of not sleeping more than two hours at a time, I now have the chance to… and I don’t know how to…

    Hope restful peaceful sleep finds you soon!

    Heather February 27, 2009 at 3:09 pm

    Congrats on the sleep! And your boy is adorable.

    Karen February 27, 2009 at 3:13 pm

    Yay! As for sleep, I just started a night job so i have had to work myself into staying up nights and sleeping from 8am to 4pm, i use energy pills (I was using xenadrine hey why not lose some weight at the same time, but I am out of those)right before my shift and take a few sleeping pills (tylenol pm) after I have the girls at school. After 2 weeks of that, I don’t have to take either…

    Adventures In Babywearing February 27, 2009 at 3:26 pm

    I am so glad to hear you are getting sleep. While you were up all night I would think how grateful I was that Ivy slept so well. Apparently now that YOU’RE getting sleep again, she’s a little nightowl, along with my 3 year old. So I’m TIRED. But I will say that the sleepiness does pass and (especially if you can get in a sunny day) you will start to see that you feel human again. I had a glimpse of that earlier this week! Suddenly it’s gone again, but I know it will be back.


    blissfully caffeinated February 27, 2009 at 3:28 pm

    So happy for you! And that baby is freaking adorable.

    Reeky February 27, 2009 at 3:34 pm

    700 days? Our first kept us up solid for two months and that was painful.

    Second one slept through the night at two weeks. We actually went in and woke her up to make sure she was okay.

    700 days? wow, again. I remember feeling drugged for a week or so after two months of not sleeping.
    700 days?

    Joy February 27, 2009 at 4:43 pm

    YAY for sleep!! (I still remember, 5.5 years later, that first night of baby sleeping 8 solid hours!! Ah, the yawn, the stretch, the feeling of bliss and wonderful restedness!!!)

    Enjoy your sleep!!

    And your little boy is so perfectly, wonderfully, adorable!!

    Amber February 27, 2009 at 5:25 pm

    Ah, see, this is the problem with getting some actual sleep. You realize how completely, totally, beyond exhausted you’ve been. You’re no longer so tired that you’re not even tired anymore, now you’re just tired. I think the only answer is a few more nights of actual rest. Good luck!

    Janna Bee February 27, 2009 at 6:23 pm

    This is totally not scientific, but you know how anorexics, when they start eating again, the body stores the food because it doesn’t know when it will get food again? (Or something like that.) That is what your body is doing. It’s been deprived for so long, it is trying to store sleep, in case there is another sleep fast.

    Hang in there- it will get better. It takes about a month if I remember correctly!

    Anonymous February 27, 2009 at 6:34 pm

    red bull is my drug of choice. It gives me the weirdest side effect ever though–urinary urgency–if taken in large quantities. So proceed with caution.

    That stuff is like crack though. It really does give you wings. Probably will give jasper wings too, haha.

    heels February 27, 2009 at 7:52 pm

    Um… All I can think of is to drink lots of water and eat fresh, spicy food (the less processed the better). That always gives me energy.

    Anonymous February 27, 2009 at 7:56 pm

    When my wise friend was in the first few months of baby #2 (whose birth closely followed baby #1) she told me that she was so beyond exhaustion that she would need 8 hours of sleep just to get to plain old *tired*.

    Think of it as a scale from 1 to 10, where 10 is when you wake up without an alarm clock after 9 hours of sleep sans kids and 1 is how you feel after “pulling an all-nighter” cramming for a test. Baby #2 puts you at about -15 on my scale.

    You’ll feel better in 2011, if the vasectomy is a success.

    Amanda February 27, 2009 at 8:05 pm

    I’m sorry, I’m sure you said something, but that baby, good grief the cute!

    BlondeMomBlog (Jamie) February 27, 2009 at 8:12 pm

    Congrats congrats congrats!!! I get sleep and I’m still freaking exhausted half the time. Sigh…

    That is the cutest photo. Ever.

    Rebecca February 27, 2009 at 8:19 pm

    You said “…I find myself wandering around in a sponge-brained, stumble-clutz zombie state, fighting off sleepiness at every moment of the day.”

    Isn’t this kind of like what it feels like when you’re NOT sleeping? Or is that just me? (Really, hooray!)

    Mandy February 27, 2009 at 8:26 pm

    So glad things are working out for you and the gods Hypnos and Morpheus.

    Once you hit a couple weeks in a row, you can revisit the talk of a third child. ;)

    Domestic Extraordinaire February 27, 2009 at 9:04 pm

    lots of water and make sure to take a multivitamin. At least that is what I do.

    chichimama February 27, 2009 at 10:43 pm

    The thing that most freaked me out after my youngest finally started sleeping (almost) through the night (at age 4)? When I started dreaming again. May you reach that point sooner rather than later…

    Meli February 27, 2009 at 10:44 pm

    Hooray for sleep!!!

    I’m still getting none (sleep that is) so when you’re sure the Gods aren’t looking please share your wisdom.

    April February 27, 2009 at 11:01 pm


    Robin February 27, 2009 at 11:18 pm

    I think Reeky should be banned from comments :)

    My guy (8 months) is sleeping better – and by that I mean 3 or 3 1/2 hours in a row. I still dream of a full night. May the sleep gods please head in my direction now that you’ve been sorted out.

    And please, once you’re not afraid of a smiting by the gods, please do tell us what worked. Partly because I’m just plain interested and partly because I am always looking for new ideas!

    patty February 28, 2009 at 12:21 am

    .. . . .. . . .. .. . . . .
    *. *.. *.*swEet drEaMs!.*.. * . *.
    *.* . .*.* *. .. * .. * . * .. *.* .
    * . * . * . * .. * * .

    Lucie February 28, 2009 at 12:44 am

    Happy dreams. You deserve it.

    And that picture? My god that boy is cute.

    When my son started sleeping through the night around nine months, I was in a daze for about two weeks because my body didn’t know what to do with all the sleep. I adjusted though!

    Jaelithe February 28, 2009 at 3:01 am

    I think if you can possibly swing an entire day mostly-off to rest, you should. For serious. Reset your body clock.

    Emily McKhann February 28, 2009 at 11:01 am

    Wahoo – sleep-induced narcolepsy is soooo much better than sleep-deprivation-induced narcolepsy!!!! Your photo is coffee-table-book ready – what a handsome guy and amazing photographer you are!!!!!

    Andrea February 28, 2009 at 11:54 am

    Adorableness come to life. If ever there were a good reason for sacrificing sleep to the point of insanity it would be for one of those pictured above. :)

    Caffeinatrix February 28, 2009 at 1:31 pm

    BTDT, doll. If it continues, get your thyroid checked. In the mean time, a time-released B complex vitamin might be helpful.

    Sarcastica February 28, 2009 at 2:00 pm

    That picture is so cute!!! He’s such a handsome boy!

    And I’m glad you got some rest!!! :D

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