A good eight hours

Before you have a kid, you don’t really have to get out of bed if you don’t want to. I mean you can, if you want to. Or you can just not bother. Wife, girlfriend, mother or father can all be a pain after lunch, but you can still stay in. Your boss will forgive one late morning or buy your bullshit about a sudden flu and let you take a day. Hungry dogs can be ignored quite effectively. I have tried all of these. Cats pose a problem, but they do like their sleep, so I’m not going to present cats as a problem for sleeping. It is the kids. Sleeping late is a genuine skill, enjoying the fact that time is not wasting, but not well spent either, and not caring. It’s like putting money in the bank – you think to yourself. Not even sleeping, but just not getting up. But it all changes when you get kids, or even a kid. When it’s your kid, you just cannot stay in. Something in you makes you hear the cry – and on top of that – makes you care. So you get up and put up with it. Night after night you get up. Up in the crack of dawn is quite late really. You even forget that there was a time when you slept eight hours straight. Woke up only to glance at the clock and continue to sleep, no more. You are gradually sliding into tiredness, it takes weeks or months really. Doing chores is that much more demanding. Stopping to try to have hobbies, making easy food and not bothering about mundane things. Insomnia really, but on a gradual, sneaky introduction. After my wife was forced to stop the nightfeeds, I was forced to take over. She started getting the missing energy back. Hadn’t even noticed it was gone, but when it was back, she really did notice it. I was struggling, having not used to this and been thrown in the deep end with little warning. At least I noticed it happening, thus could not just take it but had to do something about it. I thought, it has to be eight hours or bust – otherwise, what’s the point? Your brain is what matters, and it needs the rest.

The wiring in your brain will rot without sufficient sleep

The wiring in your brain will rot without sufficient sleep

I got the kid to sleep through the night after a couple of weeks. Well, if you count sleeping until 5:22 sleeping through the night. Last night, he slept through, until after six am. That is what I call a solid 8 hours. He coffed through the night to keep me on my toes and mostly off the sweetest and deepest REM sleep, but still. I feel fine.

The trick is simple really. Kid sleeps when not wet or hungry. Stuffing him with food, having a bath and a whole bottle of milk to follow just before bed and using a bad for the environment disposable nappie, instead of the reusable ones that we normally use took care of the kid. Me, I just had to go to sleep a bit earlier and drink less alcohol. It affects the quality of your sleep if you drink. Anything more than a glass of wine or two small beers is getting you more tired, needing more sleep. And that is the difference of a good eight hours, or bad. Having a nice life or a horrible ordeal.


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