Sleep, Oh How Sweet! (video)

Posted on April 15, 2010


Hi all, I hope you have been well.

A good mate of mine – a father of two young children – used to tell me how I should really get as much shut eye as I could before my first child was born.

“You’ll forget what sleep is the moment your first child comes around,” he quipped. Michele was still in her first trimester so naturally, I did not heed his advice.

As we met up often he would never fail to ask me if I had gotten much sleep. I’d just nod my head and go “Hey I’d be alright, mate!”

How wrong I was.

Levi is 27 days old today. I can’t remember what unbroken, uninterrupted and peaceful sleep is. Neither can Michele. If I added the two days leading up to the birth where her water broke, it has been 30 days since Michele and I slept without any fanfare.

And much fanfare is has been indeed! Since returning home with Levi, Michele and I make it a point to head to bed by 10pm at the latest so we could get a few hours of sleep before Levi wakes up from his day time activities.

These include crying, feeding, extended waking moments (up to 30 minutes) of complete awareness and baby noises. This is then followed by more bouts of crying, feeding, hysterical fits and more feeding before succumbing to exhaustion by 5am.

5am. The magic hour. Without fail, Levi would be knackered by this time and fall asleep. He had kept us up for three or four hours, refusing to be left alone in his cot, wanting to be picked up and held close. If he weren’t my son I would have thrown in the towel, pleaded for insanity and demanded asylum in a mental institution.

I’d say I go by each day with about four hours of sleep. That’s four hours of broken, interrupted sleep. It gets better on weekends as knowing I don’t have to be up by 6am for work means I get to nap in the day. But what a short reprieve that is as a five day-long work week just completely and utterly destroys me after dinner time.

Perhaps the only good thing to come out of this is the sudden realisation that I absolutely to take good care and watch out for my well being. Since Levi’s birth I have started eating smaller portions of food during lunch at a heavy meal just adds to my sleep-deprived misery. I am also embarrassed to say I have started eating servings of fruits throughout the day. I have a banana in the late morning, followed by an apple in the late arvo followed by more fruits (probably watermelon) after dinner.

Whatever the health benefits fruits provide, it’s far better than snacking on savoury stuff throughout the day. It’s all about feeling better and good about myself. I keep telling myself “Well if I’m not getting much sleep, I might as well start eating better or I’ll look like grumpy old Mr Kowalski who lives down the street!”

Sleep. I miss sleep. I need sleep. I want sleep. But strangely when I set my mind on it and focus on the good things in life and how fortunate I am to have everything around me, sleep really isn’t so important.

Or is it?