Monday, February 14, 2011

Sleep Interruptus

I know how important it is to get a good night's sleep. It's when we're catching our Zs that our body gets a chance to recover, rebuild and rejuvenate. Problem is, eight hours of uninterrupted sleep is not the same as eight hours of sleep with three or four interruptions from 43 inches of twisting, kicking, hot energy that's crawled into my bed at night.

Our bodies (especially this 40 year old one) need the deeper sleep to benefit from the growth hormone that plays a major role in tissue repair. Not hitting the later stages of sleep means your denying your body of the best natural recovery there is. There's a mental price tag to this sleep-and-wake game, too. The later stages of sleep are where we get REM sleep--that good stuff that keeps us alert, perky and less forgetful.

Maybe it's not kids jumping into your bed at night. Maybe it's the cat or the dog. Perhaps it's your Valentine that keeps you awake with more creative pursuits. Regardless, I bet this sleep interruptus explains the physical and mental fatigue many of us feel, especially the moms out there. Finding a remedy for this has been on my "to-do" list for a long time. Unfortunately, it's likely to remain there for the foreseeable future.

I'll admit to being a sucker when it comes to snuggling up with my girls. I have a hard time turning them away when they crawl into bed with my husband and me during the night, even it it means I get no more than one or two hours of sleep before being sucker punched in the gut or having the covers kicked off. I'll even endure the "bitch hold" from Maggie--where she slides her arm under my neck and falls asleep choking me with her embrace.

Last night we had the entire family in our queen-sized bed: one cover-kicker, one thumb sucker and two parents with limbs hanging over the edge. We've tried carrying and/or walking the kids back to their rooms, just never sticks.

I'm exhausted.

It helps to remember that my kids won't be doing this forever. That some time in the not-so-distant future, I'll wish for a midnight snuggler. Bitch hold and all.

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