Who says what?

Novelist, mother, minister, and yoga teacher muses on books, babies, motherhood, and what matters with reverent humor.

Wednesday, November 4, 2009

The Origin of Grouchiness

There are so many things about motherhood that are rarely spoken of, like, for example, the loss of sleep. Not unlike the acute loss of blood.

But moms are beginning to complain about this terrible phenomenon--in a cutesy sort of way. Nobody bothers to comment on the real effects of long-term sleep-deprivation, among them, the evil and sinister perpetual grouchiness.

What's even more interesting? Even after your children have learned to sleep through the night, you will still wake, at regular intervals, like Pavlov's dog, trained to startle at the smallest sound. You will think, of course my baby hasn't strangled herself in her sleep, she's too old. She'd call out. She can talk. I have a friend who still goes in in the middle of the night to cover up her pre-schooler despite his very functioning arms and legs.

So where are the studies on the permanent effects of interrupted sleep? Mama Zombie is not a Halloween costume, but a sleep-deprived woman who will never be the same.

Enlighten me with links. I'd truly like to know.

1 comment:

  1. Why sure! In general, various studies have found that sleep deprivation and sleep interruption (used as a favorite form of torture, by the way, by various governments) makes you:
    mentally ill
    and, eventually, dead.

    Seems to me like reclaiming our right, as mamas, to get enough sleep is the next major feminist issue.

    The Effects of Sleep Deprivation on Brain and Behavior:

    Long Term Effects of Sleep Deprivation:

    The Cumulative Cost of Additional Wakefulness: Dose-Response Effects on Neurobehavioral Functions and Sleep Physiology From Chronic Sleep Restriction and Total Sleep Deprivation:

    A review of studies concerning effects of sleep deprivation and fatigue on residents' performance:

    Neurocognitive Consequences of Sleep Deprivation "profound neurocognitive deficits accumulate over time in the face of subjective adaptation to the sensation of sleepiness."