Anyway, I was happily researching away, convinced that my brain was firing on all cylinders, until I came upon an online sleep test at the BBC website.
That's when things started to fall apart.
According to the results of the online sleep test, I was functioning about as well as an ambling armadillo -- as opposed to, say, a turbo-charged cheetah -- their terms, not mine.
I was so dopey, in fact, that the test recommended that I get myself a cup of coffee, pronto.
For once, I turned down the offer of a virtual java and headed straight to bed. Even I could see I needed sleep.
Try the test for yourself and then swing back over here to let me know how you did: whether you were as surprised by the results as I was.
Was your brain a little more sluggish than you'd predicted? Or is your brain super-charged 24/7?
* * * * *
It's funny how the sleep deprived mind can play tricks on itself, convincing itself (or you) that it's functioning normally when it's obviously not.
Sleep deprivation affects us in all kinds of ways, an important point to bear in mind during the early months and years of parenthood when sleep tends to be in chronically short supply.
Sleep deprivation takes its toll on your emotional equilibrium -- your ability to take life as it comes; your creativity and problem-solving skills; your interest in using your bed for anything but sleep; your powers of concentration (an important point to bear in mind before you get behind the wheel); and your overall enjoyment of life.
One more thing. Don't assume that your situation is hopeless or that your child's sleep problem is hopeless because you're desperately craving sleep. There are ways of dealing with even the most frustrating of sleep situations. Sometimes you deal with the sleep problem. Sometimes you deal with other areas of your life to make it easier to deal with the sleep problem. Sometimes you take a combined approach.
When you're feeling sleep deprived,
you may need someone to help with the problem-solving piece.
So hold on tight, wave a onesie, and ask a good friend for help. That's what friends are for.
Sleep deprivation in pregnant women
Author Interview with Anjali of the Dotmoms: See question: What practical tips can you give tired and weary parents who can barely make it through the day, and see no end in sight to their children's sleepless nights?