by Ann Douglas (Wiley, 2006). Reprinted from Sleep Solutions for Your Baby, Toddler, and Preschooler with the permission of the publisher. All rights reserved.
Chapter 1: Sleepless in Suburbia
"I was obsessed with sleep. It was all I could talk about. My 'sleep log' was never out of reach. I would pore over my sleep log for hours, searching for the key, the missing clue."
- Laurie, 38, mother of one
Sleep is a lot like sex. If you're not getting it as much as you'd like, if can become a bit of an obsession. Suddenly, all you can think about is when you last had it, how great it felt when you had it, and what you can do to get some again. And if you end up sound ing as desperate as some 20-something single guy on the wrong side of lucky--sell, that's to be expected. At this stage in your life, sleep is in every bit as short supply as sex is in his. "When you're chronically sleep deprived, it's hard to think rationally about sleep," insists Kara, a 33-year-old mother of a toddler and a young baby. "You become desperate. My friends and I compared our sleep obsession to an addiction. How much did you get? How did you get it? Where did you get it? Was it any good?"
As the days and night blend together into one continuous, unending day, you may find yourself developing an elaborate fantasy life that revolves around sleep. You find yourself daydraming about sleep and you may be shocked to find that your steamy R-rated dreams have been replaced by decidedly G-rated fantasies. If a Hollywood leading man happens to saunter into one of your dreams these days, he's no longer flashing his bedroom eyes at you and beckoning you to come hither. He's gently cradling a sleeping baby in his arms and whispering the words that every sleep-deprived mother wants to hear: "It's okay, honey. I've got him. You just roll over and go back to sleep."
In this chapter, moms talk frankly about how sleep deprivation really feels--why sleep is such a huge issue for so many parents and how sleep deprivation can take its toll on your life in so many powerful and often unexpected ways. Then, in Chapter 2, we switch into solutions mode, zeroing in on mom-prove strategies for maximizing opportunities for sleep, boosting your energy, combating stress, and taking the best possible care of yourself."