New parents get an average of 5.1 hours per sleep the first year, losing about the equivalent of 44 days of sleep. According to some very half-assed Internet research I just did, the average adult sleeps the equivalent of 121.6 days (meaning 24-hour periods) per year. So new parents get about 77.6 day-units of sleep.
I’ve averaged about 5 hours of sleep a night for the first three years of single parenthood. Between work, trying to get work, kids who got up too early, boyfriends who stayed up too late and, oh yeah, worry, sleep really took a beating.
I look back on the days of new motherhood and remember the bone-crushing exhaustion, the things that felt like a big deal but probably weren’t, the way everyday tasks seemed so darn hard. I remember being irrational and overly-emotional and weirdly obsessive — and not knowing I was acting that way until I got a few nights of decent sleep under my belt and saw how much more manageable my life suddenly seemed.
I used to say “Now I know why sleep deprivation is considered a form a torture.”
And now, it seems, I’ve spent the last three years doing this myself?
I’ve recently started forcing myself to sleep at least six hours a night.
Sorry about that. I’ll try to be nicer to you. I didn’t realize what I was doing.
Dear Everyone Else:
Sorry for all that weird shit I said and did that I probably don’t even remember. I’m sure it was all caused by sleep deprivation. 😉