November 1, 2010


I must confess, I have fallen into the sleep whine trap. My kids are not good sleepers, I'm up with them a few times every night, I'm sleep deprived and I find it hard not to complain about it.

But, no one needs to hear that. It really doesn't matter that I'm not sleeping-to anyone but me and my family.

I find that pretty much everyone ends up complaining about their lack of sleep. Just about every day, there is a facebook status about how little or badly someone slept. Or how tired they are. And complaining about sleep is a normal part of everyday conversation.

It is amazing to me how much trouble there is about something that is so necessary to our lives as humans. We all need to sleep every day in order to survive. It's built into our bodies to need this. We talk about the main needs in life often: food, water, shelter. But I'm not sure why sleep isn't on this list. Is there anyone who can go without sleep for more than a day or two? Even people with insomnia and stuff still have to lay down and get sleep here and there.

Pretty much everything can be cured by sleep, too. Stressed? You need more sleep. Sick or trying not to get sick? You need more sleep. Want to look and feel better? You need regular sleep. Sleep, or even just rest, seems to be the answer to most problems. Yet we often don't or can't get enough.

Is this cultural? Maybe we do worse at this in a time and culture that doesn't know how to unplug, prizes overworking, constantly overstimulates and seems to think it is a good thing to only "need" three hours of sleep a night. Or maybe it is a result of sin, like so many other problems. I bet Adam and Eve slept wonderfully.

I'm reading a new book on sleep in an attempt to improve things with K and S and their sleeping/waking. The main thing the author is saying so far is that we need to train our kids to put themselves to sleep once they are drowsy or when they wake at night. Assuming they should or could automatically know how to do this isn't right. I find myself a bit frustrated that it requires more work, and that it will probably get worse before it gets better in the process. But, like pretty much everything worthwhile in life, work is required to get where you want to go.

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