This post has been hanging out in my head for quite awhile. As I've mentioned before, Raccoon is not a good sleeper, and has never slept much, even as an infant. He's NEVER techincally "slept through the night" (8+ hour stretch) and July of this year was the first time he stayed asleep for more than 3 hours consecutively. Since then, his sleep has gradually improved and now he does a 6 to 7 hour stretch at night and then is ready to get up. My mom says I should put him to bed earlier, but as a night person, I have chosen my preferred 7 hours for sleeping - midnight to 7 am. Maybe 8 am if I'm lucky. At playgroup, my friends console themselves with the thought, "Well, at least Z sleeps more than Raccoon." I am not whining (well, maybe a little), but wanted to paint a picture of my recent relationship with sleep.
Along the way, I have collected a few thoughts and decided to put them all in one place, since in three months more, I imagine that sleep will be even more scarce for awhile.
* I don't need as much as I thought I did.
* Lying down (while we play) helps me to feel better even if I can't sleep.
* What I tell myself often - "Sooner or later, I will sleep again, probably later."
* Having something to look forward to helps me to forget how tired I am.
* If he's sleeping, I'm sleeping. I sometimes do a quick clean (15 min) or journal a bit, but at naptimes, I try to lie down within 30 minutes of him falling asleep.
* I try to accept however much I am given - gratefully - whether it's 10 min or 2 hours, because no matter how long it was, it's probably not going to feel like it was enough anyway.
* How much sleep I actually get may or may not have anything to do with how I feel when I wake up. Sometimes 6 hours feels great while 10 (cumulative not consecutive) can leave me wanting more.
*He can't stay up forever.
*I just have to make it through today.
My frequent prayer whenever I lie down is, "Please Lord, help me to feel rested and to have a good attitude about it, no matter much sleep I actually get." Sometimes I still have to count to 10 before I get up, but in general, I am much more accepting of my interrupted sleep now than I was three years ago. (Just ask dear hubby what happened if he woke me up when we were first married!!!)
How do other people cope with chronic exhaustion? Tips?