Welcome to my Book of Mirrors



This is my spiritual journey. I am looking for the truth of who I am and who God is, unfettered by the traditions prescribed by my family, church and culture.

25 February 2008

'I found God in myself and I loved her fiercely.'

Ntozake Shange

Thursday, March 13, 2008

The Cost of Sleep Deprivation

The 1989 Exxon Valdez oil tank disaster in Alaska, the 1986 space shuttle Challenger explosion, and the 1986 nuclear plant explosion in Chernobyl have all been attributed to sleep deprivation.

The mate at the helm of the tanker was severely sleep deprived and was therefore unable to respond to simple navigational directions. Two of the three top managers responsible for Challenger had had less than three hours of sleep for the 3 consecutive nights before the launch and performed poor last minute evaluations. The engineers at Chernobyl had been at work for 13 hours or more, and totally missed or were confused by the warning signals on their control panels.

Mood shifts, depression, increased irritability, loss of sense of humour, stress, anxiety, loss of coping skills, disengaging from the outside world, are all symptoms of sleep deprivation.

In the first year of your baby's life, his primary caregiver stands to lose 700 hours of sleep.

According to a Salary.com survey, stay-at-home moms work a 92-hour week, with more than half the workweek spent in overtime.

As I write this, it is midnight. My baby is kicking me and pooing in her diaper while I balance the laptop on my knees. I cannot sleep, though I am desperate for it. I do not know when I will finally be 'allowed.' Could be another hour, maybe two.

I will probably be woken again to feed baby at about 6:00.

And my other kids NEVER ever sleep beyond 8:00.

So I am writing this to remind myself that I am not an evil person, although I feel like it. I am simply suffering acute sleep deprivation and I no longer recognise myself. And I understand very, very well, those mothers that lose it with their kids. They are victims too. Do not EVER judge anyone, till you have walked a mile in their shoes (or lost 700 hours of sleep in a year).

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