Parents bed in for waking nightmare
Say bye to sleep as having kids will open your eyes – permanently
A COUPLE of sciencey news stories last week confirmed what every parent already knows: lack of sleep messes with your memory.
I’d go into the specifics but I’ve already forgotten them; after a decade of substandard shut-eye, I’m a gibbering wreck.
Because once you have kids, you can wave normal slumber – and total recall – goodbye. Behold the six ages of sleep deprivation:
THERE is no sleep. You feed the baby every three hours and spend the rest of the time looking frantically for its snooze button.
The kid thinks night-time is daytime and it has no interest in binge TV, which you can’t make sense of anyway because you are so mind-numbingly stuffed.
The only time you properly fall asleep is when you try to have a conversation with an adult, or perform critical tasks like signing legal documents or walking.
Memory loss status: you can’t remember anything that happened more than half an hour ago.
YOUR kid discovers they can get out of bed themselves and roams free-range at night or pre-dawn. You can’t sleep because you worry about them creeping around the house, or you fear waking in the small hours to find a tiny face inches from your own.
Memory: you can’t remember how many times you got up in the dark.
BEDTIME Bingo! There are many variations of this sleep-resistance game going around: bingo squares include Need A Drink, Heard A Scary Noise, Can’t Find Long-Lost Toy and Foot Hurts.
Memory: you can’t remember how to perform basic tasks at work or what your colleagues’ names are.
THE children are easier to get down – after an hour or so of negotiation that ends, not coincidentally, at 8.29pm. You then fall into a worn-out coma a minute into your fave TV show.
But you wake up brighteyed for your 3am worry slot and spend the rest of the night fretting about the 400 tasks you have to do.
Memory: you can’t remember which kid is called what, so just run them all together: Anna Jack Felicity!
YOU’RE now programmed to wake at the crack of dawn with early bird youngsters … but you simply can’t rouse them as teens from their morning slumber.
Later, if the older ones go out at night, you find yourself actively not-waiting-up but wracked by anxiety in bed.
Memory: you’ve forgotten why it was a good idea to have kids.
YOUR freeloading 25-yearold brings back his mates for dinner but has to be woken up the next day for his meeting with his property investment manager.
Memory: the past 25 years are a mystery.