Monday, January 18, 2010

The Importance of Sleep

I know that getting enough sleep is important. Researchers have found that people who don't get enough sleep at night are drowsy during the day (duh), and more likely to nod off at stop lights or doing things like watching TV. People who don't get enough sleep suffer cognitive impairments, coordination problems, and are less likely to lose weight. And let's not forget about the grumpiness factor. People who don't sleep well are grumpy and irritable, and don't cope as well with life's little annoyances like the stupid person who cut me off at the mall today because she thought I had a stop sign, but if she'd taken one second to read HER stop sign, she would've seen the words, "2 WAY STOP. CROSS TRAFFIC DOES NOT STOP", but noooo, she was too busy talking on her stupid cell phone to pay attention to insignificant details like that, so I had to slam on my breaks and I may or may not have called her an unsavory name that shocked my kids. Ahem.

So, as I was saying, sleep is important and this point was reinforced to me today. Oh not because of my reaction to the stupid driver who shouldn't have a license and really I think at least 85% of people on the road today shouldn't have licenses and I'd love to take them all away from stupid people because it, quite frankly, amazes me that they were even given licenses in the first place because really, how do people who can't see over the steering wheel and have the reflexes of a sloth even get a license in the first place?!!! deep cleansing breath

As I was saying, once again, sleep is important. I'm not actually talking about me here, believe it or not. I'm used to utter sleep deprivation. I'm talking about my kids. When Jackson doesn't get a good night's sleep, he's guaranteed to throw an all-out temper tantrum the next day. I mean, knocking holes in his door, whipping toys around his room, and pretty much just raging out of control. The signs are a little more subtle in my other kids, however. When Austin is tired, he just babbles incessantly about nothing in particular until we're all ready to duct tape his mouth shut. Today, we were all reminded of how Lexi acts when she's tired.

Clayton taunted Lex while they were playing Dance Dance Revolution and said that she stunk at it. Lex, who would ordinarily have rolled her eyes at Clay and told him that he stunk more than a skunk, stomped off to her room and started dramatically crying. This went on for some time until I threatened persuaded her to knock it off by telling her that if she couldn't get a grip, that I'd have to drive her friend home. She got a grip.

Then, on the way to the store to get her glasses which we didn't even get because I left her prescription at home and then had to drive back home to get it and then Lex picked out the most expensive frames in the store and I drove her to a second store to see if they had comparable frames that wouldn't require a second mortgage, but they didn't, so we went back to the first store and learned that it was cheaper to get 2 pairs for some reason so we left to get Jackson so he could pick out a new pair too, but then it was getting late and I had to get dinner for the kids and it was taking me forever because there were so many stupid drivers in my way. Oh yeah, back to Lexi.

So, there we were, on our way to the vision store when Lexi opened the case for her glasses and screamed. "Where are my gum wrappers?!" she screeched from the back row.

"I threw them out," I answered, thinking I'd done her a favor. When I grabbed her case as we headed out the door, I saw that there were a dozen or so foil gum wrappers in her case. I tossed them in the garbage can and handed Lexi her case.

"I was collecting those!" she wailed like I'd just killed her puppy. I mean, she doesn't actually have a puppy (and not because I killed it or anything.) She just doesn't have one. But if she DID and I killed it (which I would never actually do, of course), this is how she'd wail. I'm pretty sure. This is all hypothetical. I'm really tired.

"Why were you collecting those?" I asked in bewilderment.

In between great sobs, she choked out her profound reason. "Because."

OK then. "Well, Lexi, I just threw them away. I guess you can get them out of the garbage can if you must."

"But they're in the smelly garbage!" the last word said with utter disdain.

"Lexi, the gum wrappers ARE smelly garbage!" I retorted.

Big mistake. Big. Huge. She cried over her precious garbage gum wrappers for half an hour.

What's the lesson here? "One man's trash is another's treas...." oh wait, that's not it. "Don't take half a dozen kids shopping for eyeglasses when..." Nope, that's not right. "Don't throw away your kids' crazy collections..." Hmmm, "Get enough sleep so you're not cranky when stupid people cut you off in traff...." Oh yeah, it's "Make sure you put the kids to bed by 6:00pm so they don't go nuts over garbage the next day!"


Anonymous said...

Finding that "sweet spot" time for bed time can be challenging... sounds like Jackson and my son have some similar trait. We've found a daily dose of fish oil also helps. :-) said...

When I was about her age, I collected used dryer sheets. Why? I tied them together and kept them under my bed in case of a fire, so I could easily climb out my window. My mom cleaned my room while I was at camp and when I got home she said "Ummmm by the way, I threw away this big ball of dryer sheets. What on earth were you keeping them for?" I was freaked out for weeks thinking our house was going to catch fire in the middle of the night and I'd be stuck because she threw away my fire escape. Yeah, kids that age aren't exactly logical. :-)

Sandy in Illinois said...

I think you are funny. You can go to bed now so you are not crabby tomorrow too. You need ONE calm person in the household.

Dawn said...

LOL! Thanks Sandy, but I can't go to bed yet. I have to write an article first, but I haven't even started because I got sidetracked researching Valentine's Day stuff for a future blog post. Sigh. Off to start my article on first crushes for the new website

Anonymous said...

I love how you can vent and get it all off your chest. I would start my own blog, even if no one read it, just for that reason. However, I'm too sensitive to handle negative comments, which I know you receive from time to time from the judgemental type. I can't deal with that...I get enough already. But I read your blog and I think what a great outlet for everything! You are so funny though and that's why you have so many readers. No one thinks you're quite venting as much as you are entertaining and relatable. If I wrote, people would definietly thinking I was just venting about everything. I love your sense of humor and how you handle life. Kudos to you. said...

Dawn, I just want to thank you for writing this blog. It made me start my day (which is day 5 without sufficient sleep due to a 2year old with brochitis) with a large smile!

I read lately that the important questions in life are: did you give love? Did you let yourself be loved? Writing these blogs makes your readers (me!) love you, so there you go. Good job, Dawn!

the Netherlands

Robin said...

LOL!! Your posts are so true! We had a similar sleep-deprived meltdown here last night. After I picked myself up from the floor and dried my tears... I mean, after I sent my tear streaked face 11 year old to bed I took a deep breath and prayed today would be a better day. It's not looking to be the case... :S

Laura said...

Love the "Pretty Woman" reference.... I, too, have made the big, huge mistake of throwing garbage away (the horror!). In my case, it was dead, worn out spinbrush toothbrushes that, apparently, the 8 year old and his MUCH older sibling (i.e. my husband) were saving to take apart to use the motors to power some invention they needed to make. Who knew?


Dana from Alabama said...

About falling asleep at stoplights:
One time my dad was driving out in the California desert and came to a stop sign. The next thing he knows, this guy is tapping on his window. He had fallen asleep with his head on the steering wheel, it was 45 minutes later, and there were SEVEN cars lined up behind him. A bunch of people were standing around trying to decide if he was dead or not. Fortunately, his foot had stayed pushed down on the break so he didn't crash into anything.

At least that hasn't happened to you (yet)!

pednurse said...

LOL This sooo reminds me of the story about my MIL and BIL....when my hubby's brother was little, he collected candy wrappers. Put them in a bag in the closet & just kept adding to the collection whenever he'd get candy. When my MIL found them while cleaning out the closet, she threw them away. He still hasn't let her forget about throwing away his precious candy wrapper collection....and he's now in his 30s!

Cookie said...

Thanks. I needed to smile this morning.

melech said...

Hey Dawn: Just so you know(and should this ever crop up again) slams on their BRAKES..not breaks.

Anonymous said...

Yeah, my girls love to collect the wrappers off the dumdum suckers. Who knows?? LOL btw, I have also gotten in trouble many times for throwing them away!

Lemonade Maker said...

I worked the overnight shift for 7 years, and towards the end I realized I was showing the signs of an addict. I knew when my last hit (nap) was, how much it was, and when my next one was.

That contributed to my decision to switch to day shift. Well, that and my nephew crying "why do you always have to leave me!" when I'd have to leave for work at 9:00pm.

Anonymous said...

When my kids were wailing that I had thrown away a treasure, didn't understand them, were ruining their lives, etc.. I used to tell them that "I had to, because you'll need something to talk to your therapist about later."
I don't used me make me feel better! *lol*

Jessi said...

I laughed out loud reading this blog entry. Seriously. Get some more sleep!

p.s. I love pretty woman! Thanks to your reference I now MUST watch it. It's ok though, I have only seen it about a zillion times!

Teresa said... now we know where Austin gets his reaction to lack of sleep from. ;)

I hope that everyone gets enough sleep this week and can be a little more rational...maybe.

Anonymous said...

Love the Pretty Woman reference! I use that one all the time. :) And my son collects trash too.

Jessica said...

Another great post--thanks for making me smile! :)

Michelle said...

OH amen. I need my sleep, but the wee ones need it more (thank you thank you thank YOU Dr. Weisbluth!). And umm 6pm? Yep, that's bedtime around here. At 4 and 6, they're both in bed between 6 and 6:30. And yes, they go to sleep then. And I can totally tell the difference when they don't.

Oh, and speaking of don't -- are you going to Disney on the 2nd at the Horizon?

Get some sleep :)

Tiffany said...

I read somewhere there's a study proving that not getting enough sleep puts you at higher risk for high blood pressure and heart attack.

D&S said...

We are in the Air Force, and so we move every 2-3 years... and *those darn moving people* always seem to lose my children's precious collections! Don't know HOW that happens EVERY time! (Guilty smile)

Deirdre said...

My daughter is so horrible without enough sleep that no invitation to a sleepover is given or accepted without a solemnly sworn promise to take a nap the next day. Wish it hadn't taken us so long to figure that one out, though!

Frau Mahlzahn said...

*****Then, on the way to the store to get her glasses which we didn't even get because I left her prescription at home and then had to drive back home to get it and then Lex picked out the most expensive frames in the store and I drove her to a second store to see if they had comparable frames that wouldn't require a second mortgage......*

Any chance, you and Austin share a habit.... (*lol*)

I love that post -- and, yes, I know what you are talking about.

By the way: get well soon and I have my fingers crossed that Brooklyn's eyes will get better fast!

So long,

Anonymous said...

you would get the glasses a lot cheaper if you shopped on line at this website;

mommeeof9 said...

My uncles had some of the original Beatles albums and some old baseball cards in my Grandparents attic. Grandma and grandpa kept almost evrything, but for some reason decided the albums and cards were junk and threw them out years ago. :(

graceunderautism said...

I know its probably too late for this year, but since kids need new glasses all the time, check out My neighbor the optometrist told me about it. glasses start at $8 and that is WITH the lenses included. They arrive in about 2 weeks. I ordered 3 pairs and am completely happy.

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