Sleep and what it means

So for the past two years and a little more I have, with very few exceptions, been getting an average of 3 hours of uninterrupted sleep every night.  Sometimes we go through spells where I get 4 and on some nights I get 5 (there have been an occasional, unheard of 6 hr stretches but those are few and far between).

At some levels I have adjusted to this type of sleep, in which the only thing you are sure of is that you will be awakened out of sound sleep to tend to the needs of another. I can function now much better (but perhaps not with more patience) than the first 6 months or year of this.  There are times when we get into a sleeping pattern with T covering the nighttime soothing until 2:30 or so and me taking over from there and I even feel well rested.  There are times when even though I wake to nurse Miles even every hour, I can fell decently-rested because he has settled right back down again.

But the majority of times I do not feel well-rested, I merely feel functional.

(I would just like to take this opportunity to point out that being awakened at odd, random times during your sleep cycle is really not the same as waking fully up during the regular cycling pattern of your own sleep cycle, no matter how many times you may wake up with that.  That at least is cyclical; your body has processed through a cycle; the other is what they do to prisoners.)

As I was saying.

So here we are. tonight is one of those up-for-2-or-3-hours nights but instead of spending it stumbling around in the dark walking in the TT’s room or lying on the bed getting more and more frustrated, tonight is one of those nights where we just get up and do something. In my case, computer time while the TT is choosing to color, with a little prompting on my part.

The point of all of this is to say this: I am actually worried about my blood pressure.  Often as I go to sleep it is to the feel of a high pulse and when I wake up during the night to tend to Miles, my pulse just races and races like I’ve been running full-on.  It worries me.  I also worry about the ramifications of this on having another child.  I do not want to put myself at risk merely for the sake of creating another child, no matter how beautiful and wonderful that ;might be. There are other ways to increase family.

So I just googled the effects of sleep on blood pressure and wouldn’t you know it I found that:

Epidemiologic studies have shown an association between self-reported short sleep duration and higher blood pressure. Other studies have shown increased blood pressure after partial or total sleep deprivation, suggesting that sleep loss might lead to increased sympathetic nervous activity and higher blood pressure

according to this site.

But now that I know that my son’s inability to sleep is causing me physical problems beyond lack of patience and a craving for chocolate, I am faced with knowledge I can’t do anything with.  At this point, night weaning is unreasonable given our present situation and I want to make sure the TT is fully adjusted to a new place before starting anything as stressful as that.  The other issue is that I have no idea if night weaning will do anything to make him sleep better since there doesn’t seem to be much correlation between him waking up and needing to feed.

and now we are having a toddler melt-down because yes, he actually IS tired even tho he doesn’t want to sleep so we will go try again to get settled for another few hours.


2 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. The Mom
    Oct 16, 2009 @ 09:52:53

    I left too soon, naturally…


  2. Emily
    Oct 17, 2009 @ 19:43:26

    Yes the correlation is there. Ask me how I know (recovering heart disease patient following having a baby that I am).


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