Everybody Sleeps

Finally, two weeks ago I delivered my baby! He is just perfect! However, like most babies his sleep schedule is a little different from mine. His first week of life he decided that midnight until 3 a.m. was a good time to be awake. I didn’t agree. This second week he has been choosing a more acceptable sleep pattern (awake during the day and sleeping at night). Although he still wakes up to eat, at least he goes right back to sleep.

I think we all can agree that sleep is an important part of our life. We sleep to refuel and reenergize ourselves for the next day. And everyone requires a different amount of sleep. My baby sleeps about 20 hours a day, my daughter 12 hours, and I would like to sleep 8 hours. However, right now I’m settling for about 4 to 6 hours. And the funny thing is that during the day my daughter loves to walk around the house singing a song from Sesame Street called “Everybody Sleeps” which I thought I would share with you.

Everybody sleeps
Everybody sleeps
Every night we close our eyes
Until the morning creeps
Mountaineers on mountain tops
And divers in the deeps
They like to sleep
How do we know it’s so
‘Cause everybody, everybody sleeps

There are people who sleep lightly
There are people who sleep sound
There are folks who tuck themselves in bed
And some sleep on the ground
There are people who sleep nightly
There are people who sleep days
But it really doesn’t matter
Don’t you know, it’s so
‘Cause you can sleep in oh so many ways

Everybody sleeps
Everybody sleeps
Every night we close our eyes
Until the morning creeps
Mountaineers on mountain tops
And divers in the deeps
They like to sleep
How do we know it’s so
‘Cause everybody, everybody sleeps
Everybody sleeps

Doesn’t that song make you sleepy just reading it? It does me. Right now, all I want to do is to put my baby to bed and hit the pillow to catch some Z’s. Wouldn’t it be nice if we didn’t have to sleep? Could you imagine all the things that could be accomplished? I would be Super Mommy if I didn’t have to sleep! So, why do we need sleep and what happens to us if we don’t get sleep?

According to How stuff works.com “One way to understand why we sleep is to look at what happens when we don’t get enough:

•As you know if you have ever pulled an all-nighter, missing one night of sleep is not fatal. A person will generally be irritable during the next day and will either slow down (become tired easily) or will be totally wired because of adrenalin.
•If a person misses two nights of sleep, it gets worse. Concentration is difficult, and attention span falls by the wayside. Mistakes increase.
•After three days, a person will start to hallucinate and clear thinking is impossible. With continued wakefulness a person can lose grasp of reality. Rats forced to stay awake continuously will eventually die, proving that sleep is essential.

A person who gets just a few hours of sleep per night can experience many of the same problems over time.

Two other things are known to happen during sleep. Growth hormones in children are secreted during sleep, and chemicals important to the immune system are secreted then as well. You can become more prone to disease if you don’t get enough sleep, and a child’s growth can be stunted by sleep deprivation.

But the question remains: Why do we need to sleep? No one really knows, but there are all kinds of theories, including these:

•Sleep gives the body a chance to repair muscles and other tissues, replace aging or dead cells, etc.
•Sleep gives the brain a chance to organize and archive memories. Dreams are thought by some to be part of this process.
•Sleep lowers our energy consumption, so we need three meals a day rather than four or five. Since we can’t do anything in the dark anyway, we might as well “turn off” and save the energy.
•According to ScienceNewsOnline: Napless cats awaken interest in adenosine, sleep may be a way of recharging the brain, using adenosine as a signal that the brain needs to rest: “Since adenosine secretion reflects brain-cell activity, rising concentrations of this chemical may be how the organ gauges that it has been burning up its energy reserves and needs to shut down for a while.” Adenosine levels in the brain rise during wakefulness and decline during sleep.

What we all know is that with a good night’s sleep, everything looks and feels better in the morning. Both the brain and the body are refreshed and ready for a new day.”

Well, I don’t know about you, but I’m certainly going to grab my pillow and hit the sack! Although, unfortunately eight hours of uninterrupted sleep is not in my future, I’ll take the 3 to 4 hours that are. And hopefully in the next 3 to 4 months everybody will be sleeping in my household, and I hope they will be in yours too.