“Sleep deprivation can cause an overall immediate loss of information-integration thought processes.” That is the findings of yet another study, probably funded by the government (that would be you and me) with an exorbitant amount of money, and published in Sleep magazine.
Sleep magazine sounds like one of those snoozer publications someone might read if they had insomnia and nothing else would work. But then that is the way with most magazines these days–more ads than articles, and the accuracy of what’s written depends on your own interpretation rather than fact. Sort of like my blog–minus the ads.
“Wow,” you might say. “Those sleep scientists are smart. Not as smart as the Sleep Number bed people–but pretty smart!” Another scientific study that proves the detrimental repercussions of not getting enough sleep, is just what this world needs to change their ways and get eight hours of restful Z’s each and every night.
But the most sleep-deprived individuals of all–mothers of newborns and small children–were not used in this study. No. They used young, strong, military cadets who would probably stay up all night playing ping-pong if someone didn’t tell them to go to bed.
If they wanted truly accurate findings, they should have asked mothers.
Mothers know first-hand about sleep deprivation. They deal with it sometimes for days, weeks, or months on end. They know it’s something you can’t fight. You just go with it. You may lose a bit of your ability to make gut-feeling, snap decisions, but you are still in control. When the baby cries, you stumble out of bed, whap into walls, stub your toe on the rocking chair, and crumple into a weeping ball of misery in the hallway, but you pull yourself together, open that nursery door and get to work. After a couple weeks of sleep deprivation, a new mother is able to nurse her infant, change the baby’s diaper, and rock it back to sleep without ever truly waking up or opening her eyes.
Sleep-deprivation is not for wimps. That’s why it’s often called torture. New mothers endure it all the time without receiving a ribbon, Medal of Honor, or time off to recuperate. Their reward is in a gas-induced smile, a satisfied burp, or the feel of tiny fingers wrapped around their own.