Nothing prepares you for the newborn night terrors. I’m talking those long nights of being awoken every other hour by your new baby, going cross-eyed while trying to stay awake during a breastfeeding session and watching your husband sleep peacefully just inches from your curled fist. The sleep-deprived mind conjures strange, strange thoughts.
But I would argue that sleep deprivation is a useful tool for enlightenment and getting to know your true self. Let me tell you why.
If you’re up in the middle of the night with a child, you are likely to be questioning your very existence. I often wonder, Who am I? Is there really a God? When did I last shower? It’s these moments that lead to life-changing revelations, like how going four days without bathing actually saves you money on soap.
The middle of the night is when you are the most creative. Successful writers are known to leave notepads by their beds to jot down any thoughts of brilliance that come to them throughout the night for use on future Pulitzer Prizewinning novels. One morning I woke to find I had written, “he isn’t hairy – look for the toothbrush,” in dry-erase marker on my bathroom mirror. I’m already a few chapters into this thriller for your reading enjoyment.
Many parents say they understand why sleep deprivation is used as a torture method, I guess because of the mental and physical pain and occasional hallucinations, but I say, welcome the hallucinations! Nothing makes a 1 a.m. nursing session less lonely than the chance to visit with my favorite TV show characters and childhood friends. And it takes my mind off the snores radiating from the other side of the bed.
Carrie Taylor is a freelance writer and mother of two boys.