TIRED MUM: Dear Google, can you die from sleep deprivation?
GOOGLE: In the 1980s, a researcher named Allan Rechtschaffen conducted a series of ground-breaking experiments on rats who died. After 32 days of total sleep deprivation, all the rats were dead.’
TIRED MUM: But what about humans? Google, what are the effects of sleep-deprivation on humans?
GOOGLE: Regular poor sleep puts you at risk of various conditions, including depression, heart disease and diabetes – and it shortens your life expectancy.
TIRED MUM: Oh god!
GOOGLE: Oh and it might make you obese.
TIRED MUM: Anything else?
GOOGLE: Hallucinations, possible brain damage…
TIRED MUM: OK, ok stop. I don’t want to hear anymore. So what can I do? I can stop this, right? Google, how can I prevent the effects of sleep deprivation?
GOOGLE: Get some sleep.
TIRED MUM: But I have a baby!
GOOGLE: Mothers are advised to sleep when the baby sleeps.
TIRED MUM: But my baby does not sleep! That is the point!
GOOGLE: The recommended amount of sleep for young babies is 16 to 18 hours a day.
TIRED MUM: WHAT? But my baby doesn’t sleep that much!! Google, what will happen to my baby if she does not sleep 18 hours a day?
GOOGLE: Poor sleep can effect a child’s development, it can lead to learning disabilities, poor social skills and anxiety.
TIRED MUM: Oh god, anything else?
GOOGLE: Oh and they’ll probably be obese.
TIRED MUM: Oh no! So we are both fucked! Fucked and fat is all we have to look forward to. So what can I do about it? Google, how do I get my baby to sleep?
GOOGLE: Always ensure that your bedtime routine is quiet and calm.
TIRED MUM: Seriously Google? I’m not an idiot. What the hell do you think I do? Play her Rage Against The Machine?
GOOGLE: Parents are advised to put a baby down in the cot drowsy but awake.
TIRED MUM: Piss off Google.
GOOGLE: Do not rock, feed or sing your baby to sleep and allow them to fall asleep alone.
TIRED MUM: BUT SHE WON’T SLEEP ALONE THAT IS WHAT I AM TRYING TO TELL YOU? Google, how do I make my baby fall asleep alone?
GOOGLE: Many parents opt to let their baby Cry It Out….
TIRED MUM: No. I quite like my baby. Google, when do babies sleep through the night?
GOOGLE: Most babies sleep through the night by six months old.
TIRED MUM: MOST babies, really? Oh god! OK, Google, so if they are six months and still don’t sleep, what should I do? What if the baby sleep methods in the books don’t work on your baby? What if your baby will only sleep ON you? How can I stop feeling like a failure because I can’t get my baby to sleep for longer than an hour at a time? Is she evil or perhaps she is sick? Is it all my fault? How come other babies sleep and mine doesn’t? How do I avoid punching people who tell me about their Sleeping Angel Babies? How do I not kill my husband when I look at his stupid snoring face in the middle of the night? Will I ever have sex again? Are there any benefits to NOT sleeping? How do I know if I am depressed or just really bloody tired? How can I look after a baby when I feel too tired to look after a baby? HOW DO YOU SURVIVE WHEN YOUR BABY WONT GO THE FUCK TO SLEEP?
GOOGLE: I am SO glad you asked. You will find the answer to all of those questions in Sleep is for the Weak: How to survive when your baby won’t go the fuck to sleep, a brand new book by Emily-Jane Clark. Available on May 18th from all good book shops or pre-order at Amazon right now…quick before your baby wakes up.
See what I did there?
“Google, can you die of sleep deprivation? I bloody well hope so hope so because I am tired and I heard that you SLEEP when you’re dead…”
So, I am supposed to be promoting my book. I am not very good at it. It makes me feel like a big show off. BUT the thing is, I genuinely want tired parents to read it! Not just to make me mega rich (which is not likely unless I sell billions and billions) and not just to become top of the Amazon bestseller list (although, that would be SO COOL) but because I think it will help people feel a bit better. And also well, what is the point of writing a book that no one will read?
I had two sleep-hating babies in quick succession, so I experienced severe sleep-deprivation for four long years, so I know just how hard it is. It took it’s toll on my mental health, my work, my marriage and my self esteem. During this time, I found countless books and websites on HOW to get your baby to sleep but nothing that told me how to cope IF you had followed all the advice in all the stupid books and on all the internets in all the world but your baby still would not sleep. There was nothing that told me how I could NOT sleep through the night successfully. So one night I had an idea…
“I shall write a book!” I thought one night in the kind of sleep-deprived state where you feel a bit drunk. I had hit the wall head first and it had made me a little delirious. “I shall write the book that will stop exhausted parents feeling like they are doing something wrong! I shall pen the words that will change the way we feel about baby sleep forever! I shall bring laughter into the home of the unwashed and the infant-induced infirm. Bad sleepers are the new good babies! I SHALL BE THE SAVIOUR OF THE SLEEP DEPRIVED.” (Idiot. Did I mention I felt drunk at this point?)
However, the next day I was way too tired to write a book. And the day after that…and the day after that..until I realised that I was probably always going to be too tired to write a book so in the same way I managed to take care of a baby when I was too tired to take care of a baby, I went and wrote a bloody book.
100% of babies wake up during the night because they are babies and it is what they do but do NOT sweat it because 100% of babies sleep through the night (eventually).
So there you have it. I had babies and was really tired, so I wrote a book about having babies and being really tired (that sounds rubbish -I would never get a job in PR).
I would like to thank you all of YOU because I could not have got to this point without the people i have connected with through this blog and Facebook page. You made me realise that actually Google is a lying twat because MOST babies do not actually sleep though the night by six months. You made me laugh and feel better about my own sleep-deprived parenting. You inspired me to write this book so I owe you all a drink. or until i am rich, a wine emoji thingy.
Before I go a quick reminder that..