Ruby slept for seven hours last night, woke up, ate, and slept for three more. It astonishes me how much the amount of sleep she gets can affect how I feel. I’ve never been one of those “push through with no sleep” people. When I went to college, I vowed that I would manage my time well enough that I would never have to pull an all nighter. This generally worked, and when my time management was less than stellar, I chose to leave minor assignments undone so that I could sleep instead.
A large part of this is that my depression is closely tied to how much sleep I get. Being sleep deprived makes me depressed, which in turn makes me unable to accomplish anything even when I’m awake. Not accomplishing tasks makes me feel like a failure, and these anxieties fuel my depression, which continues the cycle. Generally the tasks unaccomplished are house-cleaning tasks. The state of my house is generally a good measure of how at peace I feel and/or how much sleep I’ve gotten recently.
I was really concerned about this with having a baby. I knew about the sleep deprivation thing, and I knew how I dealt with sleep deprivation. It hasn’t been nearly as bad as I was afraid it would be. How good I feel definitely cycles with how well Ruby sleeps, but particularly since we got back from Arizona (a month ago; where did the time go?) I have been focusing on taking care of myself. This has helped me tremendously. I believe that when I am taking care of myself, I can better care for my family and my other responsibilities.