You can read more about my sleep experiment here.
It's 4AM and I've got to get back to sleep, but I wanted to go ahead and update really quickly since I have a busy day planned tomorrow and I'm not sure if I'll have time.
Before I get to the update, let me first explain about our normal sleeping arrangements so that the update will make more sense. Most nights in our home, The four of us start out in different rooms. I'll be in the bed in our room, DH will be on the couch, and the kids will each be in their own beds. Why does DH sleep on the couch? Do we hate each other that much? Nope. There are several reasons, actually. One is that after a couple of years of often working late nights, he's gotten in the habit of accidentally falling asleep on the couch while watching a little late night tv to unwind. My pregnancy with Tristan only encouraged that habit- I had to sleep with this huge pregnancy pillow to get comfortable, and there wasn't much room for him in the bed. The other is that since our family is big on co-sleeping/nighttime parenting, if both kids come into the big bed with me, there's just not room for him. It's a little sad, and I'm totally kicking myself for not getting the king sized bed back when we got furniture early in marriage. Co-sleeping was not on my radar back then! But don't feel too bad for my DH- our couch is actually more comfortable than our bed, and a lot of the time he actually prefers sleeping out there! So anyway, most nights we all start out in separate rooms/beds. Hayden will usually come into the big bed with me around midnight or 1AM. Tristan is the wild card- sometimes he'll come into bed with me around 1 or 2 AM, and then other nights he'll sleep most or all of the night in his bed, and not come into my room until 5 or 7AM. (See- they really do sleep on their own when they're ready!) I know this arrangement might not work for everyone, but it works well for us. I believe that nighttime parenting is just as important as daytime parenting, and that babies and young children weren't designed to sleep on their own. I think that the security that I can give my kids by being close to them if they need it during the night is well worth a couple of years of sacrificing "normal" sleeping arrangements. (More on that in another post.) Our marriage is faring wonderfully, BTW. Sleeping 8 hours in the same bed every night is nice, but certainly not a requirement or a sign of a good marriage. (Why do I feel like I'm defending my choices on my own blog? Moving on...)
Night one of segmented sleep went fairly well. I went to bed at 9PM, and slept all night until about 5AM when Tristan came in to nurse. I think I might have woken up earlier if he had, but since he slept in his bed most of the night, and since I was a bit sleep deprived going into this thing, I slept hard for about 8 hours. (Hayden came into bed with me around some point, but I don't usually wake up when she comes in. She usually just sneaks in and snuggles up- Tristan closes doors loudly and then wants to nurse. ;) ) I felt pretty alert at 5AM, but even though I'd had 8 hours of sleep I was nervous about getting up that early. 5AM is eeeaaaarly, for me anyway. I didn't want to be super groggy all day. I went to the bathroom and surfed the net for about 15 minutes, and then decided to lay back in bed to see what happened. I wasn't tired at first, so I had some nice, peaceful moments just laying there in the peace and quiet. It's rare that I get to just lay down alone with my thoughts. It was sooo relaxing- so relaxing that I fell back asleep. I wasn't sure if I had fallen back to sleep until I realized I was dreaming about someone's carpeted stairs and tiny bathroom- not sure where that came from. When my alarm went off at 7AM, I was pretty groggy. It took me a little while to orient myself and drag myself out of bed. I'm guessing I had too much sleep and I should have just gotten up at 5, after 8 hours of sleep. Oh well, live and learn, I suppose. The day went great though- no sleepiness, no grumpiness!
I'm in the middle of night two right now! DH took me out for a date night, and we got home around 8. I had to finish putting the kids to bed, and checked my facebook and stuff, and then I realized it was getting close to my new bedtime. I dawdled a little bit, then decided that I needed to stick to my commitment! (Good thing I'm blogging about it to keep myself accountable!) Plus I was feeling really tired- more tired than I usually do at that point in the night. I'm trying to listen closer to my body's sleep cues, so maybe that's why. I left a couple dishes unfinished in the sink, which I never do, and I opted out of my nighttime snack, which I also never do, and went to bed around 9:30. Slept great, and then woke up right at 3AM. Felt decently awake, and even more awake after I went to the bathroom. I grabbed my iPad and headed out into the living room- where I realized DH was sleeping. Oops. He asked me what in the world I was doing(I guess it's hard to remember your wife's crazy sleep experiment when you're asleep yourself), and I told him that I was just coming out to be awake for a little while. I sat on the other couch for about a minute before I realized I was going to be too disturbing for him. Hayden was sleeping in my bed already, so that left her room open and I headed in there. I'm starving, but don't want to go into the kitchen and risk waking DH up by making something. Hayden woke up after about 10 minutes and realized I was gone. I put her back to sleep in my bed, told her I'd be back in a little bit, etc, and then came back in her room. I'm not sure how much she understood, because a couple of minutes later she went into the living room and said something to DH. I'm not sure what happened there or what they worked out, but it sounds like she's now asleep in my bed again. So, a couple of kinks thrown in my plan tonight, but time will tell if they're workable or if they make this plan unrealistic for our family. I did get an hour and a half of alone time though! It's almost 4:30, and if I go back to sleep now, I should be able to get 8 hours of sleep before the alarm goes off at 7. Sounds good to me! I'm interested to see how I feel in the morning. And I can't wait to eat the big bowl of yogurt and berries I've been craving since last night!!!