~ What is sleep? ~
By Charlie Emilia
This millennial content creator, social media geek, part-time healthy person and now first-time mom is back to my original roots as a writer. Formerly a radio show, “Chill Out with Charlie” was a peek into my life and what I had going on. Since leaving the airwaves, my journey has taken an extreme turn. For updates on what’s been happening, sit back and chill out with me as I navigate these new paths in a whole new way.
It’s 9:59pm. I happen to glance down at my toes. Looking back at me are eight, freshly polished, little digits. Two of them are bare, destroyed by my eight-month old, who recently learned to crawl and was enamoured with my bright enamel. It’s my own fault. I was at home with her for a week, got bored and decided I wanted to help her develop faster. Instead, I ended up unlocking a new level of energy that seems like it was reserved for this very moment in time.
My little girl has taken to moving like she’s been waiting for this her whole life and we’ve been the ones holding her back. Insert sarcastic emoji here. She can zoom across a king bed at lightning speed just to stop at my electronics – and before you wonder, they’re usually at the opposite side of wherever she is. Once mobile, her go-to move is to simply put her mouth on everything. Finding long streams of wet spittle dripping out of things is something I’ve gotten used to.
I am too sleepy to attempt to fix my polish. I can hear the final chords of “Thank You for Being a Friend” drifting off as another episode of The Golden Girls starts. It reminds me of my college nights in Miami, where I barely slept and always got to make my deadlines. It’s a little after 10:00pm now, and I can’t even hold my head up. Come to think of it, my whole life has been a battle to escape sleep. As a baby, I hated naps. Growing up, I’d spend my nights sitting on the floor outside of the bathroom, because it was the only light my Oma allowed to remain on after everyone was in bed. As a young adult, I spent my nights partying and days working – napping only in the early evenings. I’m beginning to wonder if this exhaustion isn’t just my body finally catching up to me.
With all that’s going on in the world, much of my mind has been on keeping myself healthy, or at least getting there. Honestly, I’m not sure what’s going on inside there, other than I’m not pregnant. Outside of that, I’ve been doing a better job at eating proper food and getting more exercise. How can I not, when I have to keep up with a baby who moves at warp speed? A large part of that journey is – you guessed it – sleep. Sleep helps reduce stress and improve your memory. It can lower your blood pressure and can help your body to fight back, not to mention it helps you maintain your weight and puts you in a better mood. But if you’re accustomed to not sleeping, this can be very daunting news.
It’s not that I don’t want to sleep. I’m so sleepy all the time, but you have to ask if I stay asleep, or if I wake up 50 times in one night. My anxiety plays a big role here. Since my Chunkin has learned to move the way she does, I keep dreaming of her rolling off the bed while I’m asleep. All of a sudden, she does not like to be confined to a crib, so I have to put her to sleep before stationing her in her rightful sleep space. While she’s falling asleep, she will roll and thrash about the bed and if I dose off during this time, she can roll off the bed. My fears are not empty, as this has happened before.
Yes, I know many (if not all) parents experience their children falling off the bed or whatever surface the child is placed on, but you’re never really prepared for that first fall. My little girl ended up rolling off the bed into the hamper and now I am slightly traumatised. I used to joke to my nephew about how I dropped him as a baby and he turned out great – but now that it’s my own…it’s not as funny. So every time she makes the smallest noises now, I’m up and alert. Really, I thought I’d gotten over this after she turned three months, but it seems like there’s a resurgence of the interrupted sleep patterns.
I say all of this just to make this point: I need to assess my sleeping habits, so I can be healthier and perhaps be better at getting my baby to sleep. I have zero suggestions this week, because I feel like I am ill-equipped to give advice on something I am struggling with. But if I know myself, I’ll throw my all into fixing something that has become a problem, especially with this. The last time I was this sleep deprived, I hit my car so I am completely uninterested in repeating that pattern. I’ll let you know how it goes, though. Check out my Instagram for updates. I only post Mummy Content to my Close Friends, which are essentially mothers who have asked to be added to my list and enjoy hearing about babies.
Feel free to follow me on Facebook.com/LikeCharlieEmilia or my Instagram Chvrl13. I’m open to questions, comments and any concerns you may have about your own health. But, please remember, I am not a doctor. My column is strictly for entertainment and, although I may try my utmost to give accurate information, it should in no way replace a visit to your healthcare provider.
Until next time, “Stay Distant. Stay Safe!”