I strongly believe, based on lots of reading and personal experience, that each and everyone of us adults needs at least 8 hours of sleep per night. And that those of us with small children need to plan for 9-10 hours of sleep per night to make up for all the nights that doesn't go well. Heck, even for those of us with middle sized kids this is a good idea because I'm still amazed at how often I miss sleep caring for my children.
However, I've never found a direct link between my sleep soap box and my passion for development attachment. Until today! Reading an article on sleep by Chris Kressler (thanks J), I found this tantalizing bit:
Insufficient sleep shuts down the pre-frontal cortex
Wikipedia explains the pre-frontal cortex:
The most typical psychological term for functions carried out by the prefrontal cortex area is executive function. Executive function relates to abilities to differentiate among conflicting thoughts, determine good and bad, better and best, same and different, future consequences of current activities, working toward a defined goal, prediction of outcomes, expectation based on actions, and social "control" (the ability to suppress urges that, if not suppressed, could lead to socially unacceptable outcomes).
From a developmental attachment perspective, the interesting part of this is that the pre-frontal cortex is where the brain mixes input. In the same way information coming in from the left eye together with the right eye mixes in the prefrontal cortex to give us depth perception, the prefrontal cortex mixes our feelings for a deeper and more balanced experience.
I've always told people my being a good parent depends on me getting enough sleep, just because I know I'm too grumpy when I'm tired to be effective. Now I see that when I'm too tired, I've lost my mixed feelings. I can't hold onto the "both and" - as in:
I'm really tired so I hate everything
These are my dear delightful children for whom I want to be the warm and generous provider
It seems to me like almost everything in life links back, somehow, to developmental attachment. Pretty cool!
Saturday is early bedtime night at our house - for both the kids and the adults. Maybe you'll join us?