I miss you sleep. On this World Sleep Day, I wanted to tell you how much I care.
For years I took you for granted. I never told you how special those rainy Saturday morning sleep-ins were. They meant so much to me.
You were there for me and I didn’t nurture our relationship.
I saw you whenever suited me and complained on the days when I didn’t see you enough.
Then I let our relationship fizzle out when someone new came into my life.
My baby wanted my attention every two hours in the beginning and there was just no time left for you.
People kept telling me "sleep when the baby sleeps" and I should have listened. I let things go on for too long - before I asked for help.
I'm not the only one who's done this to you and I know how badly it hurt to be cut off in the past.
So I eventually got help and spoke to an expert. He said our problems were common and not limited to new mothers.
Professor David Hillman, Chair of the Sleep Health Foundation told me our challenge to repair our relationship is the "top modern problem" in today's modern society.
“About 30 per cent of the community complain of inadequate sleep on a daily or near daily basis and that’s across all age groups,” he said.
He said some people's brains are better at coping with disrupted sleep than others.
I'm sorry sleep, I am not one of the people that can cope well without you.
With you I'm needy, I'm clingy and I want your devoted attention. No interruptions.
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Professor Hillman told me the effects of a poor quality sleep can include tiredness, lethargy, irritability, poor productivity, difficulty getting things done and slow reaction times.
I also have other symptoms. I cry a lot if we haven't seen each other in a while. I cry at the drop of hat over you. I would cry a river for you.
Now my baby is two I can see there is a possibility to repair our relationship. I can see glimpses of how we used to be.
Solid quality time together is really helping. I have missed you so much. My life is enriched after spending time with you.
The national guidelines recommend adults have at least 7-8 hours of sleep each night. I am really trying to meet this, because I know when we have that my world is like a happy musical.
The Sleep Health Foundation say a third of Australians are not getting enough sleep, and it's often due to evening screen use.
They say people need to put down their phones and respect you.
“We urge Australians, young and old, to rise to the challenge by flicking the off switch on their devices and enjoying the benefits – a calmer, more relaxed bedtime and a longer, deeper sleep,” says Sleep Health Foundation Chair and Sleep Psychologist, Professor Dorothy Bruck.
Professor Buck says people need to turn off their devices at least one hour earlier than you normally would and consider going to bed.
I feel guilty. I've been prioritising screens over you. You see me up late reading on my phone or watching a Japanese reality show on Netflix. You tell me we need to spend time together and I haven't listened.
You matter more to me than Netflix. You make me sane. Our relationship may be put through hard times again but this World Sleep Day, I wanted to thank you. I wanted to tell you how much you mean to me.
I've been neglecting you but I will make it up to you. We may never get back to the beginning throws of our relationship where we had all the time in the world for each other but I will try and make sure you know how much I appreciate you.
I love you sleep.