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Wednesday
Jan052011

How Sleeping Through the World Series Opened My Eyes

My interest in sleep was sparked when I was out of work with a medical mishap. I developed a deep infection after a routine shoulder surgery. I wound up on IV antibiotics for three months, and was out of work for a total of nine. All my life I'd been an insomniac, toiling away until the wee hours, but during my recovery I couldn’t do much of anything. Suddenly I was spending a lot of time lying around and sleeping.

Once I was better but not yet able to return to the classroom, the director at the school where I worked asked me to do some research on sleep.  They were having a problem with children who were either overtired or unable to nap, or both.

During that same time, our Boston Red Sox won the World Series for the first time in more than half a century. One night during the Championship Series, I felt myself starting to fall asleep while watching the game and told my husband, "Please wake me up if anything happens." The next morning he informed me that the Sox had won the game in extra innings.  I hollered, "Why didn't you wake me?!" And he said, "I tried! I shook you, I yelled at you..." And that's when I had my lightbulb moment. After all those years of insomnia and bad sleep habits, I’d finally become a sleeper.

I learned firsthand that sleep habits can change at any age. And this gelled with all the scientific research I'd been studying. Sleep habits aren't part of your temperament. These problems can be solved.

My illness inadvertently helped me make up a lifetime of sleep debt. I'm now a deep sleeper and I love sleep. And it's my aim to help parents help their children find the same essential, restorative rest.

--Beth

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