On a scale of 1-10…could you rate…

I wish I could say that it’s because we would like to advance science, or that we’re interested in how sleep affects relationships, but if I’m being totally and utterly honest, the first thing that caught my eye when I saw the flyer about a UK research study was the pay.    Christmas money, yay!  (Although I’m not a rocket scientist, I also probably don’t need a grant to learn that lack of sleep adversely affects relationships.  Duh.)   Regardless of my inherently selfish ulterior motives, for the next seven days Todd, Ben, and I will be doing our small part to advance scientific studies.  Somewhat.

Part of the study is to keep a sleep journal for seven nights, and Ben gets to wear some kind of sleep sensor watch-like device.  He’s really into his part, which we expected when we chose him to be the child involved in the study.  He’s conscientious of putting it on at night and replacing it to the storage bag in the morning.   Although neither Todd nor I have to wear any devices, we have to answer questions before going to bed and upon waking up each morning.  Some of the questions have caused me to stop and think while others haven’t left me a large enough line on which to write my complete answers.  For example:

Did you take any naps today?  YES   NO

Where is the choice that allows me to write “Are you kidding?  Did you see my to do list for today?  Did you even notice that yesterday’s to do list has spilled into today’s? I bet you couldn’t find ‘take a nap’ on my list ten years’ worth to do lists! Are you trying to trick me?!”   Did I take a nap.  HA.  This is cleverly followed by

If yes, were these naps planned?  YES  NO

This one is surprisingly accurate.  In order for me to actually take a nap on any given afternoon, not only would it have to be unplanned, but I would have to actually fall asleep while changing loads of laundry or in the middle of chopping vegetables for dinner and drop down unconscious on the floor.  While dangerous, I think then I would probably go ahead and give in to the nap at that point.

There’s a list of emotions with the instructions to rate on a scale from 1-10 how we felt, such as:

How happy were you today?  That’s a valid question, I suppose.   Good start.

How tense?   As someone who has to constantly remind herself that shoulders do not belong up around one’s ears, I’d say 10 is a bit too conservative of an answer.  They’d probably throw out a 27, however.

How irritable?    Thank GOODNESS I get to answer my own questionnaire instead of passing it over to the kids, or worse, Todd!  “Hey guys, how irritable has Mom been today, do you think?” he’d ask with a snicker.  The kids would cower, shift nervously between feet before barely whispering an answer.  “Is there…some kind of… witness protection program you can put us in if we answer? Can you guarantee our safety?”

And perhaps the funniest of all:

On a scale of 1 to 10, rate your ability to concentrate and focus attention today.

Insert peals of laughter here.  I used to think my mom was losing her marbles because she would start a sentence and let it trail off, unfinished, just before it got to the really useful part.  Now I know she was probably already moving on to the next thing in her mind and couldn’t always be bothered to finish every little thought.    Most days I have to work incredibly hard and make a concerted effort to finish every sentence.  It can lead to my irritation (see above) with those who can’t just get inside my head and know what I’m thinking.

Between a 10, 9, and 6-year-old who don’t want to do their schoolwork and a 4-year-old who is asking for more “school” work (“Like Andrew does, Mama!”),  just about my entire day is an inability to concentrate and/or focus.  Add in housework, laundry, meal planning, errands, kid activities, and anything else that may come up–please don’t ring, phone– and I don’t know how to honestly answer that question.   1?  Negative 7?!

In any case….what were we talking about again…….?


I can’t wait until we go to the lab for the follow-up questions at the end of the study.  Hopefully I’ll get a good night’s sleep the night before.


1 Comment (+add yours?)

  1. Lynsay
    Dec 07, 2011 @ 17:39:07



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