Saturday, August 7, 2010

Do babies really sleep?

Those of you with kids have undoubtedly discovered that sometimes they sleep with their eyes half open.

The first time it happens it's somewhat alarming, but, then, you get used to it and realize it's "normal". It probably just means their eyelids haven't quite closed yet.

Well, my one-year-old did this, yesterday, so I seized the opportunity to do an experiment!! I wanted to test just how asleep she was, so, I smiled like crazy, made funny faces, scrunched my nose, stuck my tongue out, at her half open eye.

And get this: she laughed! In her sleep. I repeated the test 3 times and each time she laughed. Yet, she was most definitely "asleep" -- the eyelid eventually closed and she didn't wake up for another hour.

I guess enough of the brain remains active to process what the eye is seeing even when the rest of the brain is sleeping? Wild!

Before you think I'm being unfair, she also conducts sleep experiments on us! Last weekend the whole family went camping. It was bed time and, as usual, we were all exhausted except our one-year-old. There was enough low light so she could see, so, as we were all dropping off one by one, she took turns running back and forth and pulling hard on our chins to wake us up again! Probably, from her perspective, this was like a horror movie, where her family is one by one dropping into comas and it's her job to prevent the disaster!

Kids are great fun!