Infants and sleep deprivation

In the coming weeks, I may change the title of this blog from dream studies to sleep deprivation studies.

Why? Because my wife just gave birth last week to our son Connor Dungan ! Here he is only a few hours after delivery.

Both Connor and Wendy are doing well, safely ensconced at home. We are feeling so blessed by a healthy baby (over 8lbs, y’all) and a relatively easy delivery. 

I’m also overcome with gratitude for the midwives of The Bryn Mawr Birth Center, and my friends and family who have helped us make this transition into parenthood with their gifts of dinner,  errand-running, and infant wisdom.

Our sleep patterns have indeed shifted dramically as we adapt to sleep deprivation.  Once we realized that time doesn’t matter anymore, and that the baby is calling the shots, we have watched with fascination as we become untethered from the diurnal world.

[pullquote] sleep is opportunistic when you’re caring for a newborn[/pullquote]

That’s my take away so far: sleep is opportunistic when you’re caring for a newborn.  There’s no choice but to adapt. But we are designed for this: it’s actually not that hard once my own rigid self-constraints of what “good sleep” means has fallen away.

My dreaming in particular has become filled with intensity, no doubt due to the pressure of REM deprivation, which results in instant REM rebound anytime I close my eyes. 

It’s really trippy.

That’s all I have time for today, but I hope to be adding new content to DreamStudies soon. 

And my new lucid dreaming program –the Lucid Immersion Blueprint — is still ready to birth Jan 2, 2012.  (Just had to birth a real baby first.)


  1. Kalmer Marimaa says

    Good luck and have a strength!

    My son turns 3 next month, but our sleep schedule is still much dominated by him (or by job in working days). So better don’t have great hopes to have your normal (dream) life back soon :oP But at least you can expect more WBTB (wake-back-to-bed) lucid dreams when your sleep is regularly disturbed every night :o)

  2. Pete says

    Beautiful baby Ryan! I’m happy to hear everything went well and glad you’ve shared this adorable picture. I wish you and your family great holidays and look forward to your book.

  3. danielle says

    I like your style, Ryan. I do have friends with very young babies, and those babies sleep through the night. Keep the faith. Connor is a looker, btw.

    • Ryan Hurd says

      we feel so blessed, especially after all the support in the last weeks from friends and family. my heart is continuously bursting wide open. hope you can meet him soon!

  4. Renee says

    Congratulations Ryan! I’m sure you’ve had your share of advice, but I can’t resist offering my own, from experience (though you might already be on to this). I found that the best way to maintain good quality sleep during this time is to keep the baby in bed with the parents for now (there are triangular pillows designed to protect against rolling over on baby, if you’re concerned about that–but I never rolled over on my baby, for the record, and she slept in my bed for her first 3 months). When baby is hungry, no one has to get up, turn on lights, disrupt the melatonin flow, etc. Baby gets “plugged in” for milk and then goes back to sleep. Cuddling together brings a sense of safety, comfort, and unity to your family. :-)

    • Ryan Hurd says

      thanks Renee! we are cosleeping for these early days. I’m really into the anthropology of child rearing and it’s this is how 99% of the world does it. :) I’ll have to check out those pillows.

  5. Liam says

    Well done Ryan, he’s a lovely boy. Don’t worry you’ve only got about six weeks of no sleep and then it starts improving.

    Looking forward to the book.

  6. says


    I did the family bed thing as Renee mentions above. Mine did not sleep through the night until he was 18 months old so this was a matter of survival for us. Do what works best for your particular family. My baby is now going into high school and looking at colleges! It goes fast!

  7. Laurie says

    Congratulations to you and your wife! You are beginning an incredible journey with Connor. Every stage includes both joy and challenge.

    Read “The Happiest Baby on the Block” by Dr Harvey Karp. This book explains why young infants cry and fuss, and how to calm and soothe them. I am a pediatrician and recommend this book to all expectant and new parents.

    • Ryan Hurd says

      thanks for the tip!! We watched Karp’s video for the first time last week and it was amazingly helpful. Discovered the wonders of the pacifier just 2 nights ago too. So far Connor is doing a great job expressing his needs. :)

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <strike> <strong>