(From Janet Shamlian, NBC News Correspondent)
With a job that sometimes requires all night travel to reach a story, it would be easy to believe my sleep suffers most when I'm on the road. But with five children, none yet a teen, the truth is my most sleepless nights are at home.
It doesn't take lightning out the window or a monster in the room for a child to find their way to my bed, where -- in truth -- I'm already awake thanks to the early alert system: the sound of little feet bounding down the hall.
So by the time they've arrived I'm alert and mentally calculating how much more sleep I'll get after dealing with that night's particular "emergency," which in the last week have included:
1. I'm hungry
2. I've got a growing pain
3. It's dark outside
4. I threw up on my bed
Number four, which happened last night, certainly warranted the parental wake-up call. But couldn't my 8-year-old have awoken the OTHER parent?
In preparing a report for the Today Show on children's sleep issues (WATCH VIDEO), a dad told us his daughter woke him up at 3 am to announce she hadn't brushed her teeth. I know you've been there, too.
As my friends with older children often remind me, these days are fleeting and at some point I'll be LONGING for a night when a child wakes me in search of a hug.
But at the moment, I'm just looking forward to (and feeling guilty for doing so) my flight this afternoon. I'm overdue for a good night's sleep.