Our expert says:
Probably is mainly maternal instinct --- I find that something similar occurs when looking after an elderly or frail family member --- you're extra alert to sounds that might be significant and might need intervention. And interesting that when child related it seems mainly to occur in women --- though I think it occurs in single parent dads --- so it may be that other dads sleep soundly knowing that a reliable and effective wife is listening in his stead !
The trick probably lies in learning to go back to sleep more easily, to wake when there's a noise, assess it, and if it requires no intervention, to sink back into slep. What generally keeps one awake is when we get angry or worried on wakening by the noise, or when we are already so worried about our sleep and so sure we won't get back to sleep, that this concern itself, keeps us awake
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