Ah…sleep. We spend the first ten years of our lives fighting it, the next ten years chasing it, and the remainder of our time on God’s green earth vaguely dissatisfied with it.
It’s like a bad romantic comedy.
I was always a “sleep is a good thing, but I don’t obsess over it because eh, whatevs” kind of person.
And then I had children. Specifically, a firstborn who didn’t sleep longer than two and a half hour stretches until he was five months old. This was not just a case of not sleeping through the night, it was a case of SOMEONE MUST HOLD ME AT ALL TIMES OF THE DAY AND NIGHT IF YOU WANT ME TO SLEEP AND TO ABSOLUTE HELL WITH YOUR SLEEP PATTERNS with a side of I HAAAAAATE YOOOOOUU FOR BRINGING ME INTO THIS WORLD! Yes, A had raging colic, thanks for noticing. That turned me into a borderline raving psychotic in terms of my sleep. I used to teach a week-long summer band camp (where Tom and I originally met) where I’d regularly get only four hours of sleep a night for roughly ten days. The trick was to take two caffeine pills as you were crawling into bed. You’d be so tired that you’d pass right out, but the caffeine would work its way through your system as you slept and you’d be able to get up and to the coffeepot without killing anyone. The mere thought of that little sleep for that long turns my stomach and I start start twitching uncontrollably.
I have a reputation as quite the sleeper. Not in duration, but depth. To say I am a heavy sleeper would be like saying that Christmas is just a tad over-commercialized. Don’t believe me? I once slept through a tornado while tent camping. Didn’t even stir. In college I had an alarm clock that looked like a stereotypical orchestra conductor and played the opening of Beethoven’s Fifth Symphony. Loudly. You could hear it down the hall of the dorm; yes, everyone knew it was me and hand to God, I don’t know how my roommate didn’t smother me in my sleep. To this day I mentally jump when I hear the opening strains of that symphony.
Hand in hand with the heavy sleeping is rarely remembering my dreams. I’m sure I have them, I just don’t remember them. Maybe a vague recollection, but that’s about it. I’ve always envied those who have technicolor 3D dreams and remember them long enough to write them down. I think I have good stuff goin’ on in there while I saw logs, I’d just like to remember them.
This seems to be changing and I don’t like it one bit. Takes me forever to fall asleep at night, I’m having more and more dreams (and remembering more of them), and while I’m still a fairly heavy sleeper, I’m waking more in the middle of the night. That’s when my brain squeals “PLAYTIME!” and starts doing wind sprints through every.single.thing. bothering me. Oh, and the first person who whispers menopause is going to get a fairly significant curse placed on their house, a bad case of toe fungus, and poison ivy right in the middle of the back where you can’t scratch.
Part of it is our bed, part of it is my “I could hammer nails with it” stiff neck, and part of it is just good old-fashioned stress. We’re on the third mattress of a fourteen year marriage (save the off-color jokes, I’ve heard them all, we just have bad luck…for the record, sleeping on a slope is not conducive to restful sleep), my stiff neck canNOT relax at night for love or money , and most of the stress should be relieved by January (please God please God please God). In the meantime I’m not enjoying my evening slumber as I usually do, and this makes me cranky.
I think it’s safe to say I’m no longer of the mind of “whatevs” when it comes to sleep, but crave sleep like I did nine years ago. Except now there’s not a small creature cursing me out in his newborn dialect for the insult and horror of bringing him into the world.
I get that in ‘tween language upon awakening.