“OH, WHAT A BEAUTIFUL MORNING. OH, WHAT A BEAUTIFUL DAY…”
It is 5:20am and I have had maybe two hours of sleep. And in that two hours, I had two long and bizarre dreams. And now I am up for at least the better part of the day.
I know that as we age, we need less and less sleep but hells bells this is ridiculous.
I have never been a person who falls asleep easily or quickly. If I fall asleep within an hour of going to bed, I consider that ” falling asleep before my head hits the pillow”. It happens maybe twice a year.
Most times it is a good 90 minutes or more….on a good night.
I am married to a man who thinks if it takes him five minutes to fall asleep, he has not had a good night’s sleep. I can not tell you how many times he has fallen asleep during a serious bedtime discussion. One second he is talking and then I say a few words (any man reading this is thinking..”No woman ever just says a few words”.) and I wait for his reply and he is sound asleep. After 30 years of marriage, I have learned not to be offended, it’s just his “gift”.
Other people in his family also have this “gift”. I have many pictures of his dad sitting in a chair, head back, mouth open, sound asleep. I think everyone in his family, except for one sister, has this gift. I hate them. (Just kidding, of course!)
I think my problem started as a kid. On Friday nights, if I could stay awake and my sister would fall asleep, I could get up and watch, “Sea Hunt” and “Tarzan”. I would lay awake listening to my sister’s breathing, hour after hour (we had to go to bed at 8pm and “Sea Hunt” came on at 10:30pm) and finally, when I was sure she was asleep, I would softly call out her name….”Jooooodiiiiiii”. No reply. So I would sllllloooowwwwllllyyyyy get out of bed….and silently creep to the bedroom door, which was always left open a crack, since I was terrified of the dark, and just as I was about to taste the thrill of victory…….”Daaaaad, Robyn is out of bed”!!!!! Dang, she was awake and so there would be no Lloyd Bridges or Johnny Weissmuller for me that night.
Even as an adult, I could not get to sleep. When I was single, I had a house right next to a railroad yard. All night long, those trains would be banging and clanging and whistles going off and cars going up and down the road next to my bedroom window. It was a bungalow and so my bedroom was on practically on the street level.
Which gave me another reason not to sleep…those windows. I had never lived anywhere before where I had not had a bedroom on the second floor. I lived in abject terror of someone coming into the house through those windows. Even though I always had a dog or three, I never felt safe. To this day, more than 3o years later, I still have nightmares that have to do with that house and those windows!
Now add to the mix, a kid who did not sleep through the night until she was SIX AND A HALF YEARS OLD!!!! I kid you not.
So then we move out to the boonies. And my husband has to work out of town many nights and there are wild animals outside and a lunatic who lives across the road. And our bedroom is down in the basement where we have huge widows and no AC so on hot nights, I had to decide which was the worse of two evils, both which caused me to not sleep anyway. And do you know how scary it is for a city girl to hear coyotes and wolves howl in the dead of night when you are all by yourself (kids don’t count) and then there are those “mystery” sounds that all houses make. For years and years, during the cold winter nights, there would come these extremely loud bangs, like someone was hitting the house with a sledge hammer. Or the window casings would make loud sounds like someone was trying to get in (that still happens…don’t know why). Or the dog(s) would sudden start to growl or bark or Lord forbid, HOWL.
Do you know the fear that flows through your body when you are awakened out of a dead sleep by a dog howl in the dark of night ( I was shocked at how dark it is out in the country where you have nary a light to be seen)? We had a dog that was part beagle and loved to sleep under our bed and would on occasion, mostly when Scott was gone overnight, let out a deep, mournful, howl. I would sit up like I had been flung from some unseen catapult, blood pounding in my ears, my heart beating frantically, my eyes trying to pierce the darkness for that demon straight from hell that the dog must be seeing! I think the worst scare that stupid dog gave me was one night in the winter when the power had gone out (ever been alone at night in the bathtub when your power goes out….makes the water “brown” I can tell you that!) and my kid and I decided we might as well go to bed since it was cold and dark. My husband always wanted my daughter to sleep in our room when he was out of town so in case something happened, I would not have to worry about her alone in her room on a different floor than us. So we crawled into my bed in total blackness and the dog was under the bed, and we were laying there talking and I said, “Aren’t you glad you can’t see how dark it is”, when all of a sudden something jumped on the bed. I screamed, she screamed and the dog (which had somehow decided that she too, wanted to be in bed with us) flew off the bed and went back under the bed where we could hear her bones rattling in fear on the hardwood floors. I think I had to change the sheets after that……
Add to the mix, a husband who does not work normal hours, so he is coming and going at all times of the day or night. I have warned him countless times to always make sure I know it is him coming in or he might get his head blown off since I ask no questions and take no prisoners.
And for the past five years, I too, have worked crazy hours. Crazy, crazy, hours.
And that brings us to today. Where even though I no longer am working, I still have yet to reclaim a “normal” sleep schedule. Looking back at this post, I am pretty sure unless I resort to drugs, a “normal” sleep schedule is not in my future any time soon! So I guess I will be seeing more of these beautiful sunrises and less of the afternoons (when I have to nap, which I hate, since I feel I am missing out on life…).
Geez, if only I had the ambition and energy to be doing something during my awake times, I could be awesome…..I could be ANITA! (A friend who has boundless, boundless, energy. More energy than anyone I have EVER known. She needs to sell her blood…she would be a gazillionaire!)
“That which does not kill you makes you stronger” (cow patties, I say and since I actually have cows, I know of which I speak)
Your ever tired Queen