I‘m writing this at 2AM. Not because I’m a night-owl – far from it. Early to bed and early (yeah, but not THIS early) to rise is my motto. In the 20 years we’ve been together, Mr Tater and I have never seen a New Year in. On a weeknight, we’re in bed by 10PM. That’s when it gets ugly. (Hmmm… that sounds wrong – not very complimentary to Mr Tater. It’s not meant that way, really.) I can fall asleep quickly, boom, light’s out, I’m out. Then I wake up – I feel like I’ve been asleep all night and I’m WIDE awake, ready to start my day.
Look at the clock.
Are you fucking KIDDING me? The rest of the adult world is just now thinking about going to bed, I’m done already. So from then until 3 or 4AM I spin, and it’s always clockwise along my longitudinal axis. I know this because I have to actually get up out of bed a couple of times a night to unwind my nightgown. Were I spinning in both directions, it would eventually unwind itself.
I know I’m getting some sleep. I’m not sleep-deprived. I don’t sleep during the day, I’m not groggy and unable to focus, I’m not irritable and cranky (dammit!). But I’m getting it in very short bursts and I know this because I’ve done a highly scientific and not at all silly test. Mostly to disprove Mr Tater’s theory that I really DO sleep all night, and am just dreaming that I wake up.
I put a little notepad and pen right on the edge of my nightstand and every time I looked at the clock in the night, I wrote down the time. In the morning, the paper was covered in scratchings. 11:32 – 11:48 – 12:18 – 12:45 – 12:58 and so on. Sometimes it was only a few minutes between times, sometimes as much as 1/2 an hour, but the fact is, I AM awake at many many times during the night.
What’s that you say? Break the cycle? Sure we can try that.
I’ve stayed up til the magic hour of 11:30. And what happens? I fall asleep quickly, wake up at 1, and every 10 minutes thereafter. No REALLY break it. Ok, I’ve stayed up til 2:30! That’s right, just powered on through it (knowing I had to be up at 5, ugh) and guess what? It DID work. I fell asleep quickly and stayed asleep. I didn’t wake up til the alarm went off at 5. Hooray, success. Well, not so much. That day I WAS groggy and unfocused and horrible all day long. Totally not worth it. So I know I AM getting the sleep, I just wish I could get it all in one chunk instead of little slivers.
Sure – Ambien (or rather his generic, good lord that stuff’s expensive) works like a charm BUT. It has to be taken on an empty stomach and they do mean EMPTY. Anytime within 6 hours of a meal and it’s a waste of money. And since I don’t get home from work til after 5, that means that even if we eat as soon as I come through the door I can’t take it til 11:30 or 12. Well, I’m usually awake around then – what’s the problem? I’ll tell you what the problem is The damned stuff lasts for 8, 9, even 10 hours. BOOM! Down like a sack of rocks and no stirring til well after 8AM; refreshed, bright-eyed and bushy-tailed! And very late for work. So I can skip dinner and take it as soon as I get home. And THAT’s a great life. Home from work, wash my face, go to bed, get up, go to work. So that one is reserved for Friday or Saturday nights, when I can sleep in.
Also, Mr Tater has reported some VERY strange behaviors, of which I have NO recollection, and which I’m not going to share here, as this is a family blog. And as he refuses to take videos (he’s afraid of the FaceCloud), I’ll have to take his word on it. Although one morning I DID wake up in full face makeup, which I did NOT have on when I went to bed, so there may be some truth in his horrifying tales.
I’ve read all the literature, I do all the right things. Well, almost all. I don’t use caffeine after 11AM, I don’t watch TV in bed, I don’t drink or eat heavy meals right before bed, I have a soothing night-time ritual, the bedroom is dark, it’s quiet. I DO read before bed, and there IS a cat on the bed – but those things have been constants in my life since childhood and aren’t going to change.
Well, that killed an hour for me, time to go back and roll around some more. Goodnight.
Written as part of the April 2015 A to Z Challenge.