Tales of an Insomniac

Bedtime is a magical time. It’s when the day comes to a peaceful pause as you snuggle into your warm, cozy bed and drift away to sleep while dreaming of fluffy clouds and white sand beaches all while your brain and body get re-energized for another day of productive bliss.

I read this on the back of a box of tea once and I thought, “What a load of crap.”

For me, sleep is a lot like geometry—it just isn’t easy. My husband and daughter, on the other hand, have both been blessed with the gift of sleep. When I tuck my daughter in, she’s asleep before I can say good night. My husband seems to have some kind of sleep switch that is activated by his head merely touching the pillow. I’ll be mid-sentence with an uproarious account of my day of doing laundry but as soon as his head completes the circuit with the pillow, he’s out.

Then I’m left all alone with my inability to sleep. Of course I’ve tried to imitate my husband and daughter, hoping that their talent for falling asleep might somehow get passed to me, but I never have any luck. I try to relax and rest my head on my pillow but that’s when it all starts…

10:30pm: I sprawl out in bed in an attempt to mimc my daughter but when I look up at the ceiling all I can focus on is a cobweb. I should get up and and clean that. No, I need to sleep. I flop onto my left side and try to get comfortable but I get the strange feeling that I am being watched. That damn cobweb is like two glowing eyes boring through my soul. I should clean it. No, I’m sleeping.

10:33pm: I get out of bed and grab the duster and clean the cobweb. Since I’m at it, I finish dusting the rest of the room. I glance in the hamper and realize I have enough clothes in there to warrant a load of laundry, so I head for the washing machine.

11:02pm: I get back into bed and curl up on my right side. I end up playing a little game I like to call “fighting my husband for knee dominance in the middle of the bed.” It’s basically a battle of strength and skill we have when both of us have turned to the middle of the bed and both of want one knee bent toward the center. It involves a fair amount of kicking and a few subliminal taunts like, “Don’t you love how much the government taxes your paycheck?” meant to give him nightmares and relinquish the center of the bed. The great irony of this game: I don’t even think my husband knows we play because he never wakes up.

11:14pm: After losing yet another battle for the center of the bed, I turn onto my left side and close my eyes. I open them back up and see the book I’m currently reading on the nightstand.
“I’ll just read one chapter,” I think.

3:29am: I’m sitting in bed with my laptop ordering the second book in the series because the first book was so good I couldn’t put it down—literally.

3:37am: I do a quick calculation of how much time I have left to actually get some sleep. I’ll get three hours of sleep if I fall asleep right now. The thought sends a shiver down my spine. A shiver?! Am I cold? When I was in the hospital after having my daughter, a very kind nurse told me, “When you’re cold, your baby is probably cold; when you’re hot, your baby is probably hot.” Since then every time I wake up cold or hot, my first instinct is to go check on my daughter.

3:45am: My daughter was perfectly fine but since I was up and about, I put the laundry into the dryer. I also made a grocery list. Over ninety percent of the list was caffeine-loaded beverages because I know tomorrow is going to be painful and hourly caffeine jolts will have to be administered just to keep me semi-functional. I also make a note to steer clear of operating heavy machinery, like forklifts, just to be on the safe side.

4:03am: My eyes keep closing but the dog has decided that she needs out right this minute. Maybe my husband will wake up and let the dog out. I laugh almost manically at the thought (or maybe I was crying). I decide that if I ignore the dog she will just go away.

4:10am: The dog wouldn’t stop breathing in my face so I had to get up and let her out. On the way back to bed I add minty dog bones to my grocery list because the dog’s breath is something straight out of a horror movie. Wait, that doesn’t make sense because the technology for smellable movies has not yet been invented. Has it? No, if it had I’m sure I would have seen that story comes across my Facebook newsfeed or I would have read about it on Yahoo News. Regardless, if you could smell horror, I’m pretty sure it would smell like my dog’s breath.

4:17am: I’m pretty troubled because I’m almost certain that I just had a conversation with myself about smellable movies.

4:38am: I am finally comfortable and sleep, glorious, life-renewing sleep is just moments away. I can feel it…

4:40am: I have to pee.

4:42am: But I’m so comfortable. I don’t want to get up.

4:43am: I really have to pee.

4:44am: Maybe if I just flip to the other side, I will take the pressure off my bladder long enough to fall asleep.

4:45am: Nope, I have to pee. I stumble to the bathroom then back to bed in record time.

4:48am: ZZZZzzzzz.

6:09am: My husband’s alarm goes off. I grunt something profane as the dog jumps on the bed and drops her squeaky squirrel toy on my head.

6:35am: My husband kisses me good bye and says, in the overly chipper tone of a man who just got a restful night’s sleep, “How’d you sleep, honey?”

Oh, I’m definitely going to kick him again tonight when he’s sleeping.

5 Comments on “Tales of an Insomniac

  1. Its 3 am and I’m reading this as I just moved down to the guest room to try to get a few hours of peaceful sleep without hearing my hubbie snore! He’s the same way as your hubbie, his head hits the pillow and he’s out!

  2. I just read this to my husband. I was born with the gift of sleep like your husband. I said, “Honey, does this sound like what goes through your mind when you’re puttering around all night?” “Yes. It’s like she’s in my head.”

  3. This is totally how it is in our house too! My husband and son are both out within seconds of their heads hitting their pillows. I have a wind-down process, that will let me fall asleep after 1-2 hrs, then I usually wake up at about 2:00 a.m., and there is no “shutting-down” my brain. I usually fall asleep 5 mins before my husband’s alarm goes off, and I’m up!

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