I am often a stranger to sleep. Except when I actually want to wake up and stay alert. Then, I am Captain Sleep. I sleep the kind of sleep that only a sleeping pill and Chardonnay can induce. And sadly, Ambien doesn’t work for me; I have tried to take it twice, and both times I have been in that horribly exhausted, yet still can’t sleep but-eyes-are-closing, restless state. The first six weeks of my daughter’s life were spent in this state, and I can tell you that it is awful!
Why is it that the best sleep always starts ten minutes before your alarm goes off? I can toss and turn all night, but about an hour or so before the alarm is scheduled to go off, I am Sleeping Beauty. I am the “after” in a sleeping pill commercial. If I could figure out how to bottle that sleep, I would sell it.
Sadly, Thomas does not experience this kind of sleep. Thomas is the guy who lives in fear of his alarm NOT going off. My husband has an erratic (I am being very generous here) work schedule, so he is not a slave to the alarm clock the way most of us are. Half of the time, the man doesn’t even know what day it is and on the occasion that he does have to wake up early, he sort of panics about it. His panic is displayed by waking up every hour, usually on the hour, to check the time. This does not make for a restful night for anyone involved. If he has to get up on consecutive mornings, the sheer exhaustion from the constant time checks allows him to sleep more soundly. The worst thing ever is when his alarm fails him. Any tentative trust he set in his iPhone is totally violated, and we start the process twenty steps behind.
When he oversleeps (which to be fair isn’t very often. It is ONLY on the mornings when I am also in a huge rush.), he is one of those people who leaps out of bed, heart racing, breathing heavily, and in complete hysteria. He rushes out of the house in record time, cursing under his breath (rather loudly) the entire time. I am about to make a bold statement: I don’t oversleep. Ever. I am way, way too Type A (read controlling) to let that happen. What I do instead is fall back asleep…. I shut off the alarm, and close my eyes for just one more minute, and suddenly its half an hour later. This does not create any stress. The extra sleep relaxes me so much that I am immune to the panic sweats. While this is good for my psyche, it greatly impedes my ability to get somewhere in a timely fashion.
Luckily (not really), we have gotten into the habit of waking up around seven regardless of the previous evening’s activities. Kids will do that for you. It is just one of the many benefits of having one! And, as everyone knows, nothing civilized starts before 8 AM anyway!