Rule #4: The most important things in Life: Friends, Coffee and Sleep.
Subhead: Midnight always knows all my secrets – now you do, too.
SLEEP. It is something we all need. And yet, rarely do any of us get a really good night’s sleep. Well, I don’t anyway, and I’m thinking/hoping I’m not alone. Just Google sleep and you’ll come up with any number of things to do to get an adequate night’s sleep. I have tried envisioning myself lying on the beach with waves lightly lapping at my feet … and then usually, I have to pee.
One thing that works from time to time is going through the alphabet and making up sentences with things that are related to sleep. Like the car-ride alphabet game, we used to play as kids. Here’s an example, “A – A very soft comfy bed. B – a very soft comfy Bed. C – a very soft Comfy bed.” (Okay, so I’m not too inventive and creative at this point, I’m just trying to get a decent night’s sleep.) Some nights, this works like a charm and I’m sawing logs before I get to K. However, if I get to K, I know I’m sunk and either need to start all over again or try something else. Experts (obviously, those who can get to sleep) say a nightly bedtime routine is a must for sleeping.
Here is my husband’s routine:
Let the dog out, make sure the dog gets in, drop clothing on the floor by the bed down to tidy whities, head hits the pillow and he’s asleep. Sometimes, he doesn’t even turn off the light. How the heck does he do that? It is infuriating! Okay, he might also brush his teeth and take a blood pressure pill, but I think his whole routine lasts approximately five minutes if that. At this point, he wants to pray with me, but he doesn’t realize how much prep I have to do before I go to bed, and quite frankly, he’ll be sawing logs in under a minute. Usually, I can do a countdown … “5, 4, 3, 2, 1 … and he’s out.” I know because I hear him snoring. It is typically around 10:30 p.m., and it is extremely annoying and perplexing to me.
Here is my bedtime routine:
I check my alarm to see if it is set correctly and the music is at the precise volume so as not to shoot me out of bed before my three snooze increments, but yet, loud enough to wake me past a light snooze. I floss and brush my teeth – this is super important as I was reprimanded by a dentist once for not flossing. I make sure all of the lights are off and no intruders are in the house. I turn on the fan. (Yes, even in the dead of winter. I’m addicted. It drowns out those little creeks that could potentially be intruders in the middle of the night or rats crawling in the walls or electrical sparks that could start fires and burn the house down. Well … you get the picture.) I wash my face, I apply toner, lotion and something that is supposed to keep it from getting redder, pimplier or wrinkler … okay, it’s a freaking miracle cream … alright. (Although I haven’t witnessed any miracles; on my face that is.) I get a mirror and check every pore on my face. I pluck the little dark hairs that have sprouted up on my face. Seriously, I could be the bearded lady for the Ringling Brothers if I didn’t. Where do those things come from? They were not there yesterday! Overnight, several could just sprout up like dandelions. It’s disgusting. I then take my vitamins. These are to keep me young, keep my knees from hurting, keep my bones from breaking, keep cold sores away, keep me pooping with regularity (that is super important), keep my back from cracking when I try to bend it and keep me breathing through the night because my nose likes to clog up at a moment’s notice. Then I have to check Facebook because you never know who could have posted within that time and what fabulous adventures people have been on for the last 15 minutes that I checked it. (Okay, I am probably addicted, but that is for another post.) I check Snapchat to look in on my UNO daughter, Hannah, because she could post and let me in on a glimpse of her life and what she is doing for a split second. I get out of my clothes and into my pajamas. I put my dirty clothes in the laundry basket (Sam’s is probably on the floor by his side of the bed.)
I turn off all the lights but turn on my bed-stand light because I don’t want anyone grabbing my legs in the dark on the way to bed. That would scare the bejesus out of me and this routine would have to start all over for me to calm down. I pee not once, not twice, but possibly three times because nothing is more annoying than your head hitting the pillow after all of this preparation and you have to pee. I slightly open the curtains, so if I have to pee when the lights are off, I will be able to locate the toilet. I check outside for Sasquatch or a mountain lion because both have been spotted in the neighborhood. If I see one, I’m waking Sam up. I pet Otis one more time because he is so darn cute and moans when you pet him, and that’s just too ridiculously sweet. I prepare my covers because you never know when you will be too hot or too cold, and you could be both in a matter of seconds for the duration of the night. It is at this time, I’m either totally ready for bed, or Megan calls from KU – and I have to answer it. We talk, and the series will start all over again except the vitamins because that would just be wrong. It is at this point that I fly into bed, because it’s dark, and if I jolt my husband awake, he will stop snoring and be back snoozing within seconds again anyway. Cold feet on a warm body work well for this also especially if you forgot to put an extra blanket on the bed. I’m sure glad he puts up with me. By this time, I’m lucky if I’m in bed before midnight. Oh well, that’s what coffee is for.
If you are like me, and I think there are MANY of us out there who suffer from lack of sleep — whether, it is insomnia, a crazy bedtime routine like mine, worrying about stuff that needs to occur (Experts say create lists, but it doesn’t stop me from worrying, it just keeps me up later writing lists.) — as I stare out across the dark expanse of rolling houses and see a light on or two, I take some brief comfort in knowing I’m not alone and a mom is up feeding her baby, a dad is rocking a sick kid to sleep, a police officer is keeping us safe, or a student/teacher is finishing up the last page of his/her essay or test. We may all be bleary-eyed and dragging the next day, but we are not alone, and for some odd reason, I take a small amount of comfort in that.