To Sleep…perchance to sleep a little more

People have been talking about sleep a great deal this week, as everyone deals with the time change. Fall back is better than Spring forward, as everyone knows that more is better. There are less problems in the Fall with the extra hour than in Spring when the loss of even that one hour of sleep can be quite dangerous  with more industrial accidents and heart attacks.  Apparently, the biggest danger of the darkness coming earlier is that more pedestrians are struck by cars. Be careful out there.
Sleep is a commodity whose value can’t be measured, and we are only somewhat able to ‘put some in the bank’ to save for a later date. When I was first home with a new baby, numerous people told me to be sure and ‘nap when the baby naps’ but of course I was an idiot and used those precious few quiet hours to cook or clean or probably other time wasters. I wish I could get them back.
Now I believe I have taken napping to art form. It starts with a bedroom that is kept very quiet and cool. Then you add blackout drapes so that your room becomes a soothing cave. Now add a bed that, even after many years, you STILL gasp in appreciation every time you lay down on it. It was ridiculously expensive and worth every penny. And get some really good bedding – after all you spend a huge percentage of your life in that bed – splurge a little.
The final touch is ear plugs. Now you can’t be irresponsible. I didn’t start using them until my youngest was able to look after herself. I would wait until I heard the door of her coming in after school and then insert the ear plugs and remove myself from consciousness.
My kids learned that the edict “don’t wake Mommy up unless you are bleeding or on fire” was an absolute. I believe I contributed to their negotiation skills by having to solve who actually gets the last cookie, or whether it’s Power Rangers or My Little Pony on t.v. all by themselves.
When people who didn’t know me very well would call, the kids would tell them that Mommy was sleeping. “Is she ill?” they would ask – the poor, unknowing, terminally awake ones.
For many people, napping is a luxury relegated to vacations – their weekends too often filled with numerous chores. Remember, lots of things can be done early in the morning and late at night. If your body’s natural rhythm wants you to take a siesta in the middle of the day don’t fight it. I used to nap when I worked full time – I would sleep on a couch in my boss’s office or doze in the car on the way to meetings. Admittedly, I had very understanding employers. Falling asleep in the middle of a meeting was frowned upon – but I got pretty good at faking that I was awake. (tip: if you are roused in the middle of a meeting, or behind your own desk, simply frown and shake your head – often they assume you were deep in thought).
Menopause tried to screw with my sleeping patterns. Along with the hot flashes came the absolute inability to sleep. This brought on my husband’s comment “My wife is hot – and crabby!. Bless you hormones. Your long term effects may be detrimental to my health but I no longer feel like I’m going to run anyone off the road so it’s a trade-off I’m happy to make.


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