For at least the last two weeks someone or something has woken me between 4 and 5 am. Like clockwork. I think it has been 2 weeks, but my sleep deprived brain cannot remember. It has been long enough that my body almost anticipates the disturbance. Another few days of this and I will wake up without cause, just because it has become routine.
I am a terrible sleeper. Have been for as long as I can remember. Now, before you given me your sleep remedies- don't. Warm milk makes me want to throw up. Nyquil gives me scary weird lucid hallucination like dreams. Lavender? Melatonin? Tried them. No success. White noise. Check. Consistent bedtime. Cool, dark room. Done and done. As for other remedies, probably tried them. Or there is a valid reason why I haven't or can't.
Often I read until the words blur on the pages. Surprisingly, since Punky was born, I actually sleep better. Pure exhaustion. Until recently, I had significantly fewer nights when I couldn't fall asleep. And I could get back to sleep after waking. Now, as it grows much to close to the start of preschool, extra curricular activities, and her 4th birthday, Punky needs me less and less at night. But there are weeks still that she wakes and needs the reassurance that I am just in the other room (no you cannot sleep in my bed), the shadows are nothing to be afraid of (you have a nightlight here, here, here, and here. Sigh, yes I will leave the hallway light on), you can get out of bed to go to the bathroom without me.
On the nights that she sleeps soundly, someone (the Huz, used to being up all night for work, laughing as he plays his game with some other nocturnal being, directly under our bedroom) or something (train, cats, dog). Usually the cats. Well, Pete. He rarely wants attention, but when he does it is 4 am and he gets it by headbutting my jaw or laying across mu throat. Or wanting to play. With old man cat, Fritz, who wants no part of it and just wants to be curled up at my feet. So I have to corral a cat, which more often than not involves me sitting on the floor, coaxing said cat out from under the bed under the guise that I want to pet him, carrying him out of the bedroom, dashing back to close the bedroom door, wrangling the other cat, shoving him out the door while trying to keep the first cat from slipping back in. Hissing. Bloodshed. Tears. Why, you ask, do I let them in in the first place? Some nights I don't. I kick them out prior to settling in with my book. And then I get the 4 am meowing and Fritz throwing himself at the door trying to get it open. And if I forget to do the super secret lift the door when you shut it so it fully latches routine, he succeeds. He is a persistent old man cat. Nothing short of throwing at least 2 pillows at the door will get him to give up. Of course, if this whole process makes enough noise I risk waking the dog. Or the kid.
The joys of pet ownership.
The Huz, of course, is oblivious to all this. 5 nights a week he is off being a super hero of the cable television world, making sure insomniacs everywhere have their choice of infomercials. On his nights off he is either 1) engrossed in his game, headphones on, having a grand old time yucking it up with whomever it is he plays 2) asleep on the couch 3) turning in for the night (day) just after I've gotten settled back into bed and am almost ready to drift off, again oblivious to anything that has occurred in the previous half hour. This occurs precisely 15-30 minutes before my alarm is set to go off.
The Huz could sleep standing up in the middle of a hurricane (I exaggerate, but only slightly). He is snoring within seconds, while I resist the temptation to smother him and usually end up just getting up. I think it no small accomplishment that he has survived 8 years of sharing a bed with me. If I'm ever on trial for murder, you'll know the sleep deprivation got the best of me.
The Huz will be moving back to day shift soon, and while there are many positives to this, I was finally getting used to sleeping without him next to me.
Sleeping. The true test of relationships.
(King size bed, best decision ever.)
I admit that at least one morning a week I get to work and spend the first half hour staring at my computer screen not doing anything. And not for lack of work to do. Some mornings I contemplate a caffeinated beverage. My senses quickly return and remind me caffeine doesn't wake me up, it just makes me jittery enough to not sleep hours and hours after I have consumed it. Truly. I can't make this stuff up. I am much too tired.
But if you see me sitting somewhere, staring off at nothing, don't say hi. I might just be sleeping with my eyes open. And for your own safety, you shouldn't wake me.