3.30.2012

Luxurious sleep

Warning:  Biffle's been talking about politics and ideologies and serious matters.  I'm talking just about myself, so this is a change of pace for the blog.  Now you've been prepared.

I’m here in Fairfax, VA, at a conference.  Last night I had downtime in my room.  I had some room service food for dinner, talked to Walter, read a bit, and then at 9:20 decided I was tired enough to go to sleep.  It’s 6:10, and I just got up.

At home these days I sleep so fitfully.  I almost always wake up at 3, and often it takes me an hour to get back to sleep.  I woke up multiple times in the night last night, but I always fell right back to sleep.  Twice in the night I woke up because I heard Maybelle make a noise—and then immediately knew that that wasn’t the case, and fell back to sleep.

So why is this?  This experience suggests that my poor sleep isn’t simply a biochemical thing.  Obviously it’s, in part, my sense of responsibility for Maybelle.  Here I’m in a hotel where I’m responsible for nothing but myself.  There are no dogs or cats wandering around the house, asking to be let out or in in the night.  There was nobody else in the bed with me.  Is this what I need for good sleep—freedom from all responsibility?

Another interesting thing is that I’m presenting at the conference today.  That fact apparently isn’t causing me any anxiety, because thinking of that didn’t shoot my body full of adrenaline and wake me up in the night.

I don’t know.  I enjoyed it, and I think I needed the sleep.  But I’d really like to be a person who sleeps well at home.  I used to be that person, and I’d like to be that person again.

9 comments:

Sara Little said...

That's so close to me! How long are you in town?

Amanda said...

This article made me feel much better about my frequent inability to sleep through the night post-Hugh. Which I've now reframed as bi-modal sleep and a natural way of destressing. Next time you're awake at 3am, picture women across the world enjoying a bit of quiet time with no negative impact on the day. (That said, glad you got a great night's sleep!)http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/magazine-16964783

krlr said...

Ugh - you have my sympathies. Matt snores and there are times I just have to leave the room. Does your dog wake you up? I actually sleep a bit better when mine are around because I have an inflated notion as to how well they're guarding the house. And there's the compulsive children checking. Warm milk for us both!

Alison said...

Amanda, one of my best friends (who also wakes at 3am) sent me an article about exactly that phenomenon! Apparently many of us are finding it comforting.

And krlr, warm milk and Ativan, and I'm all yours.

The Mom said...

I just recently read an article about the bi-modal sleeping idea, too, Amanada. It said that it's only been in the last 100 years or so (don't hold me to that number - numbers mean nothing to me, and don't stay around very well in my head) that we've felt that a solid 8 hours' uninterrupted sleep was the norm, and that we were deprived if we didn't get it. People expected to wake up in the middle of the night, and often read or did something around the house, or conversation or love making before going back to sleep. Somehow it did make me feel better about those times I'm not able to get back to sleep, and just gave me permission to do what I did anyway - read until I was sleepy enough to go back to sleep.

Biffle said...

The Mom said "love making." hee hee

Anonymous said...

Responsibility does have its cost. I remember talking to one of my crew leaders during a volunteer stint in high school. There were two adults (in their twenties) responsible for six high schoolers while camping in Yosemite and doing trail work. She said she never slept as deeply when she was in charge of all of us.

Lydia

Alison said...

Lydia, that crew leader has a very different experience of responsibility than I do! It tends to keep part of my brain constantly on the alert rather than let me sleep soundly.

Anonymous said...

I don't think I was clear. She *didn't* sleep soundly when she was responsible for us.

Lydia