So I blissfully slept on the couch last night, curled up wearing a sweatshirt and in the middle of four blankets of various weight. I'm a girl who likes some heat and the weight of covers when she sleeps. There have likely been downwards of two times in my life when I haven't been able to sleep because "it was so hot." Por ejemplo. We went tent camping in 100-degree humid heat last year. The heat bothered me not a jot (at night). When I was a mid-teen, my parents gave me one two of my favorite presents ever: flannel sheets and a down comforter. July was toasty roasty in my room. I admit, it almost sounds disgusting to me to acknowledge that I used to sleep in flannels year round, but then I remember the glacial conditions that my dad (i.e. the one controlling the A/C) prefers. Whenever we visit now, there's nearly always an extra blanket or two ready and waiting at the foot of the bed because it's like they know me.
Those roasting July nights of my youth...ah...those were some of the best of times when it comes to my sleep. As an adult, there have really been two better-than-I-could-possibly-believe of times that I now recognize in hindsight. (If only I had appreciated the glory days when I was in them. Nowadays is very much not the glory days.)
#1: When I was teaching full-time, pre-children especially, and getting up earlyearlyearly so that I could drive to work and/or when I didn't even have the longer commute but still cut myself off from work at 11 PM each night after longlonglong days.
#2: Both times I had a newborn. Naturally. Those days taught me how to sleep for realsies.
But something happened a little over 18 months ago, July 2015, actually. That was some humdinger of a month, I tell ya. Sleep - no more. Hormones - not my normal. Life - different. I'm pretty positive that this whole thing has been a hormone issue from the get-go given that my sleep changed muy dramatically all at the same time as other not-very-exciting-nor-blogworthy things happened. But who knew that one would need to be sleep trained mid-30s? Not I.
I read this article once before but came across it again today and I read this last night, so it seemed like a good time to talk about it, given my couch surfing proclivity. (To be fair, I fully expected to sleep on the couch last night 'cause I had coffee late and was teaching late. Even without coffee, after driving home, it takes me a while to downshift into neutral, and by that point, my normal was a while ago.)
I desperately want my own room that we can call a "guest room" for the sake of social appearances. I never need melatonin when I sleep by myself. I always need it at minimum otherwise.
I don't love all of the 10 tips, though, for re-training your sleep patterns. I'm n-o-t a fan of less than 67 degrees in my bedroom. We get that low in the winter, but my nose gets cold. Blergh. I'm not on board with getting rid of a clock, even though I'm aware of the light issue. And it's 100% IMPOSSIBLE that I forgo my computerly devices within 2 hours of sleeping. When would I work? That is my prime working time; I could have a jam packed kid day and feel confident that I was going to get something accomplished once they were put away for the night. It's a non-option. I feel anxious-er now just thinking such a dreadful thought.
I haven't tried any of the teas yet because a) tea tastes like t-e-a (and while I've adjusted to my cuppa green each day, unsweetened, something reminiscent of hay doesn't scream sleep baby sleep to me) and b) diuretics seem to contradict my nighttime goals. Has anyone had any success with an herbal nod?
And how does one sleep this way when one is not in one's own meticulously curated sleeping space? So much can go wrong. So much does go wrong. There's a noisy fan running somewhere. The room is frigid. My child is BREATHING beside me. The windows don't have coverings (what the what here, good people of the hospitality industry?!?). Good people that we travel with are on a different sleep/wake schedule and talk like people are wont to do. The mattress just feels different. Call me kooksville if you want, but why yes, I am that person bringing my own pillow to the hotel/B&B/in-laws/whatehaveyou because that's a deal breaker. Give me my pillow or give me a night of wallowing. (I do have the perfect pillow.)
Sleeping outside of my home is a new worry. A worrisome worry. It's enough to make me all a-dither before the witching hour draws nigh when staring a strange sleeping arrangement in the face. It's gotten to the point that I mentally scout a second-option-escape-route out in advance. Just in case. And it's almost always needed now.
This sleeping thing is for the birds. Maybe not...they were singing pretty happily at 5 AM-ish just the other day.