Friday, January 21, 2011

(please don't) Wake me up before you go-go

When it comes to sleep, I am all about quality over quantity. I am completely content to get only six or seven hours as long as it is *completely* uninterrupted. In fact, these days as I enter old age it is rare that I sleep past 6am and haven't used an alarm in years. Before kids I didn't really understand the value of quality versus quantity because there was so much time to make it up. Bad night of sleep - no big deal, just sleep later in the morning and take a nap in the day. Go to bed at 7pm. Whatever. It's not like I slept until noon, but then again, I could've if I wanted to. During that time it was all about the opportunities for sleep. Once I had kids my biggest preoccupation was with reclaiming those opportunities. When I would get to sleep again and for how long.

Eventually the time came when I no longer had to get up several times a night to feed someone. Rarely do we get little ghost-like apparitions appearing at our bedside at 2am because of a bad dream. So in a cruel twist of fate I developed insomnia. Now that I have the opportunity to sleep I often times do not have the ability. So the hours that I am asleep are of the utmost importance. I revere them and will defend them fiercely. Perhaps too fiercely. Some people are mean drunks. I am a mean sleeper.

During the daytime, waking hours, I am a relatively calm, mostly sane woman. This is not the case if I am awoken during the night. I am literally a raving lunatic. Even my husband is shocked, stunned, and somewhat amused when he inadvertently disturbs my slumber and incurs my wrath. I am a crazed shrieking banshee spewing forth a vindictive diatribe about my need for sleep. It is ugly. In his infinite wisdom my husband shields my children from ever witnessing this behavior. If they are in the unfortunate situation where they need a parent during the night my loving spouse makes sure they come to his side of the bed.

One of the low points in my Mr. Hyde-like sleep persona we refer to as *the alarm clock incident*. For a period of time I was sleeping well. I was able to fall asleep, stay asleep and wake up around 7am. It so happened that my husband was very busy with work and often needed to go into the office early. He had a lot on his mind. He would set the alarm each night for 6am the next morning but due to his stress he would wake up before then, go downstairs to the office and work on the computer. But forget to turn off the alarm. For several days in a row.

The first and second time it happened I woke with a start, crawled across the bed and flailed around in the pitch dark trying to make the clock stop beeping at me. Again, I was not rationale so when I was unable to locate the off button I tried things like banging it against the night stand and finally had to turn on the light to find the off button, by which time I was wide awake. Being the supportive wife I sweetly mentioned to him that perhaps when he woke up early he could turn off the alarm before heading downstairs. He apologized profusely and yet the next morning the same thing happened. Complete with the flailing and banging and me being wide awake when I could have slept another hour.

On day three I completely lost it. It was like a scene out of the Incredible Hulk, where Bruce Banner becomes really really really angry and cannot be held responsible for the actions of his alter ego. I even may have actually turned green. This time when the alarm went off I did my usual flailing in the dark, but at this point I got mad and ripped the cord out of the wall. Unfortunately this was one of those clocks with a back up battery, so this had no effect of the the beeping. I banged it against the wall. Still beeping. Now I was so enraged I think my head started to spin around. I took the beeping clock and marched downstairs to find my husband. There was my loving spouse hard at work in the office. He looked up and saw me, gave me a big smile and a hearty *good morning honey*. I responded by hurling the beeping clock at his head, turned around and went back upstairs and promptly fell back asleep. My husband is now very careful to always turn off the alarm.

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