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In praise of earplugs... - It seemed like a good idea at the time... [entries|archive|friends|userinfo]

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In praise of earplugs... [Jul. 24th, 2008|03:01 pm]
I was really starting to get worried about myself. I was waking up several times a night and pretty much after 4am, if I was awake, I was going to stay awake.

Really. If I can manage to fall asleep during the day, at home, for more than 15 minutes, I must be sick. And those 15 minutes are never worth it. Other people can take a catnap and wake up refreshed, I wake up in an absolute panic, adrenaline pumping, heart racing, omigosh I should be doing something else, not sleeping! Which totally erases any benefit of the catnap.

And I can handle everything but sleep deprivation. Waterboard me all you want, but one or two nights without much sleep and I’ll tell you anything you want. And I fall asleep easily. (At night, that is, or in a moving vehicle, an MRI machine, probably on a damn waterboard. ) But I wake up for the tiniest things. Little noises…one of the dogs shifting beds, a cat walking down the hallway, the raccoons or skunks rooting through something outside, the creak of a zombie foot on the stairs.

I dunno, it could be all of those years of watching horror movies that’s made me preternaturally alert. Because every horrible event is preceded by...a greyhound flapping his ears? Hmmm. I could see myself leaping to the alert say if someone played that music. You know, the “don’t go up the stairs” music. But it’s always some mundane restlessness amongst the furkids or the neighborhood. And once awake, I start thinking…all of the things I need to do, forgot to do, have to do, late, late, omigod I should get up now and just start…but then I’ll have to walk the dogs and surely if I just lay here for another ten minutes I’ll fall asleep. And I do. Only to wake up to Willow getting up and getting a drink of water.

Fall asleep again...and now it’s Pushkin, dicking around with an elastic hairband in the hallway. Sigh.

I suspect it's latent Mommyness -- never having had kids, I've got a lot of "is everything all right" to expend -- and with 7 furkids inside, there's a lot of pitter patter going on. (Or clickety-click of dogfeet. And the thud, thud of Pushkin the Hellspawn Brick of a cat.)

So on a whim, thinking that maybe if I didn't hear all of the nighttime wanderings, I'd be able to stay asleep, I fished the earplugs out of my travel kit. Then, when I’d wake up for my 1 am-ish pee...

(please don’t lecture me that if I didn’t drink so much damn water right before I go to bed, I wouldn’t have to get up in the night...I’ve tried. A demitasse sized bladder is my problem and I’d rather get up and take care of it, then wake up with dry mouth and have to take a drink. I can make a bathroom trip and still stay pretty asleep. Drinking...not so much, what with the spilling and the choking. )

...when I get back to bed, I stick a foam earplug in my upside ear. And sleep like a baby. No, wait, stupid simile – why do people equate babies with sleeping well? Aren’t they up all of the time? Don’t parents celebrate when the kid finally sleeps through the night?

Okay, so I sleep like a greyhound. Which is just some body temp and slow respiration away from a corpse.

Only one ear – cause I sleep on my side. And I figure that if my spider senses feel zombies approaching, I’ll get restless, roll over and hear them dropping body parts as they come up the stairs. And it deadens the noise, but doesn’t shut it out completely. Willow bark-snapping at Percy when he tries to invade her bed, wee hour cat-cataclysms involving overturned furniture, those can still be heard. But it deadens the sound, just enough.

Oh, sure, sometimes I wake up in the middle of the night, roll over. And I can pull that plug out of one ear, jam it in the other, and I’m back asleep until the alarm goes off.

I feel too claustrophobic with two in at a time. Which is dumb, I know – if I got used to one, surely I could get used to...but I’m old enough to start humoring my body/mind in small things. I’m hoping they will be kind in return and not take as much revenge as they could for the nights of over-indulgence, the days of overwork, the falling out of haylofts/off of horses, the mushroom incident, those weeks of faire.

But anyway – consider it the next time you have trouble sleeping. Way easier on the body than meds.

[User Picture]From: lowlandscot
2008-07-24 09:02 pm (UTC)
I can sleep through pretty much any level of dog/cat/kid/neighbor's peacock noise lower than all-out-warfare. I think my brain just finally said, "Look, you have been on paranoid parent alert for 15 years now and THAT IS ENOUGH. You WILL quit waking up every time a moth flaps one wing. It is not threatening your offspring." What I can't sleep through is a 40 lb. husky repeatedly stomping on my legs, which is apparently a mandatory step in the husky-bedding-down-in-pretend-snow sequence that must be repeated 10 or 15 times a night. Do they make a prosthesis for that?
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[User Picture]From: terribleturnip
2008-07-25 01:29 pm (UTC)
Hmm, makes me feel guilty now for getting annoyed with the cats who insist on walking on every limb, up my side, pausing while perched on my femoral artery....at least they weigh less than 40 pounds!
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[User Picture]From: lowlandscot
2008-07-25 06:06 pm (UTC)
Yeah, but cats are more of a precision-guided anti-sleep munition. At least, a couple of mine are -- I'm pretty sure Basil could be board certified in urology, 'cause he certainly knows the precise anatomical position of the human bladder and exactly how hard to step on it. I'm betting yours have similar talents.
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[User Picture]From: terribleturnip
2008-07-25 06:18 pm (UTC)
True -- and I really need a cat icon, don't I?

Worse than the bladder though, is that Spike and Pushkin will lick any exposed nipple. Which is startling and creepy all at the same time. They've had me re-considering pajamas, but I just turn the A/C higher so that I'll keep myself snuggled under covers.
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[User Picture]From: lowlandscot
2008-07-25 10:46 pm (UTC)
Spike and Pushkin will lick any exposed nipple

I was going to mention Holstein the Cow Cat, who can only sleep if he has his head jammed in someone's armpit, but......you win.
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[User Picture]From: terribleturnip
2008-07-28 03:12 pm (UTC)
That's one of those wins where I'd just as soon have come in second place. Although I may have come in second place too, since Pushkin, once he's been nipple-thwarted, then settles down to sleep in between my legs. Not between my ankles, not between my knees, but....I'd call him my pervert cat, except we've got Spike who drags toys and blankets and other objects to the stair landing to have middle of the night "relations." Sigh....
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