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11.13.2013

THE LAND OF NOD


My daughter is a remarkable sleeper.  She's always been that way.  There are pictures of her, food in mouth mid-chew, sitting in a booster seat at the kitchen table asleep.  She also ate most of those meals from the age of 18 months to 3 years old with a paper Burger King crown on.  There are other pictures of her sound asleep in a bathtub of water laying on her back with a wash cloth laid out on her stomach.  If it were possible to float in 3 inches of water while being in the Land of Nod, she did it regularly. 

Hannah had such a love affair with sleep that I never really had to tell her to go to bed, she just went when she got tired.  At 6 weeks old [with a bit of rice cereal mixed in a bottle of breast milk] she would sleep at night for 6-7 hours straight.  In first grade at 6 years old she would come home and take a nap. 

Her magic love of snoozing got more and more magnified as she grew up.  High school showed that, unless I forced her to get up, she could easily sleep 14 hours at a time.  She also spent the better part of any car ride while growing up sleeping en route to wherever we were going.  She would be the first to tell you she loves to sleep.  She would get that from my mom who has genetically passed on to her not only the capacity to sleep long periods of time, but solidly and just about anywhere.  Hannah and her Mammer share a special bond - sleep and tiny feet are two of them.

I did not get that sleep gene.  Literally I sleep only about 4-5 hours a day.  On the rare occasion that I get 6 uninterrupted hours sleep I feel invincible the next day.  Most definitely I get tired.  I go to bed tired, ready for sleep, able to fall asleep mid-sentence telling Doug something but wake up 4-5 hours later ready for the day.  There are times I am extremely envious of Hannah the great and mighty sleeper.  I take after my dad, and according to my Aunt Dee, her and my grandmother.  I didn't get the peaches and cream skin but instead got horrible sleep patterns - the inability to sleep deeply, soundly or for long periods.

My husband's sleep patterns have no doubt changed since being with me.  He recounts that he used to stay up late, sleep on Saturdays till 9 or 10 and roll out of bed during the work week at 7 a.m. just in time to hurriedly get to work.  Not anymore.  He now goes to bed by 10:30 -11 p.m. nightly and gets up by 5:30 most mornings.  Since I know he operates on less sleep that he is used to, I let him sleep on Saturdays/Sundays while I go out for an early run.  He joins me for coffee about 7 a.m. always claiming he can't stay in bed if I'm not there.  I have no doubt he now lives with a small measure of chronic sleep deprivation.  He would say love is better than sleep anyway.

I am not a night owl.  My best energy is morning.  And, by morning I mean pre and post sunrise.  I am on the downward cycle of energy by about 8 p.m.  Who am I kidding, I am beyond the downward cycle, I am completely out of energy.  If I sit down, I will fall asleep. So I try not to sit down till I am done with all I want or need to get done.  That did not happen tonight.

Tonight, post dinner, I told Doug I had to lay down.  I just needed to rest [code for sleep].  It was 6:45 p.m.  I laid down and woke up one hour later totally unaware that an hour had passed.  The TV was on, my cell phone went off with a call right by head.  I heard nothing.  When I do crash it is hard.  When I woke up I felt refreshed, a bit afraid that I didn't hear anything for an hour, and revived.  My bet now is that sleep will elude me at bedtime because of such a deep nap.  I told Doug one solid hour sleep for me was equal to 3 for normal people.
 

When sleep hits me I take it - mid sentence in bed while talking to Doug, at 6:45 p.m. on a Wednesday night or during a movie in a theatre.  Doug quickly learned, on date number three at his house for dinner and a movie, that I cannot stay awake past 8 p.m. if watching a movie on a couch.  He let me sleep and then asked me out again for date number four.  I've even had my eyes start to cross from fighting sleep when company has stayed too long at the house.  Once I even stood up and said they were free to
stay as long as they wanted but I had to go to bed.
I am so the life of any party.

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