Strange Bedfellows

I used to be a great sleeper.  I would slip into a light snore almost before my eyes were completely closed.

Now I find myself laying in the dark at 3 AM, confused at the lack of heaviness in my eyelids.

My dreams are strange.  They aren't nightmares, but I wake unsettled.  My mind and body don't leave dreams behind upon waking.  Sometimes they linger beneath the surface for hours after waking.  I carry this nameless muddy confusion with me into  Danny's room.  He is back asleep within moments, his breathing even and slow.  I carry it back to my bed and will my body and mind fruitlessly to just be more tired.

I am a stranger to insomnia, and I am not enjoying this newfound relationship.  I try to use The Secret- reaching into the universe calling for the Sandman to come, but it seems that method works no better in the dead of night than in the daytime.

Time passes and anxiety builds, I think about my alarms, knowing that the more time goes by, the more difficult it will be to wake again.

3 AM comes and I give in, I admit to myself that sleep may come but it isn't close.  I pick up my phone, this double edged distraction.  For a few minutes I let my mind focus on Facebook housekeeping and Instagram photos of faraway friends and fat-positive feminists.

Just as I finally begin to feel that weight creeping into the corners of my eyelids, my blinks coming 3/4 speed, a heat crawls across my chest and down my arms.  I guess it shouldn't surprise me as a woman in my late 30s to finally become acquainted with these flushes, night sweats like the younger, flightier sister of the menopausal hot flashes all women hear about and steel themself to expereince everything - not if, but when.

I used to be a great sleeper and now I wake to a quiet house, the short hair at the nape of my neck sticky and my thighs slick with that skin on skin hot blanket hot flash sweat.  The blanket off, cold air feels like relief from the suffocation of the same covers that felt so cozy two hours ago.

The most unfortunate part about these strange bedfellows is the absolute quicksand feeling of 6:30 AM.  I have never been a morning person, and these new nighttime roommates exacerbate my aversion to the morning alarm.

Some days I nap after work, the exhaustion catching up with me, and wake to bedtimes and cuddles and wondering how many times I'll be awake tonight.  Some nights sleep returns, relief like the summer rain after a drought washing over me.

I used to be a great sleeper, now irony is my love being the one snoring first, as if your bed can only tolerate one good sleeper and a time and it's not my turn anymore.  He snores and I lay next to him, wondering how long tonight, how many minutes, and will they turn into hours and will I sleep deeply and how many times tonight will that familiar click open and padding down the hall of little feet interrupt my no-pattern sleep patterns?

Nighttime now means something else, a hot-cold-awake-asleep dance of dreams and waking.  I stumble, pirouette, trip and spin through the hours between twilight and dawn and as I dance I remember that I used to be a great sleeper.