Monday, June 18, 2012

Sleep Battles

Sleep Battles was first published on 2/2/12.  It was revised and republished on 6/18/12 for Yeah Write Challenge #62
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While waiting for my daughter Kyra to finish her piano lesson, I sat in my car browsing through my mobile Facebook app.  I noticed that Kellie had updated her profile information, but it appears that she might not understand what sort of items to place in each of the categories.  


For example, Kellie listed “Taking Naps” under the Activities category. Taking a nap is not an activity; it’s inactivity.  It’s the antithesis of activity.  The only way to become more inactive is by dying. 
She makes a similar categorization error when enumerating her interests.  Kellie lists napping ahead of all her other interests.  Naps are not an interest.  Napping is what you do when you are not interested in doing anything else. 
Kellie loves sleeping and napping so much that she gets all giddy and excited just thinking about the possibility of dozing off. She's been searching for the perfect bed to help carry her off into dreamland. Since we've been married she has purchased four different beds – none of them cheap. Her latest acquisition, a king-size Tempur-Pedic, set me back over four grand. Still, she has failed to achieve mattress nirvana. I think she now recognizes that buying another bed any time soon could send me into a dissociative fugue.

I don’t share her enthusiasm for sleep; for me, unconsciousness is just a waste of time. Plus, I'm a bit of an insomniac. Our differing attitudes about sleep have produced a few disagreements. At one time or another we have bickered about: who gets which side of the bed, sleep positions, hogging the bed, the temperature of the room, whether to cuddle or not to cuddle, flannel sheets, tossing and turning, cracking knuckles, cracking toes, getting up in the middle of the night, the size of the bed, the firmness of the mattress, my snoring, her wheezing, having the window open, sleeping with the kids, sleeping with the dogs, sleeping with the cats, the number of pillows, the number of blankets, stealing pillows, steeling blankets, the volume of the television, the brightness of the reading light, what time to go to bed, what time to get up, nocturnal flatulence, and spousal arousal syndrome. The last one is not what you think.  
Out of all the things that couples do together, partners will devote the most time to just trying to get some sleep while sharing the same bed. You would think that perspective mates would verify their compatibility in this vital area before committing to a lifetime of nocturnal sparring. It seldom happens.  eHarmony touts their one-of-a-kind questionnaire for its ability to match couples’ compatibility along 29 different personality dimensions, but not one of the 258 questions addresses sleep preferences.  
I now understand the reasoning behind the admonition against premarital sex. It has nothing to do with religion or morality; it's about not masking potential bedtime conflicts. During the infatuation stage of a relationship, sex serves as a natural sleep aid that obscures any sleep-time incompatibilities. Sleep battles are just the withdrawal symptoms that occur following the abrupt cessation of sex. The remedy seems clear.
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read to be read at yeahwrite.me


53 comments:

  1. WOW...This is GREAT! SO right on, too. I am not married, but the man I am with..well....our sleep habits/patterns are so different. He naps (60) during the day (we are retired). Sometimes I (52) will just lay beside him and use the time for meditation (stillness), plus I just love hugging him. But HE wants to go to bed at 9pm! I tend to want to stay up til midnight. He is up at 4 or 5. I get up at 7. I agree with you COMPLETELY about eHarmony has no questions about SLEEP!!! Have you sent them a letter? Your blog is a riot. I am retired military (and my man has been more of a hippy his whole life)...we are so different..but very compatible (except in the sleep category).
    Understandly,
    Marty (retired LDO)

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    1. Marty,

      Thanks so much for reading my blog. I'm glad you enjoyed this post. I'm still trying to grow my readership so please help spread the word by sharing links and clicking the like buttons on the site. Would you mind letting me know how you found the blog?

      Thanks again for reading,

      Joe

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    2. Joe,
      I found your blog via a FB friend, Joe Cereola. I have not met him in person, but became friends with him through one of his high school classmates, Jim Hilpert (from Massapequa, NY). Since Jim knew I was in the Navy, he thought I'd like friendship with Joseph. I think Joe "liked" your blog this AM or made a comment on it.
      Thanks for writing it...and I am glad I found it. It makes SO much sense. Sleep differences can be a source of contention, for sure!
      Cheers,
      Marty

      Delete
  2. I love to sleep ! It's one of my favorite hobbies !! I have listed 6 activities on FB and sleeping is one of them. I think it is because I am in a constant state of exhaustion. I am sorry to hear you hate your Tempur - Pedic. My husband however, is happy that he doesn't have to shell out 4 grand !
    Love your blog Joe !

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    1. I don't hate my Tempur - Pedic, I love it. Kellie is not thrilled with it, though I think it may be growing on her.

      It's gratifying to know you enjoy the blog. Thanks for sharing links.

      Joe

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  3. Beth Farrell PecereFebruary 5, 2012 at 1:39 PM

    I've meant to check this out for awhile, but chose today partially in atonement to the writer. But that's not important.
    What is important is this: I - and you, when you read it - have just found a new addiction. This blog - although I think of it much more as a book in need of a publisher - is the genius of a warm, laugh-out-loud-funny literary voice who clearly loves, and really knows, women with all our faults and foibles.
    It's said the best comedy is based upon reality and in this case, it's hilariously true. I may not know everything but I do know this about 'Living in Kellie's World': Women will welcome a clearly besotted (and amused) male observations of our species; men will relate to it; and I wish I'd written it. Congratulations; you have hit a literary home run.

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    1. Wow! Thanks Beth. You certainly have provided me with some additional motivation to keep on blogging.

      Thanks again,

      Joe

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  4. Ian from Melbourne, AustraliaFebruary 6, 2012 at 3:44 AM

    I enjoy your posts Joe. Keep writing, you've got a touch of James Thurber's style, and an insight into relationships and the-way-that-things-are that I remember from Charles Schulz's wonderful drawings.

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    1. Ian, I'm happy you enjoy the blog and thanks for reading. It gives me a bit of a thrill to see people from around the world reading the blog; how did you ever find it?

      Joe

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  5. Joe you hit the nail on the head. I understand now why TV shows of the 50's and 60's had actors in separate beds. Made for a more workable set.
    We sleep in a queen bed which still isnt big enough. I think a King bed is in the near future.

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  6. Hahaha I love sleep too. I had a crap bed for awhile before i finally got a much better one a few months ago. It is amaaaazing.

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    1. Two beds I can understand, but Kellie is on bed number 4 and she still hasn't found what she's looking for.

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  7. I LOOOOVVVEEEEE my Tempur-pedic!!! At least the little slice of it I get to call "mine".

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    1. I love it; Kellie, not so much.

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  8. Ahahaha. This is awesome and oh so true. My husband is a night owl and I'm not. So it's not so much him sleeping beside me that wakes me, but him not sleeping beside me. I will wake up periodically to see if hes come to bed YET.

    Great post Joe!!

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    1. Thanks, Carrie. I should have realized we were going to have some sleep issues. She always wanted to cuddle and I didn't want anyone touching me at all while trying to go sleep. She built up my tolerance slowly. In the beginning, she only asked that we cuddle for the first five minutes before going to sleep, increasing the cuddling time over the course of several months. Today, I can't go sleep unless we're spooning. We hop in bed and I tell her to "assume the position."

      Delete
  9. I totally feel like sleeping is an activity and a hobby and an interest. Kellie and I could totally be friends! ;)

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  10. Oh napping is totally a hobby. I like to think of it as my TOP hobby. I just never get to actually do it. Haha!

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    1. Since I've retired, I'm actually starting to see the merit in Kellie's point of view.

      Delete
  11. I hate naps. I wake up all groggy and out of it. My husband is one of those people who can do a 15 minute catnap and be all energized. I am jealous but of course have to mock him, just because...I will say that a tempurpedic "topper" on our bed has helped a lot b/c then his tossing & turning doesn't wake me up - I am a crazy light sleeper, which I figure is probably his fault. I lie awake at night & try to figure out how I can blame my insomnia on him... : )

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    1. You should just heed the advice I gave at the end of my post. I'm sure your husband won't mind administering the medicine.

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  12. The remedy is clear, indeed!

    Even though "spousal arousal syndrome" is not what it appears to be, I think I'm going to have to claim that as an officially-diagnosed condition.

    "I know you're tired, honey, but remember what Doctor Cereola said? I have a severe case of spousal arousal syndrome, and if I don't get my daily meds, I could be hospitalized."

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  13. I can relate, being a night owl married to an early-to-bed-early-to-riser. Half the time we don't sleep together because I wake him up when I come to bed late and then I feel guilty since he goes to work early. I agree with your wife. Naps are definitely a hobby.

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    1. They're more of a need for Kellie. Without them she gets grouchy. I guess that makes them more of a need for me.

      Delete
  14. I think it's interesting that she likes being so active (crossfit, etc.) and also sleeping so much. Or maybe she's just tired from being so active?

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    1. Hahaha. Exactly. If I ever did crossfit, you can bet I would be taking a nap later that day. Heck, I'd probably fall asleep on the gym floor.

      Delete
  15. My husband and I both love to sleep, but we do it differently. I want to sleep in pitch black silence, he prefers the TV on for background noise/glow. My husband is also an insomniac and I'm typically not, so we make for an interesting pair. Loved the post!

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    1. When I'm ready to sleep, the environment hardly matters. The problem is just being ready to sleep.

      Delete
  16. Haha! I love this. I'm sending it to my husband, who could sleep 25 hours a day if every day was Daylight Savings day (or not Daylight Savings? I get them confused.)

    I hate sleep. He actually needs to demand I go to sleep. I like your solution, though.

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    1. That's what Kellie does to me: she demands I go to sleep.

      Delete
  17. Sleep Number, friend! If you want to spend a few more K, that is. Wonderful post and so familiar. I despise napping and my husband adores it. Sleep is just a step away from death for me. I get up at 4:00 AM every morning so I can happily drink coffee alone and do stuff! My darling sleeps until the last possible minute before he must run out the door for work. He likes to sleep on a board and I like to sleep on a cloud, which is where the marriage-saving Sleep Number comes in. . .

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    1. The choice may me sleep number or separate beds.

      Delete
  18. OK, so I clicked through to the spousal arousal syndrome link :) I have to agree with Kellie, though - napping is one of my favorite "activities."

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    1. I really wanted spousal arousal syndrome to be something else.

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  19. I think Kellie could be my new BFF. I love a nap. LOVE it. Ray, notsomuch. I really want a sleep number bed. Like - I have daydreams of it. I know it will help with my back too, but Ray says no. So, when I hit the lottery... we will not be buying a bigger house - but a nicer bed.

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    1. I write the blog but everyone wants to be Kellie's BFF. What gives?

      Delete
  20. My husband and I have different sleep habits, so we frequently sleep in separate beds. I attribute much of our marital happiness to this!

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    1. My insomnia goes in bouts. When it's really bad - separate beds.

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  21. haha. sounds like my husband and i - i don't require much sleep but love to lay in bed, which apparently only makes the bed "hot" so i get yelled at :)

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    1. I like it when Kellie makes the bed hot. Are we talking about the same thing?

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  22. Kellie must be young. I napped so much more when I was young. Why? Lord knows, I should be napping more now that I'm borderline falling apart old. When home my husband naps all the time. Funny. Maybe it is a spousal thing to be paired napper and non-napper. Maybe you could get a research grant to study it?

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    1. Kellie just turned 49, but she's always been a napper.

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  23. I am with your wife - I love a good nap. Unfortunately, I don't "allow" myself the luxury very often. My mind is always racing with other things that I should be doing. I do believe, however, that most problems can be improved with a big helping of cookie dough and a good nap, preferably in that order.

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  24. Man oh man, sleep impacts everything. I can't count the number of sleep battles I have been through.

    Women seem to have this broken thermostat that constantly requires adjusting blankets because there are too many or too few.

    I am very active, but I have to agree that napping is a fine cessation of activity that can serve as a hobby.

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  25. I've never been able to nap properly. I'm quite jealous of those who can. I can't ever get to sleep and when I do it's then for hours, which is not a nap. Maybe the problem is I've only had one bed my adult life...

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  26. I love sleep...jealous you don't stalk it like I do!

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  27. To me sleep and naps are something to anticipate and savor. However, my loving parents have worked out a system(now that they have free bedrooms). They start the night in my Dad's bed. Once Dad is snoring amongst his heated mattress pad AND electric blanket, my menopausal(hot flashing) insomniac mother moves to her own bed. I'm only shocked that she hasn't yet installed a window air conditioner in her room so she can have it cooler than his.

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    1. We have some nights like this. We start i the same bed, but either I'm keeping her awake so she moves to another bed, or I realize I'm flopping too much and I move.

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  28. As I type this I am in bed, beside my spouse. Though I spend nearly half my life here, I don't sleep nearly enough (and not for those good reasons). I am utterly jealous of Kellie's ability to nap. Sweet dreams to you both.

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  29. So true. Sleep, however one chooses to grab it, is highly personal! (catch z's in multiple naps vs power down HARD for 5-6hrs) I'm with you, in the latter! Best of luck on the search for sweeter dreams. :)

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