To Sleep, Perchance to Dream

sleep

In response to The Daily Post’s writing prompt: “To Sleep, Perchance to Dream.”

Ah, sleep… Something we all need, something many of us loathe, and something that is almost painfully elusive in our modern world. There are so many frustrations when it comes to sleep, because so many of us have trouble getting the right kind and the right amount at the right times, and every person is different.

What better example than right in my own household? They say that people of my and my husband’s age should get about 7 hours of sleep a night, and that kids my daughter’s age should get about 11. However, I’ve seen my husband run perfectly fine on 5 and my daughter run like a champion on 8, all while I can get 9 or 10 and still feel like I haven’t slept in a week. My husband and daughter both seem to need background noise (like a TV show playing) in order to fall asleep in the first place, whereas I could pass out in minutes whether there’s a party going on next door or the world is complete silence. My daughter rarely mentions anything about having dreams, and when my husband has a dream it’s usually something very boring and benign, but I have these full-length motion pictures in my head that are usually completely off-the-wall and so vivid that, if given the chance, I can write pages and pages about what I remember.

I also seen tons of variations when I’m on shift at work. As I’ve mentioned, I work out West on the Alberta oil sands, and the way that works is that my coworkers and I fly out, live on a camp for the length of our shift, and then fly home. The rooms that we live in are like tiny little dorm rooms with – let’s admit it – pretty crappy beds and super-thin walls, and we each have to share a washroom with the next room over. This makes for tons and tons of poor sleeping conditions. Some people sleep like rocks, complete with earth-shattering snoring, which means that their neighbors often spend night after night crying into their pillows. Some people wake up multiple times throughout the night and need to use the shared bathroom, which in turn wakes up their neighbor who otherwise would have been sleeping just fine. Other people just can’t seem to get comfortable in those beds, no matter what they try. Still others just find it difficult to get used to sleeping alone when, at home, they’re used to having their spouse by their side. Where do I fall in all those categories? Well, let’s just say that the beds are awful, my husband isn’t next to me, and there’s enough noise to jolt me back to wakefulness every time I just start to fall asleep.

But every so often, the stars align. My bed will be particularly comfy. The temperature in the room will be just right. My husband won’t wake up in the middle of the night and jostle me as well. My daughter will sleep clear through the night without once stirring and yelling for me. Even the two cats will decide to sequester themselves somewhere instead of running around like maniacs at two in the morning. And for whatever reason my brain will actually turn off for a change, so I won’t have exhausting motion-picture dreams. I’ll sleep, I’ll sleep well, and it will be glorious. And that one good night will keep my body from falling apart for the following twenty bad nights.

Hey, we all get along somehow. 😛

What is your nighttime routine like? Do you need noise or silence? Lots of blankets or few? Do you dream a lot? Get up multiple times throughout the night? Or are you lucky enough to sleep like a drugged rock? Please share!

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