Monday, 14 July 2014

In Search Of Slumber

I've decided that all my posts are so astonishing and BRILLIANT I should regurgitate another one! Why not? Don't answer that...


I feel like I could sleep for approximately a billion years. At least a decade, anyway. Maybe a year. A month, then? A solid eight hours, pretty please? Oh fuck it, I'll settle for a Nanna nap.

I never used to indulge in Nanna naps. Now they are become frequent happenings in my increasingly cutting edge lifestyle. I remember how my Mum always dozed off in the lounge chair of an afternoon or evening. I am turning into my Mother. Except I'm not. I never can.

You see, my Mother is one of those freakish people that are called: Morning People. Something I have never been. Never will be. Even growing human beings inside me and birthing them has not transformed me. Quite the opposite. You just become even more sleep deprived once you're a parent. If I ever am forced to be up early, every fibre of my being is violently protesting against it.

I remember reading Betty White's book If You Ask Me (And Of Course You Won't), where she talks about her passion and enthusiasm for life. Apparently she only needs four hours of sleep to be functioning and raring to go. The woman is about 150 years old. Or something. Really old, anyway. Four hours sleep? I couldn't function on that when I had a newborn that needed to be fed constantly, and I certainly can't function on it now.

My Mum, like Betty, also has that enviable ability to sleep for 4-6 hours, get up and keep going all day, sustained only by her chair snoozes. I, on the other hand, need a solid eight hours. Truthfully, ten would be even better. Even on the rare occasions when I achieve this, mornings are not my friend. I am still in a mental fog until midday. Oh who I am kidding, mental fogginess is a permanent state for me.

It probably helps that Betty White never had children. The sleep deprivation once they arrive is quite astonishing in intensity. Everybody warns you, but there is no preparation for it. It is like the most extreme jet lag you can imagine multiplied in intensity a billion times. Only worse, because you also have a shrieking infant to care for who is never going to let you catch up on your sleep debt. So this permanently jet-lagged, exhausted state just becomes a way of life.

For some inexplicable reason once you are already in the trenches of such sleep deprivation, you somehow convince yourself that it won't make any difference having that second or third child. HA! This is where you will discover how completely and absurdly wrong you can be. It gets worse.

Of course I am one of those nonsensical creatures who is capable of further complicating my quest for slumber. Each night, we engage in a highly intelligent game of 'Musical Beds'. This reminds me of an episode of the American sit-com The Middle, where Mum Frankie, (played by Patricia Heaton) says: If you're a parent and you're not doing this (musical beds), you're a liar. I'd have to concur with Frankie/Patricia. Meanwhile, I should possibly be somewhat alarmed instead of amused that we are almost like an Aussie version of the Hecks from The Middle. Classy.

Additionally, I am also an introvert and an Aspie. This means that certain things that others would find energising and refreshing, such as socialising, shopping or travelling, leave me feeling utterly drained. I need days to recover from such things. I have no idea how people manage to juggle work and a family. I am in awe of the parents who do this. I need to reserve my energy for coping with three beautiful, but boisterous boys. So I'm a stay at home Mum, even though I'm no domestic goddess. Ahem.

Another interesting element adding to our sleep deprivation dilemma is dreaming. Each day, Micky Blue Eyes and I wake up, looking shell shocked and hungover, and discuss our wild, erratic dreams. Neither of us seem to have a blissful night of deep, dreamless sleep. Instead we are constantly bombarded with these crazy dreams. It's as if we both have a secret drug habit, but I can assure you that the only ice I'm familiar with is the stuff I put in my scotch. And I only have one nip not an entire bottle!

My dreams are difficult to remember and so nonsensical and disjointed that they wouldn't make sense anyway. Some recurring themes of dreams I do remember fragments of, are:

Houses

Usually they will be houses that I spent time in as a child, like my Aunty Eileen's house, complete with the bright orange 1970's kitchen that I remember, but sometimes they are unfamiliar houses.

Toilets

The sheer desperation to find one fast! When I do, there is usually no privacy: no door, or a huge window and I have to keep looking. Not surprisingly, I usually wake up from these dreams bursting to pee.

Clothes

The inability to find any that fit me and a pressing urgency to be dressed and ready as I'm expecting visitors at any second.

School/Exams

I am due back at school with exams looming. Sometimes the clothes thing is combined and I'm looking for something to wear (obviously I can't bring myself to don a school uniform as an adult, even in a dream). I keep wondering why I have to go back and how to get out of it. I'm always so relieved when I wake up.

CONCLUSION: I am a deep and complex person with a pea-sized bladder, who fears exams, not having any clothes and wishes to revert back to childhood places?? Something like that, anyway. It's nice to have yourself figured out at this advanced age.

Anyway, I think I just need to surrender to this zombie like existence. Sleepless nights are not fading fast for me. Last week Mr 12 became Mr 13. Meaning, I am now heading into the teenage years. Yep, I can forget about sleeping. I'll just have to develop an ability to exist on Power Naps. I'm ready for The 30 Day Napping  Challenge, as seen floating around Facey.  I think I can give this a red hot go. Care to join me?



Linking up for I Must Confess.


How have you been sleeping? Do you remember your dreams?
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26 comments:

  1. I am a casual night shift nurse so I never know from one day to the next if I'm expected to be awake until 7:30 am tomorrow, or if I will be going to bed tonight. Needless to say my circadian rhythm is completely screwed! Once I'm in bed, you need a crowbar to entice me out, even if I'm lying there thinking, it beats being out in the cold victorian night air, also thinking.
    The teenage years are not so bad, yes they are hormone filled, but on the plus side, teenagers sleep in. Winnning!

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    1. Oh man, I could never do shift work. You should be paid at least as much as the Prime Minister and I know you're not. Good to hear about teen sleep ins! xo

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  2. I can go days on just 4ish hours of sleep at night and then I hit the wall and could almost sleep for days on end. Most of my adult life I've been a night owl but you know just recently when I gave up coffee in a big way, I funnily enough turned into a morning person. Interestingly, I revert back to a night owl when I up my coffee intake.

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    1. I don't drink much coffee but I drink a shitload of tea which is probably just as bad. So, you're saying it's the caffeine making us night owls? Bugger.

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  3. No I need my sleep and I am married to a morning person. Should have read the fine print before I married him. I love to sleep in, I don't get these morning people who write/exercise/solve life's problems before 7am.

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    1. My Mum always had 50 things done before 8am. I'm lucky if I'm vertical. Sigh. xo

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  4. I need my sleep but my sleep patterns are all over the place - I'll wake up at 5am and the fall asleep during a movie at 9pm. The teenage years are great if you like lie in's - you practically need a crow bars to get them out of bed, I guess wrestling with all those hormones is exhausting!

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    1. Obviously I need to be a teenager again, not so I can sow my wild oats, just so I can catch up on sleep! xo

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  5. I saw that napping challenge and it literally made me laugh out loud!! I love a good nanna nap and usually have one on a Saturday afternoon, especially if I've been up early that day, kind of feels like my reward!

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    1. But...but..why would you be up early on a SATURDAY??!! xo

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  6. Bloody sleep, as an insomniac before I had kids I now only get snatches of decent sleep because I go to bed too late up and they up so early, so 5 hours in a row is enough to get me boy, just. But I go to bed too late because if I go to bed early when I'm not smashed the insomniac in me sneaks out and fugs up my mind with shit that keeps me awake for hours, I have to say the occasional nip or two can aid when one is desperate for a nap. I would LOVE nanna naps, a shame my 2.5yo hates them now as it used to be a great excuse to have one! Thanks for laugh lovely - quick witted as usual! And for linking - you rock :)

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    1. It's hard when your mind doesn't switch off. And yes, a nip or two sometimes helps. Shame that doing that everyday is regarded as alcoholism. Ahem. Sucks when the kiddies don't nap anymore. Luckily mine are getting old enough to amuse themselves safely for a short time, while I have 40 winks. Thanks Em. xo

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  7. Sleep is for the weak! I should know I'm one - I need 7 - 8 hours a night but can survive on 4 if required for a few days. Then it's crash and burn for one tired and emotional man

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    1. There's been a few tired and emotional men around here lately - hubby and 13 yo have been waking up at ridiculous hours to watch the World Cup. Thankfully that madness is over!

      Thanks for reading. :)

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  8. I dreamed that DOCS were at my house with 16 social workers trying to plant secret bugs in my house to listen to me yelling at the kids on Saturday night. I wonder what the significance of that particular dream is! ;)

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    1. PMSL! I bet you were relieved when you woke up! xo

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  9. I've been having more vivid dreams lately too but I can never remember them - what's the point of having them if you can't recount them or make sense of them when you wake up?

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  10. At last! Someone else who watches The Middle! I love that show, Ness. As for Betty White only needing four hours of sleep... my eighty year old Dad says the same thing and is up at 5:00am but he nods off in front of the telly at 7:00pm. I reckon they get more sleep than they let on! I might write a post about that and link you in!

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    1. It's a funny show. You're probably right about them getting more sleep than they say. Looking forward to reading that post.xo

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  11. Yes! I have that dream about toilets too!

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  12. I will gladly join you in your nap challenge..alas like you I have a small child who would be nipping at my heels should I try to do it. Last time Dyl went out to my parents I barely did anything except sleep, I think I even lost weight that week because I sleeping instead of eating lol!

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  13. I used to think I was addicted to sleep. Turns out I was anaemic ... coincidentally I'm sharing about my battle with anaemia on the blog tomorrow!

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  14. I am and since I have had children have become a morning person. I love it when no one else is up. The peace xxx

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  15. Nap challenge .. say what!? I have to say I am combination, I am an early riser who likes her 8 - 10hrs sleep a night. My current around 5 just doesn't cut it for me, and I know I shouldn't wine as there are those who get less. Dreams, I don't recall them, well I don't think I do but well, I can't remember. I love your dream assessment.

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  16. I love your conclusion based on the content of your dreams - brilliant!

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