No, you won't. But you'll have a lot of conversation about it with your spouse. By Jean Campell
Photo by Eduardo Flores on Unsplash
“How’d you sleep?”
“Great! I only got up twice to pee, and slept all the way till 5 a.m.!”
“Wow! That’s good.”
“What about you?”
“Meh. The usual.”
This is the scintillating dialogue that may rule your marriage in the later years. This is what we Olds must discuss over porridge. Why? We know not.
Perhaps because sleep, like digestion and surprises, comes less and less often. Whatever the case, I’ve tried everything to win back the full-night’s sleep I once thought was my God-given right.
Except a chill blanket. That one I’ve only heard about.
My last good night of sleep was years ago. I wish I could remember the date. I’d love to relive it and maybe build a shrine to it with photos of napping kittens and a shelf of scented candles and a painting of Dorothy and the gang asleep in that field of poppies.
Despite my efforts to sleep like a baby in a opium den, I must admit I am a big fat failure — so far. I shall never give up the fight.
The Dark, Cold Room
They say you should sleep in a totally dark room with zero distractions. Good luck with that if you are married. Nonetheless, I live in rural Arkansas and it’s darker than the inside of a dog, so no problema.
Also it’s best to approach icebox temp, because heat causes wakefulness. Check. Thermostat at 72 and the ceiling fan is on.
I sleep under a wafer thin quilt, but I have no power over my better half’s occasional snores.
To remedy the snoring I’ve prodded him into using a tiny piece of medical tape, which ensures breathing through the nose. I use tape every night to make sure I breathe correctly. It’s simple, easy, and improves my breathing so why not?
Still can’t sleep but my sinuses are clear and happy.
King Tut slept on this slanted bed. Photo courtesy of Wikimedia.
I’m sure less than one percent of people practice inclined bed therapy, but 99 percent of them are Olds like me. I discovered it at the website of an eccentric engineer who has rethought human circulation, and insists it is better for us to avoid extended periods of time lying flat.
Also the Egyptians — kinda known for being old, er, ancient — did it. Their beds were cool looking.
I feel better when I wake up but still, I sleep like an unbaby.
This is the approach my sister uses. Oh well, I’m awake, no big deal. Tried it, hated it, and it felt like surrender or resignation.
But every now and then, I accept and have a little gratitude I have a bed to lie awake in.
Winning the Lottery
During my awake hours, I do not get out of bed. Getting up will accomplish nothing. I’ll just doom scroll, exposing myself to more blue light, or snack, exposing myself to chips.
So I ponder instead about what I’d do with my millions when I finally win the lottery. The fact that I never play the lottery doesn’t deter me. Hiring a sleep expert never seems to make the list but I do contemplate the layout of my mansion and the names of my servants.
I’ve read, and re-read what to do.
It used to be worse: I’d sleep for about four hours at a time, and maybe reach a total of five hours. I’m well aware that poor sleep is tied to health problems, crankiness, and eventually losing my mind.
I’ve dropped gluten, sugar, stress, too much exercise/not enough exercise, alcohol, and a variety of high histamine foods. The remedies have worked in some ways: I’ve lost weight, feel better about myself, have a more regular schedule, and can write endless fitness articles.
But I still don’t sleep well.
I sort of get enough sleep — about six hours — about half the time. But a full 7–8 hours of restful sleep? No way.
Sleeping Beauty Was an Ignorant Little Harlot
Lack of sleep has made me envious but I’m not yet bitter. At least not during the hours I feel energized, bright-eyed, and full of vim.
Right now I am on a program to address my chronic and random headaches, so I’m taking B-vitamins and learning to avoid certain migraine-inducing foods and soon, I’ll be drinking carrot juice daily. Maybe that’ll do it. Yeah, carrot juice. That’s the ticket. I’m not holding my breath.