‘You remember how it was sometimes when you were a kid? You got into bed, and then suddenly it was morning, with no interval in between.’
I read this line in a book yesterday and longed for those days. When I was a child I was such a deep sleeper that my mum and sister would sometimes shake me and shout in my face to try to wake me, worrying I had slipped into some sort of coma in the night.
I don’t know whether it is becoming a parent, or simply adulthood, (as they both happened to me at the same time), but it has been about 17 years now since I slept like that. After thinking about it for a bit, and sighing heavily and indulgently to myself, I thought I might write about a typical night for me – I know, you’re yawning just thinking about it, that’s how evocative my writing is…*
And then last night, I had such a terrible night’s sleep, I just had to share. It went something like this:
10.30pm: Come to bed, with warm drink, feeling optimistic. Read for a bit until Boyfriend starts snoring. Turn off light.
11.00pm: Lie in the dark for a while, wondering what the weather will be like tomorrow, deciding what to wear. Try to remember if we have bread. Make mental note to self to change kitchen bin in the morning, and to become thin/fit this week.
Midnight: Wake from dream about Nazi massacre, where I’ve had to step over the body of Hitler, unsure whether he is actually dead or not, and scared he may grab my ankle at any moment. Lie awake for a while recalling all the things I made myself remember an hour ago. Drift back to sleep, waking every ten minutes or so to rearrange duvet, fidget etc.
2.30am: Just entering satisfying period of deep sleep when Boyfriend’s phone rings. Not sure what is happening in sleepy state. Boyfriend goes back to sleep, holding his phone with the screen shining in my face.
2.45am: Phone rings again. Poke boyfriend awake. It is Chinese bed and breakfast owner wondering if he has checked in. Yes he did, he says, two weeks ago. Chinese bed and breakfast owner is not convinced. Boyfriend shouts at Chinese bed and breakfast owner that it is the middle of the night.
3.00am: Boyfriend goes back to sleep instantly, while I lie awake for an hour, thinking about what it would be like to be a Chinese bed and breakfast owner, and trying to work out the time in China. Get up and go to the toilet for a change of scenery.
4.30am: Phone rings again. It is Chinese bed and breakfast owner, calling to apologise for disturbing us earlier. Have dream about ballroom dancing with dead Granddad. Wake up feeling a bit disturbed for a while.
5.30am: Scratch myself awake on spiky duvet. Lie awake for a while regretting choice of jewel encrusted bedding set.
8.15am: Phone rings again. Is Boyfriend’s mother. ‘No,’ says Boyfriend, ‘there is no school today.’ Make Boyfriend make me tea and then complain about it when it arrives.
Spend rest of day moaning about feeling tired.
Really, I am a joy to share a bed with. Is this just me, or just how grown-ups sleep?
*Evocative. Not dull.