how do you, how do you sleep

A few days ago I was having a bad morning. Brian was out of town, for one. And for two, Rory decided to get up around 4:30 instead of her usual 5am or later. And I mean, 5am is hard enough for me; 4:30 was making me angry. Really angry. (I might have told her to shut up.)

When I'm tired, some old joint injuries come back to haunt me, and I have been tired every single day for months. Since November 24, to be exact. As I lay there, alone, all I could feel was the lumpy pillows and my aching shoulder and hip. I couldn't get comfortable! And the more I tried to get comfortable, the worse I felt.

To make matters worse, one line from the refrain of some stupid pop song kept running through my head (see: title of this post). The song, if I understand it correctly, is written from the viewpoint of a guy who has been dropped by his girlfriend like a hot potato, and in the chorus he is confronting her about it a year later. How do you sleep - as in, how can you sleep at night. You're smart, you get it.

Those moments, struggling to sleep, trying not to hate the dog, and not being able to shut the song off, were not my best. To distract myself from my misery discomfort, I began thinking of all the different ways I've slept in my life. I've generally been a side sleeper for as long as I can remember, with several attempts to become a back sleeper thrown in for good measure and to appease my chiropractors. The back sleeping never really caught on - you can't curl up that way! I've found recently, though, that when I am hurting (on any given day it's right hip, right shoulder, or mid-back) I am most comfortable sleeping on my back. Even better if I have some heavy blankets, including one electric one to keep everything warm.

Brian is one of those contortionist elbow-in-every-corner sleepers, so it's easy to get comfortable on my back when he's not around and I'm not getting jabbed by an errant knee. When he is around, sleeping straight on my back is asking for trouble. And bruising. Usually I'll give in to the angles and try to cuddle - married life and all - but this doesn't always lead to feeling rested.

So I'm curious - how do you sleep? Do you have any tips for getting back to sleep after being rudely awoken by a spoiled border collie? Do you get jabbed and poked all night too?


  1. Oh, Ashley! Big hugs to you! I don't have any great words of wisdom, but when I'm awake in the middle of the night and can't get back to sleep, sometimes I pick up a boring book and read it until I can't keep my eyes open any more. (NB: must be a BORING book!) Sometimes it just makes it worse to lay there thinking about how much you really need to get back to sleep.

    My hubby has inadvertently hit me in the face with flailing arms (more times than I care to remember), and regularly steals pillows and covers. Oh, and he talks in his sleep, which freaks me out every single time. And my son...wow. Don't even get me started on sleeping with him. But on the rare occasion when I have to share a bed with him, he is all over the bed, feet and elbows in my face. No sleep for me on those nights.

    Hope that husband and doggy of yours give you a good night's sleep soon!

    I'm a slide/stomach sleeper. And sometimes back. Ok, so I'm a flip-flop sleeper.

  2. I'm a side sleeper too. I think I kind of fall to my back after I've fallen asleep but I can never GO to sleep that way. I have a lot of back/neck pain so I totally know what you mean about just not being able to get comfortable.

    If you ever have a night where you just can't sleep because you can't turn your brain off (all the time, for me), try counting backwards from 100 and really visualize each number. Having to focus on just one thing at a time somehow really helps. It doesn't do a thing for you if you have a dog who wont leave you alone though. I am so glad my dogs are no longer in the puppy stage. so.glad.

  3. I sleep with a snoring husband who is only here every other month. So, I just get used to sleeping alone and he comes back. He rarely argues when I ask him to roll over, but if I am having a real tough time I listen to my IPod or watch a little TV. I have three kids, so I can't plug my ears. One other method I use is to get my book light out and read a few pages in one of my books. Having the soft glow and darkness all around really helps.

    What I don't do anymore is get up and get on the computer. I have found if I do this, I am up all night -- I guess it is far too enjoyable.

  4. Cara - I don't know what I'd do with a flailer!! And the sleep talking probably does get startling. Brian doesn't usually, and if he does, it's when he's drifting off. I can't ever make out what he says.

    Kaylene - counting backwards? Innnnnteresting, I'll have to give it a try!

    Brenda - gone for a month, back for a month? I don't think I would ever get to sleep! When we got married it took me a long time to get used to someone else being there, and it's REALLY WEIRD now when he's gone. Most days I will roll up a blanket and stick it under his side of the covers to feel like someone is there, physically.


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