Sunday, January 24, 2010

To Sleep, Perchance...


"It's age-related," says J. when I tell her of the last few weeks of interrupted or non-existent sleep.

I'm not ready to concede. "I'd rather blame the cat and his insistence on draping all 11 pounds of himself across my feet so that turning from one side to the other wakes us both fully. I blame the economy - who can sleep when bills loom unpaid, when my income grows ever smaller and sorrier while prices climb as high as my eyebrows at the sight of them? And how about late night snacking? The lack of conscientious exercise? Reruns of MASH and Seinfeld? The ancestors that lurk just out of reach of the long arm of Ancestry.com, necessitating hours of extra research? And people who insist on calling my telephone number after 9 p.m.?"

"It's age," sighs J. "Once you get to where we are, your body doesn't need as much sleep. It gets plenty of rest during the day. You walk more slowly, you sit down more, you nap a lot. Age."

"But," I sputter, "I'm on my feet almost all day!"

"Yeah, but when you sit down do you drop your head in your hands and take a three minute nap?"

I had to admit that happens now and then. Once last week, right in the middle of the day, I stopped into the ladies room for some relief. I sat, dropped my head in my hands and woke with a jerk a minute or two later. I felt like a jerk, though no one had seen me.

"But," I explain to J's knowing grin, "I didn't get much sleep the night before. Because of the cat. And the bills. And..." but the rest of what I was going to say was lost in her guffaw.

I have to admit, too, that late afternoon naps are something to which I've taken a distinct liking. I curl up on the sofa, pull a throw over my shoulders, adjust the cat on my feet, and slip into a pleasant hour of unconsciousness where nothing bothers me. The world I awaken to is always a better place.

Perhaps it is age. I used to rise with the sun and run and run until well after dark. I still get up before dawn but it gets dark here in the winter at 4:30, folks. To go to bed well after dark puts me between the sheets at about 7:45.

The only thing I can think for it is to stop aging. As soon as I figure out how to do that, you'll read it right here. Meanwhile, shhhhhh... I'm napping!

21 comments:

Molly said...

I probably shouldn't mention this in case the gods hear me and decide they need to take me down a peg or two, but, [whisper] I rarely lie awake worrying. My head hits the pillow and I'm gone! Hope it will stay that way, since I am not nice company when sleep deprived.
When you figure out how to stop the aging process let me know. I would like to give marching orders to the old bag I sometimes catch peering at me from the other side of the mirror!

JeannetteLS said...

I think we love to blame things on aging. Memory lapses--age. Crankiness--menopause or peri-menopause or... age. Lack of sleep--age. Too much sleep--age. No get up and go--age. stubbornness--age.
So how come I've had sleeplessness, stubbornness, too much sleep, too little sleep and a whole BLANK-load of crankiness off and on all my life? It's the wrinkles and the effects of gravity---THOSE are age. And it ain't pretty... I don't look in mirrors and that allows for a very pleasant sort of denial, I think.

Pauline said...

lol MOlly - me, too! Where did SHE come from?

Jeannette - blaming age is so handy at this age ;)

tattytiara said...

I see to need more and more sleep as time goes by. Oh boy! You think maybe I'm aging backwards?

Pauline said...

TT - I need the sleep too - perhaps aging backwards is what it is!

Jean said...

"...The only thing I can think for it is to stop aging. As soon as I figure out how to do that, you'll read it right here. Meanwhile, shhhhhh... I'm napping! ..."

Qu'est ce que l'âge ?
Il ne faut pas confondre l'âge du corps et l'âge de l'esprit .
Vous êtes jeune et vous serez toujours jeune .
Moi aussi , j'aime la sieste !

Hilary said...

Agh.. I can relate. When you get that figured out, please let me know.

Pauline said...

Jean, "Il ne faut pas confondre l'âge du corps et l'âge de l'esprit .
Vous êtes jeune et vous serez toujours jeune ."

Merci! Vous avez raison. Je me sens jeune dans mon esprit toujours.

Hilary - we need an eraser and a pencil to draw in new lines :)

silfert said...

Sleep. Sleep? It still exists?

Ruth D~ said...

I'm laughing, and I'm cheered. Misery loves company. So does wakefulness. Funny I just posted something about sleep on my blog, and then saw this. This is better. I've fallen asleep in meetings before, and yes, on the pot... although that was in one of my early morning wee hour bathroom missions. The thing is, I don't even have to go, but I'm awake. I might as well. As for afternoon couch naps... is there anything better? Besides sleeping through the night, that is. And as for cats... every time I turn over mine comes and sits on my chest and purrs. Sigh.

Pauline said...

silfert - there are rumors...

Ruth - I chuckled and nodded my way through your comment. I blame the cat but in the summer he sleeps outside in the barn and I still don't sleep through the night. Something's amiss...

wsxwhx696 said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Roberta S said...

Pauline, it is not old age. Of that I am quite certain. Because, (like you on the sofa), I sleep solidly on the big recliner chair in the afternoon but not well in bed at night. I think what I should do is take afternoon naps in bed and night naps in the big chair.

Still for a certainty, it is not old age, because before I was old, there was too often, even then, a sleep aura hovering over the recliner, and a sleepless aura hovering over the bed.

Pauline said...

Roberta, I think you're right! I clearly recall taking naps when I was a child, again when my own children were small, and occasionally throughout the ensuing years. By golly, I feel much better!

Always smiling said...

Hi
I blog hopped from the Magpie Tales amd have had a wonderful half an hour readiing bits of your blog.. the first post on aging was so funny I am still laughing!
As for sleep I am awake and up most mornings round about 5 and don't go back to bed till about 1i IF I don't do this I can't get every thing I want to do, done..
Lifes too short to sleep enjoy the waking hours!
Happy Scribbling and keep at it it is delightful to read.
Chris

Pauline said...

Thanks for stopping by and commenting, Always. I will hop on over and see what you're up to. Then I'm going for a nap!

Pam said...

...and afternoon nap, especially on the weekend is bliss! I've even purchased a little fountain for outside the bedroom window to gurgle me away to the Land of Nod. Husband insists it's turned off at night though, makes him want to go to the bathroom, stumbling around half asleep!

Snowbrush said...

I'll be 61 on Tuesday, so I understand where you're coming from. I have two elderly dogs, and they're just like we humans are--aches and pains and sleepiness too.

Pauline said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Pauline said...

Pam, a fountain would be delightful. When I feel the need to sleep to the sounds of water, I take my blanket down by the river and nap in the meadow :)

Snowbrush - yes, my elderly cat (all eleven pounds of him) get up much the way I do - slowly!

Sue J said...

My mum used to complain that she couldn't sleep. She would wake around 3.00am. What she seemed to forget was she would be in bed by 7.30pm, so by 3.00am she'd already had a night's sleep :) I find reading empties my mind of nonsense and I sleep well. Sometimes it's a chapter, sometimes half a paragraph, but it works.