My Old Man Never Sleeps

I’m beginning to wonder if Mr. UnHollywood is a vampire; not the scary type who bites your neck, more like the brooding type with a tortured soul who never sleeps.

My first inkling that he might not be entirely human happened one night when I forgot to use my anti-snoring device…again. Mr. UnHollywood lay awake all night interrupting my sleep and admonishing me with the now-familiar refrain: “Cyn! You’re snoring!”

Even on non-snoring nights despite my best efforts to be silent, as soon as I gently adjusted my pillow or changed sleep positions, I’d peek over to find him on his back, elbows behind neck, eyes wide open. The crickets’ rhythmic sound, the glow of a full moon, the whirr of a helicopter are part of the same nightly chorus as Mr. UnHollywood fluffing his pillow or adjusting the sheets.

Evidence of his sleeplessness mounted when I’d slip out of bed in the wee hours to pee and upon quietly returning to bed, hear him whisper, “Everything okay?”

It’s not my fault I’m a deep sleeper and that I was the only girl at summer camp who slept through a bunkmate’s ear-splitting night terrors. When I’m out, I’m out. When my kids were babies I had to turn the baby monitor up high or I’d sleep through their cries. I don’t understand how my old man can stay awake.

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, adults need seven to nine hours of sleep.  Without it, they are at risk of chronic diseases like diabetes, cardiovascular disease and depression. If sleep problems interfere with daily functions, the CDC recommends seeing a doctor after keeping a diary of your sleep habits with details such as “ took nap” “consumed alcohol” “drank caffeinated beverages.”

How about “checked cell phone?”

Mr. UnHollywood’s smart phone leads him, metaphorically speaking, right back to the office where countless complicated deals await his attention. His sense of responsibility is to be admired, rewarded and damned for his, and now my, lack of sleep. At bedtime, the smart phone rests beside him on the night stand like a member of the family. Instead of kissing it goodnight, he checks his mail before retiring. He and his smart phone have an intimacy, a round-the-clock connection, through sickness and health, an almost You-Complete-Me relationship.

There is one more explanation to the lack of sleep. Neuroscientists claim each time we get an email our brains enjoy a little pleasure boost and that some seek that feeling again and again until it becomes an addiction. Between you and me, the vampire theory is starting to look pretty good.

 

 

Author Description

Cynthia Baseman

Cynthia Baseman is the author of 'Love, Mom: A Mother's Journey from Loss to Hope.' She writes about motherhood, the environment and education.

There are 4 comments. Add yours

  1. 7th September 2012 | Ellen says: Reply
    huuuuummmmmmmmmmmmmmmm, sounds just like my sleeping pattern! It is genetic, oh yeah thats the ticket....
  2. 7th September 2012 | Carpool Goddess says: Reply
    Ever since I had kids I swear I sleep with one eye open. I can hear someone sneeze next door. It's not good. I kind of have that You -Complete-Me relationship with my iPhone too. It's always there, ready, waiting to deliver. What can I say..it's love.

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