Monday, April 18, 2011

Sleep Seminar: The "Crick-quel"

Back in the fall, I offered my readers a comprehensive instructional guide for getting 5-6 (non-consecutive) total hours of (semi) restful sleep each night. If you are seeking to cut back on your sleep, you might consider revisiting that post.

These days, I am getting 6-7 hours* of sleep, NTB, so I'm going to shift focus to sleep quality for today's guide.
How to Make Sure Your Sleep Is As Uncomfortable As Possible While Also Questioning Your Own Sanity
1. Buy a home with newly-installed Berber-style carpet in the bedrooms in a shade of "practically white." Admire how clean and fresh it is and how spacious it makes the rooms seem. (If you are not in the position to buy a home right now, you will need to install some of this carpet).
2. Make sure the carpet gets walked upon daily. Keep your shoes on as you walk up and down the steps, for example. Also, for those areas that don't get foot traffic (under the bed, in strange corners, etc.), you will have to just ignore the carpet. If you ignore it, a nice, dark layer of dust will accumulate all on its own. Store your vacuum in the basement so that, for several years, it rarely touches the carpet more than twice a month.
3. Have one, two, or three kids. With no urging from you, they will do things like pee on that practically white carpet, smear poop on it, have a bloody nose on it, spit sticky medicine upon it, press mom's pink highlighter on it, or walk on it while wearing shoes.
4. (Optional) Have that carpet professionally cleaned. This step is optional because although it can make the carpet look somewhat better, it can also pull to the surface new stains that you never saw before. Also, it might take three full days to dry, which is rather inconvenient. If you are trying to sell your house, you might conclude that you would have been better off just sucking it up and buying new carpet. Which leads to the next step . . .
5. Buy new carpet. If you don't get it at a big box store, the carpet place might just give you a price that includes moving of furniture (as opposed to Home Depot where they take a picture of each room and you have to tell them what you would like the installers to move so that they can charge you for the number of items moved in each room).
6. Pause to admire the new carpet and the way the installers put everything back in its place. In fact, tell the owner of the carpet place how delighted you were with Francisco the installer and his helper. Assume that anything that was disassembled during the installation was reassembled. You may even pause and think to yourself, "Wow, I would hate to take apart a sleigh bed, but I guess those guys do it all the time."
7. Given Step 6, proceed as usual. Allow your children to jump and wrestle on your bed every evening while Daddy changes out of his work clothes. Allow one or more of your children to migrate into that bed for a portion of each night.
8. Start waking up with a very sore neck. Complain that you have a very limited range of motion in your neck and a great deal of pain. Repeatedly use the phrase "crick in my neck" or even "this is beyond a 'crick in my neck.'" Your partner may support you with murmurs of concern.
9. (Optional) Try to change up your pillow arrangement and sleeping position. This step is optional because these adjustments will do little to improve the pain.
10. Start suggesting that something may not be right with the bed. After a couple of weeks your partner might reluctantly agree that, yes, something is awry and, in fact, he feels as if the mattress is sinking toward the middle.
11. What he will find is that the carpet installers placed the three wooden cross beams on the bed's frame, but neglected to position the supports that go under them. (If you want to Make Sure Your Sleep Is As Uncomfortable As Possible While Also Questioning Your Own Sanity without installing new carpet, simply skip straight to this step and DIY or hire someone to remove or otherwise adjust the supports on your bed so that your mattress is receiving the least amount of support possible while still raised from the ground).
12. Spend a couple of weeks trying to have a good attitude. "Yes, how nice that our mattress is being supported again. Indeed, how lucky that no one was truly harmed." Try to ignore the fact that you (but not your partner) is still waking up feeling uncomfortable and sore.
13. Once you realize that you no longer like getting into your bed, it is time to start saying things like, "I feel as if I am going to slide off my side of the bed. I'm waking up sore every morning from trying to overcorrect/cling to the bed each night."
14. Your partner may say something along the lines of, "I fixed the bed already" or even, "I've double-checked and those supports are still in place."
15. Spend a week wondering if you perhaps are crazy. Then, you have a couple of choices.
If you want to continue with uncomfortable sleep and concerns about your own sanity, choose 15a) do nothing but complain and wonder what is wrong with you, not what is wrong with your bed
If you want to start making sure that the 6-7 hours you spend in your bed are comfortable, choose 15b) have an emotional breakdown about the length and quality of your sleep until your husband agrees to give the bed another once-over, realizes the frame on your side was not properly reassembled, tests it out and admits that one does really almost fall off your side of the bed, and then fixes it.

Again, you're welcome. Any tips for uncomfortable sleep or ways/reasons to think one is crazy? Please share in the comments.

*late-night housecleaning for showings helps me keep my numbers lean!


Stacia said...

Yes, yes, I have one! Humor your son and get up with him when he wakes at 5 a.m. to pee/poop. (Humor him because he's trying really, really hard to stay dry all night.) Listen to his nonsensical knock-knock jokes while trying not to fall asleep in the doorway. Tell him not to flush the toilet (as he flushes the toilet) because it will wake the baby. Send your son back to bed. Soothe the wide-awake baby. Try to rest. Send your son back to bed again and tell him that, yes, you are quite certain Sesame Street is not on yet. Soothe the baby again. Try to rest. Repeat these last three steps until it is, in fact, time for Sesame Street. Et, voila!

E... said...

Oh, so sorry.
I also have a few. Take your baby on an overnight trip, and let him sleep in your bed in the hotel room so you don't have to haul a pack n' play. The next night, he will waken every hour and a half if you put him in his crib, because he wants to be right next to you again.
Or, get yourself a 14 year old dog with symptoms of senility. Order up a thunderstorm, so you can be awake from the hours of 3 and 5 AM with said dog panting and pacing and trying to dig holes in the corners of your bedroom to escape.

Anonymous said...

I'm so sorry to hear all of this. Someday, I'll have to tell you my mattress story when I truly was yelling and crying into a mattress company's voice mail. Quite sleep deprived myself....Rita

Heather said...

You are all cracking me up here.

I am so glad that my youngest is in school right now.

I think I get more sleep than any of you, even with working night shift. And people wonder how I do it...I need to send them your way :)

Is your house back on the market yet? Let me know so prayers and positive thoughts can start flowing your way from here in Ohio.

Actchy said...

Believe it or not, Mama Tough Love gets lots of sleep in these post-sleep-training months. However, I do find my sleep interrupted by my husband, who only snores when he falls asleep on the couch. And he only falls asleep on the couch on days that end in "y."

CaraBee said...

My advice to ensure a terrible night's sleep: buy a sleep number bed. Spend three years gradually changing the number, because they recommend you stay on each number for at least a couple weeks, trying to find YOUR number. Once you've been through all of the numbers, and still haven't found your number, start all over, because you spent more than a small car on this wonder bed, and your determined to make it work. Spend days with crick in neck and nights tossing and turning. You might want to invest in heavy duty concealer for the dark circles that develop under your eyes.

I've decided that if I can survive 5 years with this bed, I won't feel so bad about getting a new one. 18 months to go. Not that I'm counting or anything.

Maggie said...

A few options include moving into a new home and leaving the thermostat to adjust to 77 (south florida A/C degrees here) in the night, leaving both you and partner sweaty and tossing for the duration of your sleep. The second, support your almost 3 year old son in his assertion that he can sleep through the night in undies, so that you can comfort him and change his entire bed at 4am when he wakes cold, wet, and disoriented.

I will recommend, if you want to splurge, Bed Bath and Beyond sells sheets that are organic Eucalyptus or something that are pretty much the best addition to our bed, ever. Between bumping the A/C down a bit and the new sheets, we are in heaven!

dusty earth mother said...

oh my GOSH. That is such a crazy story, Mep. I can't even offer anything to top, or support, that tale of woe. But I do love you. And your aching back.

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