The Luxury

Last night for the first time in months I got a good night’s sleep. The regular drill around here is that I go to bed sometime between 9:30 and 10:00pm, sometime in the middle of night Tally starts barking, either my wife or I will come downstairs to tend to her (Tally doesn’t climb stairs much anymore), and this may be repeated several times in the course of a night. Obviously, that’s not particularly conducive to restful slumber.

Under the best of circumstances it takes me a while to settle into sleep and I’m a very light sleeper. I usually startle awake at Tally’s first bark. If I come down and tend to her, sometimes I’m able to return to sleep immediately but other times I need to go through my entire end-of-day drill which may take an hour or more before I’m able to get to sleep again.

But last night for whatever reason Tally didn’t wake up and start barking, Kara didn’t demand to get up and be fed at 4:00am, and I was able to sleep right through from 9:30pm to 5:30am. I brought Smidge down with me to let her out to eliminate and feed her. Tally was still breathing which was good. I then pottied and fed the other dogs, one by one, and got some breakfast myself a little after 6:00am before walking the dogs.

You just don’t what a luxury a restful night’s sleep is.

10 comments… add one
  • jan Link

    It sounds like the kind of sleep parents get during the first few years of their child’s life.

  • Our first Samoyed, Qila, barked all night, every night for the first six months we had him. This is just about like that. I was a lot younger then.

  • ... Link

    Our daughter started sleeping through the night almost every night about, hmmm, I think it was four months in.

    I don’t know what a full night of sleep is like anymore, though, because I just can’t sleep more than three or route hours in a row anymore. Not sure why, but if I go to sleep at ten I will be up no later than two, and then I’ll be up at least an hour.

  • Jimbino Link

    It’s hard to have sympathy for folks who breed and keep animals, then complain about it. If I were an employer, I guess I wouldn’t hire anyone who had animals–apparently totally legal. It would be illegal to refuse to hire someone who had kids, but a wise employer wouldn’t offer family insurance.

  • It’s probably not telling you anything you don’t already know, Ellipsis, but I suspect your problem is stress.

  • michael reynolds Link

    I’m a night person, or was until my son was born 17 years ago. After 17 years it takes a small dose of Ambien, Melatonin, Scotch and a little weed to get me to sleep at 11:30 for the school day wake-up of 6:45. And I still sleep light. Left to myself I’d be up till 3:00 and get up at 10:00. I should have been a vampire.

  • jan Link

    My Mom was a night person, staying up after the family had gone to bed to do household chores, sew, take care of accounting. I never knew how she did it.

    However, when I became an adult I found myself being more energetic at night, chosing an evening shift of 4P to midnight over earlier ones. If left to my own devices I would probably be up well past 12am. However, my other half crashes at 10:30, and most of the time I adapt to his schedule of sleep rather than my own. Our son, though, takes it to the extreme, and is up until dawn.

    I often wonder if these sleep patterns are built into our genetics, or just ones that develop over time.

  • michael reynolds Link


    My son is exactly like me. He’s having trouble in school because he can’t adjust to the schedule. Comes home, sleeps for five hours, gets up around 9:00 PM. With school done for now we tend to see him around noon or later. It goes deep, 17 years and I haven’t adjusted.

  • ... Link

    Schuler, the stress seems to be manifesting in different ways. (Though not in blood pressure, which has lowered slightly back to the 110/70 range of my teens and twenties.)

    I was always a night person, since I was a small child. I’d stay up and watch Carson when everyone else had been asleep for hours. That’s when I was seven or so. Later, my first job was working graveyard shifts as a PBX operator at a hospital. I didn’t sleep much those two years.

    Later during graduate school I took to sleeping short hours to induce states of monomania – good for working on abstract math problems, at least for me.

    Once I started working I had to make certain I got five hours in a night, but since 2008 that wasn’t a concern.

    Now I’m just getting older and slowing down. I can’t keep going indefinitely on two or three hours of sleep for months at a time like I used to. Hell, I can’t do that for more than three or four days at a time now, tops. And I have to be up in the mornings, because four year-old. So I’m either up till three and up at seven, or I’m falling asleep at 10 and waking up by two, at which point I read or watch tv until I get tired again.

    It just seems a natural progression of getting older colliding with the habits of a life time.

  • ... Link

    Jimbino, we get it. You hate children and the people that have children and wish we were all dead.

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