Bedtime : The True Coming of Age

I used to joke with friends that I still had a bedtime because I generally like a good 8 hours of sleep a night.  It was only the other night when a friend told his kids that it was time for them to go to bed that I realised what an important moment it was when I no longer had to stick to a specific time to go to bed.  Not having a bedtime was when I had to start to adult.

In truth, I do still aim to be in bed for 22.30, it’s just that it rarely happens.  Going to bed to sleep has been replaced with falling asleep on the sofa in front of the TV.  I was discussing this with Lovely But Unfortunately For Me Now Happily Married Sarah From Starbucks the other week.  Lovely But Unfortunately For Me Now Happily Married Sarah From Starbucks’ opinion is that being able to fall asleep on the sofa is a sign that you are truly at home and able to relax and I’d largely agree.

I remember being at someone’s place at the end of last year and we were watching a film or Buffy or something on Netflix.  I was falling into a nervous sleep (I felt a conversation coming on) and woke up with a jump, embarrassingly suggesting that I had no idea what that random full body twitch was.  I knew full well that it was a hypnagogic jerk.  I was entirely comfortable and just so happened to fall asleep.

Unfortunately, though, my sofa sleeping is not just a sign of comfort but a sign of tiredness! (Plus, lying on the sofa seems to make my back hurt less at the moment).  I’d had a busy weekend and fell asleep in front of the golf on Sunday evening.  This is why I say that the lack of formal bedtime is the first time most people will have a proper responsibility to look after themselves and use their own judgement to look after their health.  I’m not meaning doing things like deciding not to smoke or do drugs, but it’s like the first time you have to feed yourself repeatedly.  It’s a decision or action that used to be made by your parents with your best interests at heart, and now they’ve delegated that responsibility to you.

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A couple of times this year I decided not to go to bed at all.  My reason for not going to bed was that if I didn’t go to bed I didn’t sleep, and if I didn’t sleep I didn’t dream.  I was prescribed sleeping tablets, but I was having dreams that woke me up anyway so I wasn’t sleeping much and feeling groggy from the tablets, so I thought it was a way to solve the issue.  It was stupid, and I only did it twice.  I wouldn’t recommend it.  When I have gone to bed recently, I’ve dreamt a lot.  May as well share a few…

  1. I’d previously shared the one (that was recurring over about 5 nights in the end) about being in someone else’s house.
  2. Monday morning I woke from a dream involving being chauffeur driven round LA with a friend to a restaurant serving hotdogs with different strength chilli sauce.  The strength of the sauce was denoted by different types of fish on the menu.  There was a drone hovering and The Avengers couldn’t deal with it, so Xena Warrior Princess had to instead.
  3. Last night’s sofa dream was fighting with someone on a frozen lake using tree branches like swords.  However, the branches were red and green, so they were more like lightsabres.
  4. I was in someone’s living room and she opened a box containing things that she’d “learnt” from past flames.  She pulled out what appeared to be a necklace from someone called Logan and I was aware that the dream was based in the future.
  5. Doing a crossword on my sofa with the same person mentioned in number 4 (and, for that matter, all the others!) and getting a bit giddy but being well aware of the colour and, well, let’s just say “the cut” of the top she was wearing.  I remember the first time it was worn in my presence and I really had to concentrate where I looked (or didn’t)!

Incidentally, have you ever not gone to bed but just carried on normal activity from one day to the next? It got to lunch time and I’d done so much and it felt so late!

When it comes to bedtime, I don’t really keep to one anymore.  I like my sleep but whether I have 3 hours or 8 hours, I don’t really wake up feeling any different.  For me, bedtime is the time that I’m tired, after my teeth are brushed and Moo has had his Dreamies!

When you just can’t sleep
and you’re sick of counting the sheep
the sunlight in your head

just won’t let you put the days to bed
Pick a place to meet
In pajamas and bare feet
on a moonlit street
move me to the rhythm of your heartbeat

Oh, the places we could go
Chicago, New York and Toronto
and if it starts to snow
we can hop train to Mexico
where we’ll sleep on the beach
with blankets made of leaves from palm trees
and we’ll say “let’s never leave”
and that’s when i’ll feel the sun creeping up on me

I’ll always wake up so confused
each time I have that dream of you
but, if you dreamt of me too
Does that mean we dreamt the same dream?

Pajama Party by Swimming With Dolphins

 

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