9 steps to not waking your husbandMike and I have an ongoing debate about which of us should be banished to a spare bedroom when one of us is keeping the other up.

“What if you’re snoring?” Mike inquired.

“You leave,” I answered unequivocally.

“What if you are waking me up because you can’t stop coughing?”

“You leave. If I’m sick I need to be in my bed.”

“What if you are throwing off the covers, sighing loudly, and then putting back on the covers…over and over again…for hours.”

Come on, would you really kick a woman with hot flashes out of bed?”

So, the rule that I came up with is this: The man always leaves.

And that has always worked for me.

And it works especially well since Mike is able to slip quietly into one of the kids’ old bedrooms (definitely another benefit of the empty nest), then slip back again first thing in the morning.  I hardly know he is gone.

But, of course, there are plenty of nights that I find myself completely awake at 4:00 AM, Mike dead to the world (or so I thought) beside me. And since I have decided to totally embrace my insomnia, I get up and start my day.

I thought that I, too, was quiet as a mouse. I was sure that I, too, slipped out of bed discreetly, made my way downstairs, and did my thing while Mike lay sleeping (except, of course, for that one night when I re-arranged the entire kitchen.)

I have come to understand, however, that I am not so quiet.  That when I wake up in the middle of the night, I sometimes toss and turn for 15 minutes or more projecting my “insane tension” (his words) onto Mike. I sometimes open drawers that creek, turn on bathroom lights to brush my teeth, blow my nose, or flush a toilet. And when I make my way downstairs, apparently I don’t do so all that gracefully. So, as father’s day approaches, I am preparing how not to wake Mike when I can’t sleep.  Here’s what I’ve come up with:

  1. New 3 strike rule for insane tension tossing/turning- at 3 tosses or turns, I’m up and out of that bed.
  2. I’m going to place my fuzzy slippers on the floor by the bed, not in the closet where a. they usually make Mike very happy because that is where they belong, but b.unfortunately, where I have to rummage around to find them.
  3. I’m going to remove that box of tissues from the night table. It is too tempting. My morning blow from now on will be out of range.
  4. I will put my glasses (out of the snapping case, of course) in the tissue box space, so I can actually see the direction of the bathroom when I wake.
  5. I will make an unobstructed path to the bathroom so I will not stub my toe and scream, “F*#k me, that hurt!
  6. I will use the flashlight app on my iPhone instead of the lights, even in the bathroom with the door closed (defies explanation, but somehow he can see that light with the door closed.)
  7. I will not unload the dishwasher until I hear the toilet flush upstairs.
  8. I will try very hard to remember to shut off my alarm that is inevitably set for about a half hour before Mike was planning to get up.
  9. I will prepare the coffee the night before.

Or should I just drug him? As I write this, it seems like an awful lot of work.

Why should I suffer because he is a light sleeper?

Many thanks to BA50 fan Deborah Drucker from Agoura Hills, California for suggesting I write this blog.

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