Tag Archives: sleep

Can I Sleep on a Cloud?

My bedding is no joke.  I need specific things to ensure a quality night sleep.

The sheets must be a certain thread count in addition to being cotton.  I need a nice cotton blanket.  I need my feather down comforter.  But, above all else, I need to have my perfectly filled feather down pillows.

I never realized how much I was spoiling myself.  When we went on our last vacation, I was able to overlook the lesser thread count sheets used by most hotels.  I was able to deal with the cheaper blanket that was more polyester than anything.  I was able to overlook the heavy and rather flat comforter that slid off the polyester blanket and inevitably ended up on the floor.

I was not, however, able to overlook the flat, foam-filled, rectangles they were trying to pass off as pillows.

That's how I feel when I sleep on strange pillows.

That’s how I feel when I sleep on strange pillows.

I tried using extra pillows.  I tried rolling the pillow up, because sadly, I was able to roll it.  I tried forgoing the pillow altogether. I tried sleeping on my back, my side, my stomach.  Nothing.  Nothing was comfortable.  The first night on vacation, I woke up with a headache, one that was caused by the sub-par pillows (at least that is what I convinced myself).  I eventually adjusted to these flattened pieces of fabric that they were passing off as pillows.

But that first night home, that first sleep, was heaven. It was like sleeping on a cloud.  My head sank to the appropriate depth.  No rolling required.  No tossing and turning to figure out the best position to attempt to sleep.

It totally is a first world problem.  Half way through writing this, I found myself thinking about people who don’t even have beds or flat pillows to sleep on – People in America who have to sleep in their cars or outside; People in other countries that worry their pillows might be blown up in an air raid or an insurgent attack; People who just cannot understand the joy of a feather down pillow.

feather pillows

I feel silly now blubbering on about a feather pillow, no matter how nice it may be.  Maybe it’s time to talk about how I can help someone else get a good night’s sleep, improve upon their current conditions, make them a little more comfortable.

Everyone should be able to know the comfort of sleeping on a fantastic pillow or have a cozy blanket (if that’s what they want).  Shelters in your area (yes, even if you don’t see them on the streets there are pretty good chances there are homeless people and people in need in your own area) are almost always looking for donations of blankets, pillows, and bed linens.  Why not go out and, if you can spare a little extra this week, get  a blanket and donate it.  Get a pillow and donate it.  Make someone else as comfortable as you are.

This post was written as part of the May NaBloPoMo.  The theme this month is comfort and the post for today was “Which would you rather have: a super-soft pillow or a warm, fuzzy blanket?”  

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No More Room

At some point, a girl must realize that she has to make room in her bed for things other than stuffed animals. I graduated from stuffed animals to a body pillow. I never really played with stuffed animals much so it wasn’t really a big deal. I mean I had my Cabbage Patch but I can’t honestly remember when I gave up sleeping with it. I had a pile of stuffed animals that stayed in the back of my closet that I kept for sentimental reasons but they didn’t take up space on my bed really.

By the time I was ready to leave for college, I had discovered body pillows. It was a way to sleep with a stuffed animal without the fear of being judged by my new college roommates. I don’t know why they were so comfortable but, I remember getting so attached to my body pillow that I couldn’t sleep unless I was snuggled up next to it. It sounds (and looks) looks a bit silly to say that but it was the truth. I remember other people who did bring stuffed animals to college and insisted that they didn’t sleep with them. Then there were those who opted for the “husband pillow,” a pillow that had arm rests. I just stuck with my body pillow.

body pillow

It wasn’t a comfort in the psychological sense, but rather in the physical sense. It was warm. It was comfy. It was good for sleeping, it was good for sitting up in bed to read. It worked great as a floor pillow for movie nights. It was perfect!

Then the Husband came along and became a human space heater. My body pillow has been relegated to the back of my closet. A sad and lonely fate for such a comfy friend. To be honest, there just wasn’t enough room for all three of us in the bed. I think the Husband was getting jealous that I was making more room for the pillow than for him. But in my defense, the pillow never snored.

Now the Daughter on the other hand…she is constantly sleeping with every stuffed animal she owns and I wonder how she even manages to get comfortable enough to sleep when buried under all of “her guys.” She must though because every morning, she is up at the crack of dawn, talking to them in her bedroom, reading stories to them, quietly waiting for me to wake her up.

Not my Daughter's bed but awfully close...

Not my Daughter’s bed but awfully close…

This post was written as part of May’s NaBloPoMo. This month’s theme is comfort.  Today’s prompt: “Do you still sleep with a stuffed animal now?”  If you do, it’s ok.  You can admit it – this is a judgement free zone.

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Do you Laugh or Do you Cry?

Laughter and tears are both responses to frustration and exhaustion. I myself prefer to laugh, since there is less cleaning up to do afterward.
Kurt Vonnegut

I never knew exhaustion until I had a child.  I know that’s pretty common for parents to say, but it really is true.  I mean, yes, I had pulled all-nighters studying for exams or writing papers.  I had pulled overnight shifts.  I had driven 24 hours straight from Massachusetts to Florida.  I had partied all night and gone to work the next day.  I had done many things to cause self-inflicted exhaustion but it wasn’t anything close to those first few weeks of having a newborn.

I will spare you all the stories of how life-changing it is, because I do appreciate that tales of parenthood are not for everyone.  However, I have to say, I thought I knew exhaustion.  How wrong I was.

Salbjorg Rita Jonsdottir, Dalla, 2007

There was one night in particular that I remember.  The Daughter just wouldn’t go back to sleep after a middle of the night feeding.  It had been the third night of little to no sleep.  My husband had gone back to work which meant he did need his sleep so he could make the 4 am commute to Boston so I was taking nights and when he came home at 2, I was getting some rest then.  It didn’t seem to be enough though because this particular night, I was in rough shape.

The lack of sleep, the nerves of having this new life to care for, the thoughts of whether or not I was doing it right, on top of my aunt’s cancer battle and me trying to not get my head in a negative space on any front, was wearing on me.  I was exhausted.  It was true exhaustion.  I couldn’t think straight.  I couldn’t make sense of anything.  I cried.  I just cried while I held the Daughter.  I didn’t know what else to do.  It was a release.  Each tear, helped me get one step closer to the other side of that mountain.

After the Daughter went to sleep, I put her down and went to sleep myself.  The next morning, I promptly put out a request for some babysitting, either from the Husband or my Mom.  I recognized the slippery slope of exhaustion and knew that I was going to burn out if I didn’t take care of it soon.

Luckily, I had a great support system. They didn’t even need to ask.  In fact, they all said they were waiting for me to hit the wall and were there to help me.  I was lucky.  If I hadn’t been able to have that support, I’m not sure how it would have turned out.  The exhaustion would have probably kept piling on top of itself and a disaster would have occurred, no doubt.

Do you remember when you felt true exhaustion?  How did you cope with it?

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