No Wonder I’m Tired

I think as we age, we forget the little things that were so simple when we were younger. My grandson, Andre, was over the other night. I was reading him a book on manners at 7:23 pm and we were having a grand conversation about it. At 7:25 pm, he was fast asleep on my lap. Wow, that happened fast. It was so simple when you were little; you got tired and just went off to Slumberland. Even when I was in college studying late for tests, I would doze off in my sweats and wake up hours later with my head resting in a cheese pizza.

But as we age, getting to sleep becomes much more difficult. My pre-sleep ritual now feels like a NASA preflight checklist. It takes time….

First my dental hygiene, I have to brush and floss to help avoid the onset of Alzheimer’s from nasty plaque amalgams. Then, I have to clean my bite guard that protects me from biting down like a wide badger during the night. Next, I decide if my daily workout was sufficient to warrant a couple of Advil to relieve my aching muscles. Then the pillows (oh god, the pillows) I have an obsession with them. Our bed looks like a sea of marshmallows with all of the pillows that I have. My preference is to sleep with 6-7 in various spots. There is an art to stacking pillows in just the right way, kind of like a rock mason building an incredible fence. You have to find a nice base pillow, hard and stable and then stack based on a degree of fluffiness. God forbid that I do the reverse and it feels like I am sleeping on a Firestone Wide Oval. Then, I must decide if I have a leg pillow, you know the ones that go between your legs when you sleep on your side, so your back won’t hurt. Last, the Chosen Pillow which I call “the Hugger,” it is another way of saying a grown man can’t sleep with a big stuffed animal. So I call it a Hugger. My wife often vetoes the hugger as it minimizes spooning opportunities.

As I get done with this time consuming ritual, I look over and see it is now two hours later than when I started…..boy, no wonder I am tired!


  1. Don Warfield
    Posted February 21, 2012 at 2:35 pm | Permalink

    Glad I found your blog and book while reviewing employment opportunities. Your sleep ritual is extremely familiar and made me laugh. My wife thinks I have a better relationship with my pillows than her. Thank you for sharing. I look forward to reading your book; I am sure I can relate to much of it as my 78 year old Mother has moderate to severe Alzheimers and living at Sunrise on Mercer Island. I look forward to following your blog and hope to have an opportunity to meet you in the near future.

  2. Posted February 23, 2012 at 11:27 am | Permalink

    I, too, had to giggle at your sleep routine, because it is so familiar to mine- except you left off the million little housekeeping tasks that I find need to be done right before bed. I’ll start walking upstairs (exhausted) but then see tasks that just have to be done- and before I know it- a half hour has gone by and I still haven’t brushed my teeth! ARGH!

    Bless the kids who just drift off to a blissful and stress free sleep! May we all be so lucky!

    Thanks for a great blog- love it!

  3. DR Rawson
    Posted April 24, 2012 at 8:59 am | Permalink

    . . . and yet it is the routine that often makes us who we are. Many older folks with either Alzheimer’s or Dementia appreciate the routine of everyday activities.

    I like your writing style. Very readable. Thanks for taking the time to share.

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