a.m.

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Sleeping is important to me, in many ways. I know if my sleep patterns get a little screwed then I ended up a little screwy. It’s a bit of a battle for someone who much much MUCH prefers the night-time to the morning-time (which one is the right-time again?) and has managed to get me a bit of a reputation for being a grumpy bugger in the morning.

Justifiably so mind you.

Recently I’ve happened across a few articles about getting better sleep, waking up properly, training your mind to wake up when you want it to and so on. All quite interesting but all prone to failure for one simple reason. They all seem to be written by single people.

For example, let’s take that old favourite of placing your alarm clock at the other side of the room so you have to get up to turn it off. If I’m single this isn’t a problem. At the preset time, the radio is turned on, and a pillow would get thrown at alarm clock. If that doesn’t work then I’d consult my extensive lexicon and utter a few swearwords from beneath a second pillow whilst trying to ignore the radio. Eventually, resigned to fate, I’d try to reach the alarm clock without getting off the bed, probably trying to keep my entire body off the floor whilst keeping some of it under the duvet.

Now we reach a critical point.

If I hit snooze, I can fall backwards into my ‘warm spot’ and enjoy a full seven minutes of snoozing before I have to repeat the rigmarole (minus one pillow of course, as it’s still wedged down the back of the unit the alarm clock sits).

However, if I hit the wrong button and turn the radio off then I’ll still fall backwards, find my warm spot, and go back to sleep. The downside is that the McLean gene dictates that I wouldn’t surface again for at least two hours.

All of this is possible if I were single. But for us married types it’s a bit different.

Let’s say I place my alarm clock at the other side of the room. At the preset time the radio is turned on and I start getting a dull pain in my leg. I hobble round the room —I can’t just lean over the bed, there’s someone in it after all— hit the snooze button and start hobbling back round. Seven minutes later the same process is repeated and my leg is getting pretty sore. As I start to hop back round to my side of the bed the duvet growls at me and says “Don’t even think about it”.

Yes, that’s right. She’s only gone and stolen my warm spot.

And so the morning wakeup ritual becomes more of a battle of “who can get up last without being late”. The winner is the one who can eek those few extra vital seconds from the snooze button and win seven minutes of bliss, snuggled up in the duvet and taking up the entire bed whilst the loser stumbles into the bright light of the morning. Admittedly I win most mornings.

Weekends, of course, are different. For starters you don’t (usually) have to go to work, and you do (sometimes) have a hangover. Not only that but the only reason to get out of bed AT ALL is because you have “stuff to do”. Getting up at the weekend is a much more civilised affair as, not only is it morning when you decide to get up —as opposed to the usual weekday middle of the night nonsense— but you can take your time with it too. Plod around in your dressing gown, have some cereal. Catch the latest news, then maybe have some coffee and some toast. Take a nice long shower, get dressed and then.. hey look, it’s lunchtime!

OK, maybe not THAT ‘civilised’, at least not every weekend…

Right. Must stop waffling as I’m beginning to lose my point. Not sure I had a point to begin with though but hey ho, such is life.

How do you wake up?