Wednesday, January 30, 2013

How to Get a Good Night's Sleep

Over the years, I've read a lot of good advice on how to get a good night's sleep. Set a regular schedule; make sure you're getting a full eight hours; don't drink alcohol to help you settle down; things like that. So, for your edification, here is my advice on the topic:

1. No matter how desperate you are to find time for writing, don't stay up until midnight if you're not making any notable progress. (Admittedly, I remember when midnight was positively early, but I'm not that young anymore.)

2. Do not wake up from a terrible nightmare at, say, two o'clock in the morning. Especially one in which you've discovered that two of your fellow colonist/explorers who have been missing for weeks have apparently been being horribly tortured the whole time, after which you find yourself being chased by a corrupted toddler-thing that wants to get to your spaceship so it can leave the planet and spread its evil across the Universe - before you can get to your spaceship and escape. Above all, once you wake up shivering, do not lay there wondering if the toddler-thing is going to put its horrible, clammy hands in the center of your back.

3. Do not be awakened (at, say, four in the morning) by a six-year-old with a horrible, gunky, rasping cough. If that does happen, and you do get up to medicate him, do not discover in the process that he's wet the bed and will require an additional few minutes to use the restroom and change clothes while you try to scrounge up some fresh, dry bedding. In fact, if you can avoid having a sick child in the first place, that's really the recommended course of action.

4. Do not own cats. Ever. Especially not fat, elderly cats who firmly believe that their single most important contribution to the household is to serve as premature alarm clocks and ensure that everyone wakes up a good five or ten minutes before their perfectly-reliable electronic alarm clocks go off.


  1. This is good advice. To point number two, I'd add, also avoid nightmares in which your spouse has discovered he has cancer and only a few weeks to live and has decided to commit suicide and wants your help.

    Also, avoid having a toddler who doesn't fall asleep until after one a.m. and only after two drives to town and back.

    And then if you have a spouse who works nights and therefore whose body is on that schedule even on days off, you still get to decide: do I sleep, or do I spend time with the husband I haven't seen in two days?

  2. Also, do not wake up from a nightmare by leaping out of your bed and shrieking because there are spiders descending from lines too numerous to count right over your bed, dammit!

    I have the teensiest little spider phobia... sigh.

  3. @ Steph - I had that toddler. Fortunately, they grow up to be... well... not toddlers. And yeah, the mismatched schedules make for a surprising amount of strain on a marriage.

    @ Amanda - Is it bad that I read your comment and immediately thought, "I can name six different video games that you should never, ever play..." ?

  4. Honestly, didn't have that problem with the fat elderly cat. The dog, otoh, would want to be let out at four in the morning if you didn't let him out at midnight before going to bed. If you did let him out at midnight, he decided that you needed to be up 6:30 in the morning regardless of your desires or his bladder status.


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