Sleep is Just a Five Letter Word. Can I Get Enough?

sleep"Hey, Alexa. Set an alarm for 6:00 a.m. tomorrow morning." That's Barb, chatting with our bedroom virtual assistant. Barb's schedule varies, particularly on babysitting days, so it is easiest to just ask for a different wake-up time every morning. For me, it's 5:05 every weekday morning, so I use an old-fashioned alarm clock to wake up my world.

Not that I really need that alarm. I wake up almost every morning at 4:30. That half-hour between my eyes opening and the alarm blaring is a never-never land of half-formed ideas and memories. Glimpses and glimmers of the night's dreams tug at the edge of my consciousness, as I try to recall the odd situations and incredible conversations that have filled my sleep.  It always saddens me to feel them slipping away.

Then comes the rush of real memories from the day before. More situations, and convesations. Hopefully a good laugh or two, some family time, and a meal worth remembering.  Sometimes a light bulb clicks on in my head and a blog topic appears, enough to get me started. I hope the ideas will flesh out on my commute and become a full post, and not another half-written piece sitting in my dead-blog pile.

Should I get up 15 or twenty minutes before the alarm? If I know there is a pile of prostate biopsies waiting for me in the lab, I will probably roll out of bed and begin to prepare for the day. Rising early will give me enough time to take Milo for a long enough walk to do his business, saving Barb the chore. And I can already hear him stirring in his "cubby" so I am sure he will be glad to see me early.  But I would love those last few minutes of sleep.

Sleep and I have not always had a consensual relationship. The creation of our laboratory almost 15 years ago was a dramatic stress point. Sleep evaded me for months as I tossed and turned wondering how we would get our equipment through the doors. Every over-the-counter remedy, as well as first and second line prescription drugs, proved useless. A road trip to Minnesota provided no relief. It took a specialist with a magic bullet in his arsenal to knock me out and reset my sleep cycle. Since that time, sleep has seemed like a gift to be embraced.

I know that as we age we sleep less. I remember the phone calls from my mother's senior living home detailing her nighttime wanderings through the facility. But maybe there is hope for a good night sleep in the future. All I will have to do is say "Hey Alexa, set my brain for 8 hours of sleep," and let Silicon Valley do its magic.


Miss Tuesday's Post? Here is the link:  Checking Into Disney.


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photo credit: minxlj <a href="http://www.flickr.com/photos/11667367@N00/377800291">Tired little Moo</a> via <a href="http://photopin.com">photopin</a> <a href="https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-nd/2.0/">(license)</a>

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