My husband and I are having some problems in the bedroom. I can't help but grin when I type that because I know my mother-in-law reads this blog. (Don't worry Mom, you can keep on reading!) Sleeping, I mean... problems sleeping. When it comes to catching our Zs, we have some issues to overcome.
First you should know that our bodies are on two completely different schedules. I'm a night owl and I always have been. It takes me a very long time to wind down at night. I usually get in bed around 10, then I watch late night TV or read a book until I get sleepy. This takes a few hours. I usually turn my lamp off sometime between midnight and one a.m. (and even later if the book I'm reading is especially good). Fortunately my nightly routine doesn't bother my hubby one bit. As I've gotten older it seems like I've become more and more particular about my surroundings when I sleep. I never used to be this way. When I was growing up I shared a double bed with my big sister and no joke, if we had a friend over we'd fit all 3. I, being the runt, always got the middle. We'd also leave the radio on when we went to bed. Somehow I always managed to sleep. Now, however, I have to have it very quiet. The temperature must be cool but not too cold. It's almost like the stars and planets must be aligned for me to be able to get to sleep.
As for Chuck, he can fall asleep in mere seconds. It's pretty much a given that he won't stay awake during an entire movie if we start it any later than 7 p.m. I've seen him fall fast asleep in the middle of a conversation or waiting for his turn in a board game. If he settles down on the couch for longer than a few minutes, he is very likely to doze off. Even in the midst of great stress when the last thing in the world I could do is sleep, he manages to sleep soundly.
Now that you have all of that history, I'll get right to the problems. The first one is that my husband has Restless Leg Syndrome (RLS). Yes, it's a real thing! It doesn't really affect his day-to-day life very much, but his legs do begin to ache and twitch in the evenings before bed. I knew about this early on in our marriage but it didn't cause much of a problem for either of us at night. Maybe I didn't notice it so much during those first few years because I was too tired from school and work to notice. That all changed about 7 years ago after we moved to Texas. I began to notice that after Chuck went to sleep, his legs would jump rather violently during the night. It would go on for hours. It's almost funny to think about it now, if I didn't remember how miserable it was for me! Imagine you have lots of trouble sleeping to begin with. Then imagine you finally get to that place where you're teetering on the edge of dreamworld only to be suddenly jerked awake! Repeat this process about a dozen times. Honestly some nights it was so bad I actually would start to feel a bit seasick from all of the movement.
I actually counted in my head one night when it was especially bad because I was curious to know how frequent it was. I figured out his legs would jump about every 30 seconds. Pretty soon after that night I asked our family doctor about it during a visit. She said RLS was a real thing and that usually it doesn't bother the person affected nearly as much as their spouse (Amen to that!). Chuck set up a visit and she prescribed some medication for it. It took a practice round of meds that didn't do the trick before we found the right one. Now it is so much better! He takes the pill about 30 minutes before bed and most nights it works like a charm.
That's one problem (mostly) solved. But there's more.
Over the past few years Chuck has begun snoring. I don't remember exactly when it started but it's gotten increasingly worse over the past year. It doesn't go on all night and it doesn't rattle the windows, but it's definitely enough to be a problem. This morning he was sawing some serious logs around 5:30 and I woke up just wide awake and unable to go back to sleep. He gets up for work around 6, so I stayed in bed until about 6:30 while he got ready and then I just started my day early. I had a Bible study to go to at 9 and normally wouldn't have gotten up until about 8, so 5:30 was a pretty early start for me! I am by no means a morning person, but it was nice that Chuck and I had breakfast together. I even got some chores knocked out early, as I found myself cleaning out the refrigerator at 7 a.m.!
But that's looking on the bright side. It truly is hard that I'm such a light sleeper and sometimes insomniac, and my husband is becoming a difficult bedfellow. I really don't want to end up in separate rooms, so I'm on the lookout for snoring remedies. Oh, and I've tried earplugs and they become just another thing that keeps me awake and annoyed. I hope you have some ideas, or I may have to remain part of the not so young but pretty darn restless club.