In Which A 3:00 A.M. Conversation About An Alleged Nightmare Turns Into A Nightmare

It is 3:00 a.m. We are in bed asleep. At least one of us is…

HIM: Are you awake?

ME: {sleeping}

HIM: I think you’re awake.

ME: {ignoring him}

HIM: You were counting in your sleep.

ME: {rolling over in order to ignore him better}

HIM: Why were you counting in your sleep?

ME: Not counting, sleeping.

HIM: Ah-ha, so you are awake.

ME: {sigh}

HIM: So what were you counting? You woke me up because you were counting in your sleep. Out loud.

ME: Don’t know. Sleeping.

HIM: Ah-ha, so you admit to the fact that you were counting in your sleep.

ME: Don’t know. Maybe? Sleeping.

HIM: What were you counting in your sleep? Hmmm?

ME: SHEEP. I was counting sheep.

HIM: Really? I didn’t know people did that except in stories and commercials.

ME: Uh huh. SLEEPING.

HIM: What kind of sheep?

ME: Fluffy. White. Just basic sheep.

HIM: What were they doing? How were you counting them?

ME: THEY WERE JUMPING OVER A FENCE, OK? AND I COUNTED THEM AS THEY DID THAT. 

HIM: Well, you don’t have to yell at me. I was only concerned that you were having a nightmare.

ME: I wasn’t before, but I sure am now.  

HIM: Well, I’m going back to sleep now that I know you’re ok. Good luck with your sheep. Sorry you can’t sleep.

ME: {wide awake and fretful at 3:05 a.m.}

HIM: *snoring*

~ ~ • ~ ~

Published by

Ally Bean

Observant. Humorous. Adaptable. Charmingly cynical. Midwestern by chance. Kindhearted by choice. Fond of words.

150 thoughts on “In Which A 3:00 A.M. Conversation About An Alleged Nightmare Turns Into A Nightmare”

    1. Deborah, you said it! HONESTLY, it is nuts. All of it. I was soooo sound asleep and then I was being cross-examined about something I didn’t know I was doing. 🤨

      Enjoy your nap. I may be doing the same thing.

      Liked by 1 person

  1. Sounds familiar. Mostly my husband doesn’t sleep well but if I have a bad night and wake up fretful, I have trouble getting back to sleep. Especially when he is snoring which he insists he doesn’t do. I usually wake him up to get him to stop. Then I go back to sleep blissfully and he’s up the rest of the night. I understand why some couples sleep in separate rooms.

    Liked by 3 people

    1. Kate, oh I hear ‘ya. I’m married to someone who claims to not snore. 🙄 I also have a difficult time getting back to sleep if I’m startled awake, say by a cross examination in the middle of the night, for instance. I, too, have come to understand the idea of separate rooms.

      Liked by 1 person

  2. I once had similar problems, not with my spouse, but with counting sheep. The stress of losing track woke me repeatedly. So I dreamed up an app that reliably counts them for me so I can get to sleep faster and stay asleep longer.

    You ought to try it.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Almost Iowa, you are a genius, obviously! An app that counts sheep should make you a gazillionaire in no time. Considering how fretful we all are about counting and sleeping and pandemic stuff.

      Liked by 1 person

  3. Oh I feel your pain! It’s awful when *someone* wants to have a conversation in the middle of the night and then you can’t go back to sleep. The agony! 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  4. I have a variety of things I do when I can’t fall asleep. Most of them involve the alphabet, like naming a fruit for each letter, or a flower for each letter, or a food for each letter, etc. Or I take a mental tour of places I remember from childhood.

    Rick used to murmur measurements in his sleep, and he once got up and started measuring a window in the bedroom. Scared the hell out of me. That night, I think I’d have preferred your little chat.

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    1. Nance, I do the alphabet thing, but have never thought to tour places from my childhood. That’s a perfect idea.

      I understand why Rick measuring windows in his sleep would flip you out. That is trippy, but considering what he does for a living, sort of logical. But yes, I’d take our chat over what you experienced.

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    1. Suz, I’ll admit that in the light of day I thought about what had happened and I got laughing, too. It was sweetly surreal.

      Yes, Z-D listens to me often. Not always, but when he does he’s usually in his lawyer mode asking a gazillion questions, so this conversation [cross examination?] in the middle of the night was in his character.

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    1. Pam, I’ll take your comment as high praise. There are moments in our marriage that seem like sit-com fodder. Or even better, like you said, a comic strip in the newspaper. If newspapers still have comic strips, I guess.

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    1. Deb, I take your point. I can offer no rational explanation of what I was, or was not, doing while I was definitely sleeping. I was told I was counting out loud but have no memory of doing so. I mentioned counting sheep to he who woke me up because it’s a trope that I thought would shut him up. Instead he got more interested. 🙄

      Liked by 1 person

  5. My husband can fall asleep in minutes and it takes me forever. So I always tell him that it needs to be an emergency for him to wake me up or I am filing for divorce. I kid. It’s our anniversary today. 😉

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Kari, you know how to set boundaries. Good job. Obviously it’s your ability to communicate your needs clearly that has helped get you this far. Happy Anniversary! 🥂💐💕

      Liked by 1 person

  6. Hysterical.
    We all have nights like that. I hate to be wakened up only to be asked “Are you OK?”…for no reason. NO reason.
    Usually I end up unable to go back to sleep and edit blog post in my head…sometimes with better ideas. Sad. I know. I used to edit/write research in my sleep…youknow when you’ve been on the job too long HAHA

    Liked by 1 person

    1. philmouse, it was funny in retrospect, not in the moment though.

      I do the same thing as you mention when I can’t sleep. I start writing, then editing, blog posts in my head. While it seems unlikely that I’ll remember what I’m thinking in the morning, weirdly enough sometimes I do. Blogging has an odd way of invading your life, doesn’t it?

      Liked by 1 person

    1. Lynn, ha! Yes, you ask a good question. One for which I have no true answer. All I know for sure is WHEN I am asleep, I DON’T WANT TO BE AWAKENED for something I allegedly did. Honestly. 😒

      Liked by 1 person

  7. I want to know if you were really counting sheep in your dream or if you just tossed it out there to get him to be quiet.

    I also want to know why it is that men can fall asleep instantly and how it is that we haven’t killed them for such an annoying trait while they are snoring.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. AutumnAshbough, I tossed the sheep idea out there hoping it’d get him to shut up. It did not. Instead he got more curious which got him babbling more.

      I don’t know why men can fall asleep instantly but they do it. As for not murdering them for this trait, I also have no answer. BUT YOU RAISE TWO GREAT QUESTIONS. I shall muse on them when next I cannot sleep. 🤔

      Liked by 1 person

  8. Oh my… I haven’t had the exact experience, but I do know what it’s like to be on the receiving end of consideration for my well being that is, in my humble opinion, unwarranted and unwelcome. I’m OK with the fact that my pant leg is not tucked in as it should be – I’m OK with the fact that I don’t want to use sunscreen or bug spray. I can see the puddles on the road and if I step in one, that’s OK too.

    Can you tell we just returned from an early morning walk during black fly season?

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Maggie, you have the best way with words: unwarranted and unwelcome. Yes, exactly.

      I, of course, have not gone on an early morning walk, but I feel your annoyance and relate to it. Just leave me alone, ok? And no one will get hurt. 😉

      Liked by 1 person

    1. Dan, oh I’m not surprised. Men all seem to sleep more soundly than women. I don’t know if it is a scientific fact, but from what I hear [anecdotal evidence] that is how it goes.

      Liked by 1 person

    1. Marian, HA! Oh you are soooo right. In fact while writing this post I almost lost my mind with those two words, worried that I’d use the wrong one in the right place– or is it the right one in the wrong place? 🤔

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  9. I would have smothered him with my pillow. Coach never remembers his dreams. We have been waking up early to go workout at his clinic before his patients show up on Tu/Thurs. On the drive over he gets to hear some of my crazy ass dreams while I am still trying to figure out what in the world was happening in my dream. I find if I don’t tell someone right away, I forget.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Ernie, I’m the same way about my dreams. If I remember them at all I have to talk about them immediately so that I can try to figure out what they mean. Usually I haven’t a clue what they mean, but they are crazy. Maybe me, too?

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  10. I confess I find this totally hilarious. And I encourage you to take a nap – so don’t be too mad at me. I can’t help but think about Amanda Palmer recording her husband Neil Gaiman having a conversation with her while he was clearly sleeping. There’s a delightful animation of it on Vimeo and I suspect it will make you smile. https://vimeo.com/134945314

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Deborah, I realized this was funny in the morning when I thought back on the scenario. It was so ridiculous from beginning to end. I don’t know about the Amanda Palmer & Neil Gaiman conversation. Thanks for the link, no doubt it’ll be good.

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  11. The sleep scale is pretty unbalanced in my house. I sleep great, pretty much every night without fail. My wife? Not so much. But at least I don’t wake her up to tell her she was counting in her sleep. That’s grounds for divorce (or at the very least, a well-placed verbal assault).

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    1. Swinged Cat, from the comments here I’m getting the impression that men sleep better than women. I don’t know if this conversation is grounds for divorce, but it was annoying for both of us in different ways. And isn’t that what marriage is all about? Being annoyed in different ways over the same thing? I ask you… 🤔

      Liked by 2 people

    1. Misadventures of Widowhood, even though I was peeved while it was happening I do admit that it was funny. I’ve never tried counting backward like that, but I bet it’d put me to sleep. Numbers almost always do.

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  12. Those middle of the night conversations can be classics. Both people half asleep and in and out of a dream world. 3 a.m. seems to be a common time for me to come part awake, then fall back asleep.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Margaret, this was a classic conversation, such as it was. I don’t usually wake up at 3 a.m. but once I was awake, I WAS AWAKE. And not in the mood to count sheep.

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  13. This has me laughing. My wife doesn’t talk, but she is a STONE-COLD sleeper. Nothing can wake her up, not even the loudest thunderclap in a storm. I, on the other hand, will wake up at the mere sound of a floorboard settling or the ice maker dropping a new crop in the tray. – Marty

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    1. Marty, I have no idea if I really was talking in my sleep, considering I was asleep. But Z-D claims I was, then he had to find out what I was talking about. The whole conversation was ludicrous. But there you have it, married life is lots of fun.

      Liked by 1 person

    1. evilsquirrel13, oh, you know, after a while being interrupted while you sleep becomes normal. Perhaps not adored, but accepted. 🤷‍♀️

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  14. Hahaha. Why did he need to know the details on the sheep and how you were counting them? How did that help ensure you were okay? Did he fear these “sheep” were actually blood-thirsty wolves and you were counting them as you sliced their heads off as each one attacked you? Was he afraid these wolves had his face? 😛

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Betsy, you ask so many pertinent questions for which I have no answers. I sometimes think that lawyers can’t help themselves and must cross examine everyone when they have the chance. Always looking for those fact patterns. They drill that into them in law school.

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        1. Never too late to go to law school, I guess. If you’re crazy enough to want to go through that hell. Seems a whole lot better to be an inquisitive author like you are now. 😊

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  15. The topic of sleep or lack of is a sore one. I sleep but when I wake up I might as well get up regardless of what time it is. The other morning, my husband told me that I had asked him what time it was during the night which is pretty interesting since I have a clock on my side of the bed. Hope those sheep behave themselves tonight.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Judy, many people have said similar to what you say here– once awake you are up. If I’m startled awake I’m awake, but if I happen to wake up I can roll over and go back to sleep. I wonder why you needed your husband to tell you what time it was? That’s kind of trippy to ponder.

      Liked by 1 person

    1. joyrose13, if I would have thought of it, I would have smacked him with a pillow BUT I didn’t think of that. I. was. so. deeply. asleep. Then there I was talking about hypothetical sheep. So weird.

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  16. You gave me a good chuckle, Ally!

    I admit that I talk in my sleep and sometimes snore. I’ve woken myself up still talking out loud several times.

    I had a husband who was polite to not wake me up. Although one time in the morning he asked me if I was dreaming about my first husband. I thought that was odd. He said that I was talking in my sleep. I wanted to know what I was saying in my sleep, but he would not tell me.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. TD, oh how annoying to not know what you said in your sleep– especially under the circumstances you describe. I know that I snore sometimes but to my knowledge this is the first time I’ve been talking in my sleep. Difficult for me to believe that I was counting, being a wordy girl, but who knows?

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      1. You were witty with your ‘word’ answers! Sheep. Of course, what else would one be counting in their sleep! And the answer… jumping over a fence!! Too funny!!! Your husband may record you next time. I always enjoy those in the middle of the night conversations. Sleep well.

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  17. You are so patient and kind. If that had been me, ‘he’ would have had a pillow thrown at his head and another hit him in the face when he began to snore after waking me. I don’t do ‘waking up abruptly” well at all.

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    1. Melanie, I have to admit that it didn’t occur to me to smack him upside the head with a pillow. I was too groggy and unfocused. The whole conversation took me by surprise. Obviously, I guess.

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    1. Donna, I love that this rings true with you. Is it because they’re lawyers who have to cross examine you to get all the facts? I mean, I was minding my own business, then suddenly I was the subject of intense inquiry.

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  18. I had to laugh, because I was more likely to disturb John’s sleep than he mine. It’s probably good for our marriage that he began to sleep in a recliner some years ago. Our 56th anniversary is coming up in June.

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    1. Anne, it’s not like I was trying to intentionally cause trouble. And considering I don’t know for sure I was counting in my sleep, what Z-D said is hearsay as far as I’m concerned.

      56 years? Oh you two are doing many things right. Congratulations.

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      1. How could you cause trouble when you were the sleeper in the account? Perhaps the sleepee should have changed venue. Just sayin’. I realize you live in tight spaces, so maybe there would not have been enough space for a body on the floor.

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  19. Ha! My husband can sleep any time, anywhere, and in a second. He has a tendency to snore or snort and because he’s a late night person and I wake up early all the time and have a hard time getting back to sleep if awakened, we find that sleeping in separate rooms works quite well. He’s an IT guy and would get calls in the middle of the night and then I’d not get back to sleep. This works much better. 🙂

    janet

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    1. Janet, I like your pragmatic approach to sleeping arrangements. We have yet to get onto different schedules like you have, but should that happen I’m all for doing whatever allows you to have a good night’s sleep. Preferably without someone waking you up to tell you you’re talking in your sleep. 🤨

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  20. I can relate to your frustration! My husband falls asleep in a nanosecond and it can literally take me hours! He’s learned not to wake me unless the house is on fire😆

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    1. Sue, exactly. I get to sleep eventually but to wake me to tell me something, shall we say, irrelevant– well that’s a problem. For both of us. It was funny, of course. But really?

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  21. It would be unusual for me to talk in my sleep, but he does it sometimes. He pronounced something in his sleep the other night (can’t recall what) which woke me, of course. I went ahead and answered, “Good.” He was satisfied, we went back to sleep. Zzzzzzz.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Eilene, that’s funny. I’ve heard Z-D talk in his sleep, but never thought to reply. Next time, if I think of it, I’m going to try your approach and reply like we’re having a real conversation. Wonder what’ll happen?

      Liked by 1 person

  22. Had a laugh thanks Ally Bean. Prod him awake one night and make up a fantastical tale and tell him he was the author of said fantastical tale. Do some research eg on quarks or string theory, have note to self under your pillow, then wake him up and tell him you made notes of all this interesting stuff he was rambling on about. Say it all sounded madly original and he must be on to something fantastical –

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Susan, YOU ARE A WONDERFULLY DEVIOUS WOMAN! I like your ideas for revenge. They show planning and ingenuity while being totally harmless. But oh the laughs… Thanks for the ideas. 😊

      Liked by 2 people

  23. Hilarious Ally! In our relationship, I’m the one who rolls over & falls asleep easily during the night. In fact, I’ve told Himself to wake me without worry if he feels the need for that very reason. Doing a physical job, he suffers with the usual aches & pains, and I do a mean massage if I say so myself 🙂 He does snore but I wear sound muffling ear plugs through which I listen to meditations or sleep stories before going to sleep, so it rarely bothers me. I’m fortunate in being a really good sleeper, so when I have difficulty sleeping, I know there’s serious trouble afoot.

    Oh & can I add my vote that you follow Susan Scott’s advice 😀

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Deb, you have something I’ve never heard of: sound muffling ear plugs that also allow you to listen to things you choose. I know of ear plugs that muffle and I know of ear plugs that allow you to listen, but didn’t know they could be the same doohickey.

      I’m usually a good sleeper which is why it took a while for Z-D to wake me up, to accuse me of waking him up, which I may, or may not, have done.

      I agree about Susan’s advice. She is a wise woman.

      Liked by 1 person

        1. THANKS for the link. Didn’t know about something like this. Don’t need them at the moment but will remember they exist if I do. The things I learn.

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  24. Oh my, this was very funny! (Not for you, though…) I hate to admit it, but a surprising number of our daytime conversations make about as much sense and get about as far as your middle of the night one.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Barbara, well you know, now that you mention it, many of our daytime conversations are similar to this nighttime one. It’s like we’re talking in a sort of code that may, or may not, lead to clarity– but whatever, eh? Who needs to make sense all the time! 😉

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    1. Shelley, I like your spelling approach. It bores and brainwashes you at the same time. Will remember that for future moments when I cannot sleep… no matter why I cannot sleep. 😒

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      1. Thanks! You’re right on what it does. I’ve heard crossing your eyes while the lids are closed works too. I panic everytime I try that thinking that I’ll wake up in the morning with my eyes crossed permanently. That was the rumor I heard when I was growing up ;-).

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  25. Don’t you just love (not) those conversations your partner wants to have whilst you are sleeping peacefully. The ‘Are you asleep?,’ mantra is as bad as the, switching light on and feigning surprise whilst uttering a half baked apology, ‘Oh, sorry. I didn’t realize you were asleep ‘ kind of mantra. Teenagers and husbands are notorious for it. There is no known cure for it, unfortunately.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Amanda, yes, yes, yes. You’ve said it perfectly here. It’s all a pattern of behavior in the guise of concern, but really just a way to get you to do something, like not sleep. It was a goofy conversation, but did lend itself to making a good blog post once I saw the humor in it.

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    1. L. Marie, while the conversation was going on I was not happy. However in the morning when I thought back on it I was giggling. It was surreal and absurd, but not without its own charm. Glad you got a laugh out of it.

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  26. My hubby has learned not to talk in bed when I arrive there, so he does not need to hear my latest adventure whilst her was sleep:) Oh, I am not counting, that makes me more awake, lol!

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    1. DrJunieper, there’s something to be said for quiet when you sleep. I don’t know what I’ve ever tried counting sheep but I said that hoping he’d stop talking. It didn’t work. Obviously.

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  27. Haha!!! Ally, this conversation could happen at my house on any given night. The silly things we do! Thanks for the laugh.

    I once woke myself and my husband up by laughing uproariously in my sleep. I dreamed that my then 6-year-old son introduced me to his new friend “Crack Buttsky.”

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      1. My sister-in-law, who is the kind of person who sets her alarm and jumps right up to start the day, says she never dreams. She doesn’t wake up slowly and naturally enough to remember them.

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  28. Counting sheep does not work for me. I get too focused on trying to make the sheep jumping look realistic, and then occasionally a sheep doesn’t quite make it over the fence because the fence was too high or it didn’t jump high enough, and that just puts the whole count out :\

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Pistachios, I take your point. I tend to think of cartoon sheep when I think of sheep, so I don’t get emotionally invested in what happens to them. BUT if I thought of them as real sheepies, then I’d worry, too. I can understand how you have troubles counting them, the poor dears.

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  29. What is it with the insomnia lately?!? Mine has been terrible.

    I did read somewhere that we need to not think thoughts (or even count sheep) but instead should imagine a picture and any time we start thinking words try and ignore them and instead just visualize a picture. I’ve found it next to impossible BUT helpful.

    Maybe next time it will help whichever one of you is having the hard time sleeping next time? 😉

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Katie, I’ve never heard of visualizing a picture but I love that idea. If I get thinking about words, like how I’ll write a blog post, I tend to wake up more. I know that counting bores me so I drift back into thinking about words, but a picture could solve the sleep issue. I’ll try it. Thanks for the idea. Most interesting.

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  30. I’ve had more trouble sleeping lately too. I wonder why? (Sarcasm…so much stress out there, even if it doesn’t hit us directly, it is hitting hard)

    what sometimes works for me is to concentrate on my breathing. I think the words, In….Out…In….Out along with my breath. The opposite of what Katie said above, but whatever works. If that doesn’t work for me next time, maybe I will try a picture. I worry I would focus too much on the details….My husband (who snores, incidentally) says that when he has trouble getting back to sleep, he focuses on the word, SLEEP. Just quietly, not commanding it. My Step Mom keeps her iPad next to the bed, and has her kindle set to dark mode, so it doesn’t bring in too much light. She just reads until she can go back to sleep. It works for her, she is a very light sleeper.

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    1. J, I like your idea of breathing In… Out… In… Out… in a rhythm. I could see that helping me get back to sleep. I plan on trying the focus on a picture approach the next time I need to get to sleep and can’t. I know what you mean about details, so it may not work for me. I wonder if I could command myself to sleep with the word SLEEP. That seems optimistic to me, when I’m awake I don’t always pay attention to what I know is best for me, so why would I do so in the middle of the night?

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  31. Any conversation in the night would have me fully awake for hours. My brain does not like to shut off. I’ve taken to repeating mantras during that 2 am wakeup. Then my mind meanders off to another trail and I’m like “whoa… get back here to that mantra”…and on and on until finally, I fall asleep. Ugghh…

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Amy, I was minding my own snoozy business, then there I was AWAKE. I like your idea of having a few mantras to fall back on when insomnia happens, regardless of the reason why. 🙄

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  32. Okay, I’m about to show my age. Wasn’t there an episode of…I want to say Dick Van Dyke…but my mind is also whispering that it might have been I Love Lucy…when either Laura or Lucy was dreaming that her husband was cheating on her and she woke up and started hitting him with her pillow? That’s what immediately came to mind when I read this. I started nodding my head and laughing and I so enjoyed this. Sorry you missed out on sleep though, Ally. Husbands…whatchagonnado? You can’t live with them and you can’t live without them! Okay I know some may find that debatable, but I prefer to live with mine. He provides plenty of fodder to write about, too. 😉 Mona
    PS: Off to find out which show I’m thinking about. TTFN

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    1. Mona, I’ve seen I Love Lucy and the Dick Van Dyke Show, but I don’t remember the episode you recall. Sounds like a good one. I didn’t think to hit Z-D with a pillow, I was trying to not be awake more than anything else. You’re right that say what you will about husbands they do provide blog fodder. And for that we keep them around! 😉

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  33. Okay I was right and wrong. It was the I Love Lucy episode where they’re in Scotland and she’s the last of the Magillicuddy’s and Ricky is going to let the dragon eat her instead of save her, only it’s a dream and she wakes up and hits Ricky with her pillow! Glad I was able to solve that. Now I can move on. What a great episode. I miss I Love Lucy! 🙂

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    1. I don’t remember that episode, but I like it. What a hoot! I liked I Love Lucy, too. It made me laugh so hard when I was a little girl. The silliness and the comic timing were great.

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  34. Ah, one more thing I ‘miss’ since other half has taken (since the pandemic started) to sleeping in another room… ! (Why do they do that?)

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    1. Val, if nothing else this pandemic has brought to the foreground what a person enjoys most and what a person doesn’t like. I’m sorry you’re missing your other half, but whatcha gonna do?

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  35. Ally, Oh, darn. The whole sleep and sheep thing. A challenge, especially when your husband wakes you with loving concern. Of course, I had to check out the video. Cute! I don’t know why men ended up with the sleep genome. It is a constant issue around our home. At least I catch up on entire novels through the night.

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    1. Erica/Erika, I was so sound asleep, minding my own business and then *concern* woke me up. I used to read more in the middle of the night but somehow got away from it. Now I just fret and snarl while I try to go back to sleep. Such a weird conversation…

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