Patterns of Sleep (or, Ways I Annoy Jordan While Sleeping)


When I first considered the fact that I would soon be sleeping in the same bed as someone else, I wondered if I was an annoying sleeper. I honestly had no idea if I snored or flailed my arms about wildly or kicked my legs or threw my pillows or sleepwalked. I had only a few facts from which to assume that I did none of these things. 

  1. My throat usually wasn't sore in the morning, so I probably didn't snore.
  2. On family camping trips and friend sleepovers, no one had ever complained about me snoring. 
  3. My pillows were all on the bed in the morning, so I felt safe in thinking I didn't throw them.
  4. The sheets were, for the most part, straight and neat when I woke up, leaving me to assume that I didn't flail my arms about or kick my legs. 
  5. I'd never accidentally cut myself with a knife in the middle of the night, so I could only postulate that I had never sleepwalked to the kitchen to dice myself some fruit for a late-night snack.
Today, March 14, is ten months exactly of sleeping next to someone else (almost) every single night. During that time the proof has been consistently mounting against me, forcing me to arrive at the unfortunate conclusion that despite the evidence listed above, I am an annoying sleeper. An annoying, narcissistic sleeper, to be exact. One night I woke up, rolled over, and said, "It's hard work being me." (Dream me obviously knows what's up.)

I'm also a highly critical dreamer. A few months ago I had a dream--nightmare, really--that someone was chasing us. Jordan claims I woke him up in the middle of the night to say, "You're not very good at hiding." As I blamed him for Dream Amanda and Jordan's inability to escape their pursuer, he was quick to inform me that he was very good at hiding. Whatever that means. I have since wondered if that knowledge should make me suspicious or grateful.

Over the past 3ooish days, I have woken Jordan up in the middle of the night with all sorts of crazy words, shouts, and, perhaps most bothersome, actions. Specifically, flailing of arms and stealing of pillows.

Sometimes, I'm told, I sleep with one hand resting on my forehead, almost in a thinking pose. (I was going to take a picture of me fake sleeping while doing this pose and call it a "dramatic reenactment" like they do in cheesy TV commercials, but I realized that would be awkward and dumb, so you'll just have to imagine it for yourself.) I don't know why it bothers him so much; he says it's because when I move my arm around, it makes a noise that wakes him up. (It took about a day to realize he's an incredibly light sleeper.)

In the morning Jordan will turn to me and say, "You did it again last night."
"Did what?" I ask.
"Your crazy arm thing."
I, of course, never remember doing this, but he tells me that he tries to move my arm down because a) it looks uncomfortable and b) sometimes I hit him when I raise my arm and/or I make a rustling noise when I move it around. 

Two nights ago, he said that after a few failed attempts to take my hand off my forehead--during which time I repeatedly moved my arm back to its original position--he tried to literally pin my arm down underneath him so I'd stop waving it around.

Right after this happened, he said, I gave a snort and rolled completely onto his pillow, effectively pushing him almost off the bed and stealing his covers all in one motion. He poked me in the shoulder to wake me up, and I began laughing so hysterically he couldn't tell if I was laughing or crying. He got annoyed and told me to stop laughing, which made me laugh even harder. Then I got up, poured myself a drink of water, and walked calmly back to bed.

I did not immediately remember this scene upon waking and had to verify it all with Jordan, who confirmed that yes, I had tried to steal his pillow after he attempted to pin my arm down with his butt, and yes, I had become hysterical with a disconcerting combination laugh/cry.

A few times recently I've woken up complaining about a sore throat. To my regret, I've discovered that though I might not snore, I am a heavy breather. Jordan's demonstration of my loud night breathing is hilarious, though maybe that's only because I'm not awake at two o'clock in the morning to hear it.

These are just a few of the many examples I have for all the strange things I have said or done in the middle of the night since we got married ten months ago. I find no end to the comedy; Jordan doesn't find it quite so endearing, for obvious reasons. But the fact of the matter is that I am not the peaceful sleeper I thought I was. At first, this saddened me. But I've since come to embrace it.

I can't say whether I was always like this (because there's been no one to tell me otherwise) or if having a consistent bed buddy has brought the crazy night habits out of me. But it's ridiculous all the same, and since I'm sleeping, Jordan can't technically blame me for it. This fact alone makes it all the more hilarious. Maybe that makes me a horrible person, but if that's the case, I'm sure in time I'll come to embrace that too. Until then, I'll just keep unconsciously annoying Jordan while I'm sleeping. 

Anonymous said...

I don't think you've adequately explained the arm-on-your-forehead thing because it doesn't make sense to me that it would annoy Jordan if all you're doing is lying there quietly (except for the mouth breathing, of course). I mean, trying to make you sleep in a different way just because he thinks it looks uncomfortable? That just seems silly, especially if your body so badly wants to sleep like that that he can't even pin you down.

However...other than that slight confusion, I thoroughly enjoyed this post, especially the part about waking up and laughing hysterically. I am like that, especially if my brain is sleep fogged, and once I get going, it's pretty difficult to get me stopped.


Tiffani P said...

Oh golly, did I laugh in reading this one. Sleeping with a dude is new to me, too - i knew I occasionally snored and sometimes talked in my sleep from my experiences traveling with my girl friends, but between my nighttime shenanigans and Curby's patented "velcro roll" (that is what I call it when he (in his sleep) anchors the blanket/sheet under his arm and rolls AWAY from me... taking all the covers), we have had quite a few laughs over the experience of sleeping together. Hopefully, Jordan will look back on this in a few years and chuckle at your sleepy ridiculousness. I know the rest of us are! :)

Amanda said...

@AudraSo, I completely understand why the arm-on-the-forehead thing was confusing. *I* myself don't understand why it annoys him, which is probably why I was unable to explain this properly in the post. It *does* seem silly. But I'm glad you liked the post despite your confusion. You're a good friend.

Justine said...

To your credit, I do not recall any snoring in the 2 years we lived together, or heavy breathing for that matter. However, I know EXACTLY what the arm thing is. Not sure why it's annoying because I never had to share a bed with you, but I don't need a picture to clarify the position. This post was hilarious!

Geoff Reese said...

That's just to funny. I too sleep with my arm on my forehead. It wakes me up sometimes and I think, what the heck, why am I doing that.

Anonymous said...

I'm still laughing. I totally relate. Lately, I have been waking myself (and Greg) up by laughing. It's creepy, like someone just told me a really good joke, and there I am... waking up with laughter. Most times I wake up from scary dreams and just this week, I actually cried like a kid while Greg told me there wasn't actually anyone inside our house (UGH!). He also claims I steal the covers, which I always deny, along with the fact that I hog all the space on our bed. (We are currently in a twin bed, so I wonder... how much space is there to hog anyway?) Your stories most likely ring true for a lot of people. Sleeping is just kind of a weird thing, isn't it?? After seeing Inception I never looked at sleeping the same way again. I wonder if Jordan will ever do anything weird?!?!?

Lauren Alexis said...

this sounds exactly like me and my husband! i love your posts! i talk in my sleep, and always thought i was a still sleeper but i have kicked and uppercut nico several times while sleeping. oh well!