I’m not a morning person. I’m not a mid-afternoon person either.
Late afternoon works if there is a nap in the forecast. It’s fair to say I’m also not effective at anything before or after dusk. I used to be a late-nighter. Now I’m useless past 10pm. If that makes me a wussie, throw me a weighted blanket and take your judgement elsewhere.
Clearly, I need more sleep.
I need something with the force of a sonic boom to wake me up these days. This is because I sleep next to my husband, the Carpenter, who snores and flails about like I imagine Sasquatch does while napping deep in the forest during black-fly season. My sleep is interrupted so often that when the Carpenter leaves for work, I finally get my two solid hours of deep sleep. As you can imagine, my body is not keen to wake up when it’s my turn to do so. On the days when sleep deprivation wins, it throws my entire day off balance. Chaos ensues. Pandemonium is unleashed. Trust me, you don’t want to know what that looks like (or what I look like without my precious sleep.)
The Carpenter and I share an alarm clock. I don’t like it, though the terrifying doomsday distress signal is effective. It rips me out of the deepest, restorative sleep with an assault to the senses. It makes me immediately angry. Hostile, in fact. I’ve smacked the snooze button on that thing so hard that I’m surprised it doesn’t hit me back. That would be a fight I’d win.
So I recently treated myself to a fancy new white dome alarm clock that slowly lights up in the morning, mimicking sunrise, and does the same at bedtime for sunset. It can make a light show with colour lights too. Disco in the bedroom. Cool (the Carpenter said no to this idea, which is just another tick in the pro ledger for the pros and cons list of why I think we need separate bedrooms).
This clock also doubles a reading lamp for my late night novellas. Well, it would if the Carpenter didn’t insist that my night reading disrupts his beauty sleep. That argument gets ugly fast. Pro. Tick box.
Turns out I also needed a degree in electrical engineering to set the alarm’s time and corresponding sound effect. I can wake up to the sounds of birds chirping, wind chimes gently chiming, waterfalls, (not wise with my bladder), rain on a tin roof (same), or the waves of the ocean (yeah, same), a piano forte or a gentle alarm.
At night, a choir of crickets will lull me to sleep, or the sound of gentle rain (enough already, says my tiny bladder), meditation gong sounds or the sound of water travelling down a rippling stream (seriously, what’s with the water?).
Day one, I scheduled the 6am alarm. I woke up to the sound of the ocean. Waves. Nice. Calming. And then the bloodcurdling screech of seagulls. Terrifying. I had a flash vision of Tippi Hedren in Alfred Hitchcock’s The Birds.
I opened my eyes to realize I’d set the sunrise lights to deer-in-headlights mode. The seagulls got louder. There was a flock of them (I’m sure with really bad haircuts – you get the reference). Blinded, I couldn’t find the snooze button because my retinas were burned with the glow of sunrise. I slapped that clock into next week.
But I was awake. So there’s that. Good morning, indeed.