26 January 2015, by Lim Peifen
The Turtles: “Imagine me and you, and you and me…”
During courtship, the image is always rosy, like the song.
But when you no longer have to imagine, when “me and you and you and me” every day is a reality, being happy together certainly takes more effort than “ba ba ba ba ba ba “.
Despite having dated for 10 years, my husband W and I are still learning how to not merely co-exist in tolerance, but live happily with each other. And sleep well with each other.
Sleep has always been a tricky business for me. I’m a terribly difficult person (or, simply put, a b**ch) to share a bed or bedroom with. I need to be primed to sleep by the perfect conditions: total darkness, absolute silence, the correct temperature, a soft and pleasant scent, a good pillow with the right support. Even when all things are in place, I take quite a while to gradually fall asleep. If I don’t get enough sleep, I’m grouchy the next morning. There is one upside: I’m a deep sleeper. So when I do eventually enter into sleep, I don’t get woken up easily. BUT if I’m woken up unwillingly, I turn into a monster…OK. That’s a different story for another day.
W, he’s the total opposite of me. He is the best. No matter how awake he was just before bedtime, once his head hits the pillow, he falls asleep within 5 minutes. How do I know? He starts to snore.
If you recall, one of the requirements for me, the Sleep B, to fall asleep, is silence. Snoring is a sound, and no matter loud or soft, the level of disturbance is pretty much the same. Soft snoring annoys me because I can’t tell if I’m imagining it or if it’s really there, so I end up listening out for it. Loud snoring feels just like taunting: I’m lying next to him wide awake staring at the ceiling, desperately hoping to fall asleep, and he’s proudly albeit unintentionally declaring how sound asleep he is.
“I’m so sorry dear. Maybe I should sleep in the other room?
“How about I stay awake while you fall asleep first?”
W decided to watch TV before bedtime, to give me a head start in the journey to dreamland.
Let’s go back again and recall the two requirements for Sleep B to fall asleep: Silence and darkness. TV is the very antithesis of those needs. W then turned down the volume completely and used a headphone for audio, and I wore an eye mask.
In the end? HE STILL FELL ASLEEP BEFORE ME EVEN WHEN WATCHING TV.
We tried other methods. I changed his pillow, he made sure not to drink alcohol too close to bedtime, we bought him nasal strips to try and eliminate any blockage…nothing worked.
Out of the blue one fine day, W asked me: “What did Chandler do to Joey in the episode of Friends where he snored too loudly?”
And then I remembered a little life hack I’d learnt from my all time favourite sitcom. Joey’s snoring was too loud for his room mate Chandler, and their friend Monica suggested to “roll him over”!
It’s amazing how simple a solution usually is. By changing his sleep position, W stops snoring for a period long enough for me to fall asleep. If he does start snoring again, I simply roll him over the other side. He doesn’t mind me rolling him here and there, because it takes him 2 seconds to fall back asleep. And the rolling actually lulls me to sleep.
Being happy together is not easy. When the priority is not being happy, but being together, it does get a little easier. 🙂
P.S.: Happy 2015!