In Praise of Sleeping Together


I am most impressed with my wife when she is sleeping.

When insomnia strikes, “paying attention to it” is the worst course of remedy she tells me, but then again, how would she know?  She’s never, as long as I have been sleeping with her, suffered the torture of a repeated self inflicted beating about the head with the rolled up and crinkled mantra “I’m not sleeping” while one is currently non asleep.

When she goes to sleep it’s like watching David write the lyrics to Hymn 23.  She drifts away quickly, sometime too quickly.  And if she wakes up to adjust a pillow or process the nights Chardonnay, she rarely remembers the interruption, and if she does, it doesn’t matter.  That’s talent.  And inner peace. I dig it.

When she wakes up in a little while, and sees that I am not crumpled in a heap next to her, she’ll know the Sandman missed me again.

And this too shall pass, my sleeplessness.  Everything happens in seasons.  But I thought it relevant to connect the dots between insomnia and our dating life.  After all, “Tired” is in this blog’s title.  And whichever label I give to the anxieties making my three AM mind serpentine like a teenage driver dodging squirrels in the road, this is the stuff of middle age marriage, so therefore, normal.

I have always hated the term “marriage bed.”  It’s simultaneously corny and gross, evoking velvet rope or crime scene tape being draped around an event that may or may not have been well attended.  Jerry and Elaine once had a negotiation on Jerry’s couch about “sleeping” having nothing to do with “sleeping together.”  At which time they retreated to not “sleep” together.  And in the end they were proven to be relational idiots.


Photo taken by Grace Ann Roberts, Rainbow Place, Nashville, 1997

So bang the drum for sleeping, literally, together. When one can’t, the other usually can, and that is perhaps the best definition of a partnership I can think of.  And that ain’t nothin.

Good morning.

10 thoughts on “In Praise of Sleeping Together

  1. Sandra and I celebrated our 53rd Anniversary and she sleeps like a log. I sleep like a rock being tossed around and around and around. If I go to bed first and go to sleep before midnight, as soon as 2:30 rolls around, I’ll be wide awake. So it’s time to hit the bathroom and then hit the recliner and the T.V. remote. In an hour or two I will drop the remote and wake myself up and go to bed. Not a bad retinue if you don’t have to go to work the next day, otherwise you day sucks. Will this pass for a marriage bed? it works for me.

  2. I hate to tell you this, but….El and I are both “easy” sleepers. I do not remember when either of us suffered from insomnia (thankfully). I am not telling you this to invoke jealousy, only to let you know that my house would welcome you any time of night…if you need some extra chores to do! I hope you have a wonderful night of sleep tonight!

  3. Dave and I sleep in shifts some nights! He goes straight to sleep, then wakes about 2:30, while I toss and turn til about 2:30!

    • Suzanne, I think given the proximity of our homes and the way our sleep shifts are slotted in the night, we should do some chore swapping, turn the nigh time into work time and between the four of us, we could all awake to clean homes in the morning. What do you think?

      • Might as well! How shall we divide up the shifts? My baseboards are in need of a good scrubbing! Do either of y’all repair drywall?

      • Awesome…I love knowing that other well educated and clean people whom i admire have exposed drywall joints in their homes. I’m waiting for the right time to fix the hole in the hallway where I removed the attic fan. Seasoning the job…thats what I call it. “We will repair no drywall before its time.” did Dave put his fist through the wall again?

      • Leak in the kitchen ceiling! In December…I have been remiss in having it repaired! I am fairly certain ours is “well seasoned” now!

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