If Sleeping was an Olympic sport, then I would surely be a medal contender. At least over the last few weeks.
Every evening I find myself clock watching, not for wine o'clock any more but
"Is is too early to go to bed yet......it's nearly nine o'clock..."
My husband is quite amused by all this, it used to be him in bed and snoring before me - because I was otherwise occupied 'just tidying up" - i.e. finishing off any wine.
Sometimes I would wake up on the couch, in the same position that I had passed out, hours before, the TV still on. Sometimes my husband would wake up and come and get me - or so he told me, most times I don't recall.
Now, I am tucked up as soon as possible, with a book (I've lost all interest in TV), and I read until I'm sleepy, sometimes even before my husband comes to bed.
I sleep for about nine or ten hours lately. I know some of it is P.A.W.S, but in some weird way, I think I'm making up for decades when I have felt constantly tired.
My ex-husband used to complain that I snored. But only if I was facing a certain way, or on my back. In the first years, he found it endearing, but as the rest of our relationship deteriorated, he found it irritating and annoying. I would try and wait until he fell asleep, so I could relax and drift off, all too often I would get a sharp poke in the ribs and a hiss in my ear...
"Move over!" .
In the end he couldn't stand sleeping with me, the same way I couldn't stand to eat with him - how did I not notice the slurping sounds he made when he was eating?
Sometimes I was so tired that I used to take the afternoon off work without telling him, so I could sneak home and nap in peace.
After we broke up, and wine was my evening companion - I no longer slept, I passed out. I woke up in the early hours most mornings, dehydrated, sheets sweaty, my dogs piled on the bed.
Some nights, to avoid waking up in a chair with my neck aching, I would even take the wine to bed with me, so in the morning, the acrid stale alcohol stench wasn't just coming from my breath and my pores.
My habits improved considerably when I met my husband. We both laughed about snoring - he rumbles all night like an engine, and after decades of grabbing power naps on a fish boat in torrential rain, my "purring" as he calls it doesn't disturb him at all.
The wine glass disappeared from my bedside table, and the dogs were banished from the bedroom too, but my sleep patterns were still dictated by my alcohol consumption.
I was still chronically tired.
When I finally put down the bottle, it took several weeks to adjust.
Firstly, I found it almost impossible to drift off. My brain was whirring, my body was restless without the chloroform effects of alcohol in my system.
Gradually over the last couple of weeks, my body finally trusts that this alcohol free state is permanent and the new normal and has rewarded me with the prize that has alluded me for most of my adult life -
A healthy night's slumber.