Relative Something

*this* John W. Hays' take on things and experiences

Posts Tagged ‘waking up

Cheery Morning

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Neither Cyndie nor I are naturally fond of waking and getting out of bed in the morning. It tends to occur begrudgingly. I don’t view the occasion as being the opposite of not waking up at all, but rather of lingering in snoozeville and remaining snuggled beneath the warmth of our blankets and pillows. A much-preferred alternative.

Alas, pets demand and deserve timely attention first thing in the morning and Delilah must go out and the chickens want out of their coop for some breakfast.

This morning, against our everlasting preference, we both triumphed over the angst of getting up and entered into cheery histrionics while clumsily dressing and narrating and orating our comical foibles. I’ll just say, I’m not the one who has mistakenly ended up with bottoms on backward or inside out. I can’t claim that virtuosity with tops, however.

It was a beautiful day outside, reasonably mild in the hours preceding an expected bout of ice and snow on the way.

The chickens were all in fine form and very talkative while emerging from the coop to greet the day.

No sign whatsoever of sharing our hesitancy about greeting the day.

They continue to mature and are showing signs of dialing in the art of egg-laying. We received a 1-in-1000 double yolk the other day. By the looks of the size of the shell, that appeared to be an uncomfortable object to pass for a new layer.

Made for a doubly-delicious bullseye breakfast, however!

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Written by johnwhays

January 30, 2021 at 11:00 am

Russian Technician

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I finally figured it out. Our cat has a gift like that Russian sleep clinic technician and now everything makes sense. I now understand her crazy obsession of pummeling us with kneading paws in the early morning darkness when we least desire her affectionate attention. Pequenita is the Russian sleep tech from Cyndie’s tales of being tested in a sleep lab years ago.

First, she was told to stay awake for ten minutes while wearing the cap of countless wired sensors. Cyndie describes looking out a window and around the room to pass the time. Looking at a magazine. How hard is it to stay awake for ten minutes? Then the grumpy countenanced Russian technician’s voice came over the speaker and told her to wake up.

“I’m not asleep.” she claims to have said.

But, she was. He saw her fall asleep in about 30 seconds. He made her try again. Multiple times over the 24-hour period of testing, they played that little game. She says she failed every time. What startled her was that she felt like she succeeded every time. She didn’t think she was falling asleep.

This discrepancy of perception worked both ways with her sleep cycle. The objective is to have the patient stay awake when it is time to be awake, and stay asleep when it is time to sleep.

In the morning, Cyndie describes her battle with the Russian technician’s voice over the intercom.

“You need to get up now because you are awake.” His words grabbed her attention.

“I’m not awake. I’m still sleeping.”

“No, you’re not. I can see your brain waves.”

This guy knows what sleeping brain waves and awake brain waves look like. It’s what he does. He could clearly see when her brain woke up.

I don’t think Pequenita is perceiving our brain waves, but I think she detects that same moment when our brains wake up, yet we think we are still sleeping. That is why her treading paws on our heads is so annoying. We are trying to remain asleep. She knows that we are not still sleeping.

I think it is our breathing that she detects. Even though we have no intention of waking up yet, there are moments in the sleep cycle when we transition out of deep sleep to what I would describe as semi-conscious. For me, it is often occurring when one of my arms has fallen incredibly numb and I need to switch positions. There is also the very obvious situation of a full bladder, which I am extremely grateful to be alerted to so I can remedy while maintaining dry sheets. Sometimes, it is a result of a vivid dream experience.

My first guess is that Pequenita hears the change in our breathing as our brains wake up. I expect our body movements are another easy clue.

When she steps on our heads in the early morning hours before we want to wake up, I now think of her as our own little ornery Russian sleep technician letting us know our brains are no longer asleep.

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Written by johnwhays

April 24, 2020 at 6:00 am

Alarming Rise

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In one of the many ways I feel lucky, it is my great pleasure to be able to awaken easily when it is time for my alarm to go off. For that matter, I also enjoy the good fortune of falling asleep relatively quickly, without any trouble at all. It was not always so.

During my years of greatest depression symptoms, sleep was problematic for me. Having that for comparison makes my current pattern of blessed slumber that much sweeter.

DSCN4961eThe radio alarm clock that I have at my bedside has been my companion for decades. It doesn’t get very much interaction from me, so it has grown a little persnickety about responding to button pushes. I fear that the years of dust it has endured have led to some hesitation of electronic connections.

Recently, I have experienced a recurring pattern of waking just before the time that would trigger the radio alarm to come on. One day last week, in exception to that rule, I snoozed a full 6-minutes past the alarm and decided the volume should probably come up a little bit to better get my attention.

I never tested that because the next two days I was up well before the alarm time. Since I am able to leave it off over the weekend, Sunday night I needed to reset everything. It balked over multiple attempts, but eventually I thought I had it.

Whatever song that was on when I tested it in the evening did not prove to be a good reference for the song that was on Monday morning at the appointed hour. Like usual, I had woken up before the alarm, but it being a Monday, I decided I should linger in comfort for the remaining time before the alarm.

It didn’t take me long to fall back asleep, and it didn’t take a second for me to startle awake to the volume of music that came on the short time later.

Oops.

Maybe it’s time to download a fancy newfangled app for my phone to gently increase an alarm until I wake up. I usually am charging the phone at my bedside every night anyway.

I don’t know if I could do that to the old Sony Dream Machine. It’s like family after all these years.

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Written by johnwhays

July 19, 2016 at 6:00 am

This Happens

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In the morning, our wake up call comes from Delilah. She sleeps in a crate beneath the spiral stairs in the main room. During my work week, when I leave the house in the early morning darkness, she regularly ignores me and stays quiet until around 7 or 7:30, if Cyndie is lucky.

It’s not exactly uncommon for Delilah to start getting vocal more than an hour earlier than desired. When it is way too early, I discovered that if one of us moves to the couch behind her crate and lays down to sleep, she will usually go back to sleep, too.

This morning was one of the occasions where it wasn’t so extremely early that it was still dark outside, but it was earlier than either of us wanted to wake up, after having stayed up a bit late last night because it was, after all, a Saturday. Cyndie, being less inclined toward sleeping on the couch for the dog, got up and let Delilah out of her crate. Then Cyndie came back to bed, hoping to get a few more minutes of shuteye before getting up for real.

That practice is based on the willingness of Delilah to calm down again after having just stretched out in expectation of starting her day. She puts her feet on the bed to check on me, she paces a bit and pants loudly. If we are lucky, she recognizes the situation and walks in a tight circle about 6 times and lays down to give us a little added slumber.

Then this happens… I realize that I have to pee.

Go figure. I am desperately trying to stay in my sleep mode, and the dog has just indicated she is willing to gift us with precious added time. I don’t have to go to work, I can sleep as long as possible, but my bladder is asking for relief.

Since I am tired, it is possible to override the body signals long enough to regain unconsciousness. It could be blissful, except for one thing. The body has its own intelligence, and it doesn’t give up without additional effort.

You know the drill. I was dreaming that it was time to leave and people were waiting for me, but before I could leave with them, I needed to use the bathroom. Actually, I think there were several bathrooms involved in this morning’s dream. Of course, a toilet couldn’t be found in any of them.

DSCN4560eI dreamed I was peeing into something where I had mistakenly placed a kitchen utensil I had just used. Then I was peeing into a tub that had been placed where a toilet was supposed to be, but it turned out to be filled with plastic building block toys. In that case, the door was not latched and my niece’s young son wandered in, with her right behind. Soon she was commenting on my choice of receptacle.

It’s like being stuck in a labyrinth that has no end.

After Delilah decided we had enough extra time, she woke us again, interrupting my troubled sleep and freeing me from my self-inflicted imaginary dramas.

That was a relief for my mind which then, finally, allowed relief for my body.

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Written by johnwhays

April 3, 2016 at 8:17 am