When I was young, I wasn’t picky. I could sleep anywhere, at any time, in any position. In my thirties, plagued by guilt, anxiety, and fear, sleep became somewhat elusive to me.
In my forties, I generally slept like a rock.
In my fifties – which have only recently begun – I’m in a hybrid place. I fall asleep at the drop of a hat, anywhere, but – as you know – I tend to be up once, twice, or even three times a night, and – as you know – falling back asleep sometimes eludes me. Just a hint of weed before bed makes sleeping through the night slightly more likely, but I’m abstemious: I tend not to indulge that often, that much.
Some people cling in their sleep – they hug their companion, they spoon, they cuddle. In sleep, my avoidantly attached self predominates – I crave space. The single largest determinant of my quality of sleep is how much I can sprawl out. A twin bed isn’t enough for me. A queen? I have to be alone. In a king-sized bed, I have the hope of a good night’s sleep, alone or otherwise.
Next up: temperature. I like it cool. Preferably breezy. And preferably dry. My ideal sleeping situation is a winter night in Vermont, the window open a crack, on a cotton sheet with a single, heavy, duvet over me. The bed should be firm, but not rock hard. Firm enough, though, that when T sits on the other side, my side doesn’t shift.
I love the feeling of a heavy duvet, the way it simultaneously presses me down into the bed and leaves space, air, in which my body can move, can come into repeated contact with the fabric above. There’s something ancient, primitive, soothing about the simultaneous sensations of cold on my face, in my nose; bodily warmth; and the tactile sensations of my limbs brushing against the fabric of the duvet.
How ’bout you?
What are your preferences?