My wife and I have a nightly ritual after putting the kids to bed at night. We usually put something on the television, then pass out cold before it’s over. The usual setup is her stretched out on the couch, and me enjoying the recliner. Occasionally we’ll mix things up and I’ll be on the couch, or sometimes, we’ll both fall asleep cuddled up on the couch. No matter the configuration, we’re more often than not completely zonked out by 10pm.
She is usually the first to wake up, and wake me up and tell me its time for bed.
This is where we enter the phase of the ‘sleep buzz’ as I call it. Like when you’ve been drinking alcohol and you’re not quite hammered, but absolutely impaired, and it wouldn’t take a lot to tip the scales over into inebriation. The sleep buzz is you not being quite asleep, but you’re not awake either, and there’s a small window where you can get to bed and fall immediately asleep again.
While in this state we need to complete various ‘go to bed’ tasks, which include turning off the TV, making sure there are no drinking glasses on the tables or counters, (Stupid cat #1 likes to knock them over) flick out the lights, use the bathroom as necessary, and get to bed.
All of this has to happen before you ‘wake up’ again completely, or getting back to sleep becomes difficult, and at the times we usually make for the bedroom, you don’t want to waste time going through all that again.
The obvious question is simply ‘why don’t you just go to bed earlier?’
Well, the reason is, we like to have a small space of time after the kids to go bed to wind down before going to bed. Even a few minutes to enjoy a cup of tea, a beer, or see each other without one of us rushing out the door or having a child being attached to one or both of us. That small window of ‘quiet time’ between the chaos of the day and its ultimate ending helps us rest when we do finally get to bed, but we’ve got to beat the clock before the sleep buzz wears off and we’re awake again and it’s now the middle of the night and a 6:30 alarm going off isn’t that far away anymore.
’tis a delicate balance every night. Rest without going to bed, then get to bed without waking up.
It’s a system. A weird one, but we’re pretty good at it.