I've been having a devil of a time getting as much sleep as I want lately. There are few things I enjoy more than a solid night's sleep, although my schedule does not permit many "sleep in" days. Right now there are three factors working against me when it comes to sleeping until the alarm rings. Two of them occur all the time and the other is, fortunately, temporary.
First there's the temporary factor: the antibiotics I'm taking for my latest bout with bronchitis. They're giant yellow horse pills that leave a lingering bitter taste in my mouth and include in their list of side-effect warnings, nightmares and hallucinations. Luckily I'm not experiencing any hallucinations, but I've been awakened by vivid and strange dreams almost every morning since I began taking them last week. Last night, for example, I dreamed that I'd moved into a new house with lots of windows. People kept pressing themselves against the windows to look in, so I had to race around closing all the blinds. I wouldn't go so far as to call that a "nightmare" because it wasn't particularly terrifying, but it was definitely freaky enough to wake me up. That's where the two permanent sleep-denying factors come into play.
Once I'm awake, my chances of going back to sleep are incredibly slim. One reason is my husband's snoring. I can ignore it through my deepest sleep thanks to a noisy bedside air cleaner that I run solely for white noise (in fact, it doesn't even have a filter in it anymore). I'll admit right now that his snoring is not even all that loud - it's just random and startling enough to shatter any chance of my regaining sleep. Just as I'm drifting off, he'll emit a snort or grunt that thoroughly reawakens me. I'd be lying if I said I hadn't fleetingly considered smothering him with a pillow from time to time. I usually settle for growling, "Roll over!" Sometimes this is accompanied by a sharp elbowing.
The second sleep destroyer is the presence of our cats. Our male cat takes turns sleeping next to us and on us all night long. If it's my turn when I wake up, his shifting weight on my side or chest makes it very hard to fall back asleep. He's a big klutz, too, so if he's moving around he can cause a great deal of discomfort with a misplaced paw. Another of our cats has decided that her morning mission is to scan me for any trace of consciousness so she can immediately greet me with glad cries. Never mind that it may be a false alarm - she leaps onto the bed and races across our sleeping bodies to make peeping noises at me as soon as I stir even once. Not relaxing!
The good news is that after today, I only have two days left of this course of antibiotics. I'm hoping that ridding myself of the strange dreams will help me stay asleep at least a bit longer. As for the snoring and the cats, well, they're just a small price to pay for companionship.