I love sleep. I always have done. It is one of my most favourite things to do in the whole world – I actively enjoy it rather than just doing it because I have to. I think my love of it is partly to do with the awesomely vivid dreams I always have but it’s probably also to do with the fact that, out of everywhere I’ve ever been in the whole world, I don’t generally feel warmer or safer any more so than I do in our bed. Consquently, mornings are hell.
Thankfully these days I usually get to wake up late(r than most people) and it doesn’t matter that much whether I jump out of bed instantly or lounge around for a little while. So I lounge around for a little while.
My alarm usually goes off around 10am but unless I have something pressing to attend to or am going out for lunch, I don’t HAVE to get up until 11ish. After 28 years of practise, I can turn alarms off, drink and even hold full conversations without fully regaining consciousness so the first beep of the alarm barely registers – it just gets snoozed. Ten minutes later, ditto, but ten minutes after that, I start to stir.
But I don’t open my eyes. I’m not ready for the world yet so I just lie there, in the foetal position naturally enough, and doze in and out. Slowly the “in” takes up more time than the “out” and my ears wake up so I become more aware of what is happening around me: whether John has woken up and is reading/on his laptop beside me or has got up already; what the weather conditions are like – rain, wind or children’s shrieking if it’s sunny; and which cat is padding on my head.
After a little while longer and probably another alarm beep or two, I start to open my eyes for short bursts of time. Unless there is a question-raising noise, I stare focus-less in whatever direction my head is facing and it’s like seeing the messy room for the first time. Not in a shocked/horrified way but more in a meditative way – there is rarely any thoughts attached. As another alarm beep passes, I turn over and blankly stare in another direction, and become disgustingly aware of the drool falling out of my mouth onto the pillow – so suck it back.
My eyes stay open for longer now but the stare is no less vacant – and the return to shut-eye status is always welcome. If John’s still there, the first words of the day are spoken but if not the only sound is more drool slurps.
Another alarm beep silenced and I’m lying on my back, eyes open most, but not all, of the time. I stare at the ceiling and look to the rest of the room in my peripheral vision – vision that isn’t perfect without my glasses but at this point in the day, the sharpest it gets without curved plastic assistance. A hand might find a passing cat.
The penultimate alarm beep is silenced and I’m almost fully awake. Sometimes I fling myself to the other end of the bed – on top of the duvet, perhaps with a cat for company. Other times I just lie there and steel myself up for the day. This is the first time I start thinking about things and planning the day’s activities and what I’ll do for breakfast.
With the final beep, any sloth-like behaviour from here on in pretty much caused entirely by laziness or a noted temperature discrepancy between under the duvet and the room in general. My body musters all its faculties to rip itself from the cocoon of the covers – sometimes this takes the form of a sudden mental urge to get out of bed that I’m unable to resist – and eventually I give in. I sit up, feet on the floor, ready to start the day.