Life With a Night Owl, Family Sleepovers: Sleep Secrets

Jeanne Sager

Photo by Bethany Sanders
Sleep -- we all do it, but talk about something personal! From side sleepers to wrapped in the covers on their tummy sleepers, we all do it differently.

We're delving into dreamland with moms' sleep secrets here on the The Stir, and today we're talking to Bethany Sanders, a mom of two and blogger at Strollerderby and MomLogic.

What are your best getting-to-sleep tips?

For me: I need about an hour of unwinding before I try to fall asleep. I work from home, so sometimes I have to force myself to close my laptop, put away my to-do list, and kick back with a book or TV show. I need a dark, cool bedroom and can't sleep without a white noise machine or fan. When I'm really struggling to relax and fall asleep, I'll listen to a sleep meditation track on my iPod.

Who's sleeping with you?

My husband, Mark, most nights. Sometimes one of my kids will wander in. Last night, there was a huge roll of thunder and both my kids were standing wide-eyed next to my bed before it even finished. Friday nights are "sleepover" nights and we all cuddle in together. But most of the time, I wait until they fall asleep and tuck them back into their own beds so I can get some decent sleep myself. I just can't sleep with a kid in my bed.

What's the strangest thing your partner/spouse has reported you doing during sleep?

My husband is a night owl, so often I'm already asleep when he comes to bed. He accidentally startled me awake once during what must've been a nightmare, and I started screaming and hitting his side of the bed with a pillow (luckily, he wasn't yet in bed). Mostly, though, he's a sound sleeper and I'm not, so it's me lying awake listening to him mumble in his sleep.

How do you wake up in the morning, and how long does it take you to get out of bed? What's the first thing you do?

On weekdays, the alarm wakes me up. I need to hit the snooze button at least three times, then I stumble into my older daughter's room to wake her up and get her going for school. On the weekends, the kids are our alarm clocks, and if they decide to wake up and play in their rooms, then I'm happy to lounge in bed for as long as it takes. I'm groggy (and occasionally irritable) in the mornings, but once I'm up and dressed, I really am a morning person. 

Do you dream? Care to share one?

I have those wacky, surreal dreams that aren't in the least bit literal. One of my favorite recurring dreams is that I'm walking through a big house (it's mine in my dream, but it's never my own home) and each room I walk into has a door that leads to another room that I've never seen before. It just keeps going and going. When I'm stressed out or worried about something, I dream about tornadoes or giant tidal waves. 

Want to share your sleep story? Send me a direct message here, or send me an e-mail here and choose Healthy Living as the topic.

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