Skipping Work and Pillow Thefts: Sleep Secrets

Jeanne Sager

Selfish Mom Amy OztanSleep -- 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 Amy Oztan, the multi-tasking mom who gives you a sneak peek at what's Filming in Brooklyn and how to be a Selfish Mom (and still raise awesome kids).

Since part of being truly selfish (aka taking care of yourself!) is getting some good Zzzs, we asked her for some secrets.

What are your best getting to sleep tips?

Spend the day avoiding work. Sort the mail, get caught up on all your favorite blogs, alphabetize your spice rack ... anything to avoid actual work. Then, after everybody else is asleep, sit down at the computer for "just a few minutes."

That's when the creative juices will start flowing (or the deadlines will start to sink in). Stay up until three in the morning, so that you're too tired to take off your makeup or your bra. You'll be asleep before your dirty face hits the pillow.

Who's sleeping with you?

My husband. Nobody else. No kids, ever. I mean, a little morning cuddle time is OK, but during sleep time? Never. My bed. You hear me? Mine!

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

He's too busy snoring to notice anything I'm doing. Every once in a while he'll tell me I snore, but I think he's hearing himself. Or echoes of himself. He's a really loud snorer. Like, impressively loud. His college roommate once recorded him to prove just how loud he was. And both of the kids snore. I'm completely outnumbered and out-gunned.

Who steals the covers?

He does, except he doesn't steal them. He gets up in the middle of the night to rearrange them. I could sleep just fine with the covers in a ball on top of me, but he has to have them straight and tucked in, and in order to achieve that, he has to take them all off of the bed first. And whenever he does that, it wakes me up.

He also steals my pillow.

We each have a long body pillow that we hug all night, and if he turns to face me, he tries to grab mine and I have to wrestle it away from him.

Reading over this it's a wonder that I get any sleep at all. I will say this: When he's out of town, I sleep so well I only need about five hours to be completely refreshed. If we ever get divorced, the cause will be irreconcilable sleep habits.

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?

That depends on the scenario. If I'm getting up to get the kids to school -- which requires neither a shower nor breakfast -- I basically wait until the kids drag me out of bed. It's not easy. I try to milk every last minute out of my sleeping time, since I've usually gone to bed really really late and slept next to a snoring, pillow-stealing cover rearranger. If I have to get up to an alarm, I just get up. I might try to snooze once or twice but that drives my husband absolutely batty.

I don't think he even knows where the snooze button is on his clock. I hate getting up early and usually spend the morning mad at myself for making whatever appointment caused me to get up early. In either scenario, the first thing I do is grab my Droid and check email and twitter. It bothers me that the world keeps turning while I'm asleep.

I then check to make sure the kids brushed their teeth and put on deodorant (they never have without a reminder), and run downstairs to sign whatever permission slip I forgot or pack a field-trip lunch. I yell at the kids the whole time to hurry up, as though they were the ones who stayed in bed until 10 minutes before school starts.

Then I spend the walk to school apologizing and swearing not to do it again the next day. Lather, rinse, repeat.

Do you dream? Care to share one?

I do dream, a lot. I have these incredibly real-feeling dreams that cause me to wake up in a sweaty panic. Either I'm on a stage on opening night and haven't memorized a single line and my husband is in the first row, or I'm waitressing and have a hundred tables and no help and people keep coming and asking me for things. Sometimes I'm naked in these dreams but that part doesn't bother me.

Find out how to make selfish work for you -- and your kids from Amy!


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