Hello, my name is Aly and I’m a leg and body shaker. No I’m not humping Boo Radley, my all-white stuffed dog under the blankets, I’m rocking myself to sleep, you a-holes. What’s that awful cackle-like breathing noise? No, it’s not a coyote killing a cat in the far distance — that’s also me snoring. What’s that now? The blankets keep coming off of you while you sleep? Well, no, I haven’t noticed anything — it seems I have a surplus of covers over on my side of the bed. You keep waking up in the night because the bed is moving? Well saw-reee there’s a mythical organ inside of my body that only functions at night and in the wee (no pun intended) morning hours to push on my bladder until I succumb to the toilet — and yes, of course I have to turn the bathroom light on because there could be poisonous spiders living in the toilet bowl like the ones in Olive Garden that killed those people; You’ll get used to the light, don’t worry.
But believe me, I am not the worst culprit. Sure, my chainsaw snore may relegate you to quieter quarters but it’s bearable in most instances. And don’t try to hide, I can see you, fellow disturber, rolling your eyes as if you don’t wake up in the middle of the night with an ugly cloud shaped drool stain on your pillow — just like Zac Efron in High School Musical taught us, we’re all in this together. Some drip out mouth liquids loudly, some shake through the night like they’re in a Beyoncé video. We all have one thing in common: we can’t sleep still.
Sleep talkers: The coolest of the cats. The ones that can’t be silenced. The kind of sleep disturber I aspire to be. I happily engage in conversations with Matti all the time while he is sleeping. The other night he mentioned something about burning quinoa, so obviously, the conversations are extremely important and wildly original. It always feels like he’s being super coy, like there’s something he’s secretly hiding, which is ridiculous, because in reality he’s just sleeping and I’m trying to force his brain to spit out random, funny statements that I can write about. Sometimes it works. Then, there’s the closet-serial killer sleep talker. Like this guy: “the other night he was shaking his hand in bed and telling me I was going to hurt the woman in the corner–I said there was no woman there and he told me to look on the floor for her shadow.” Some advice to this wife: Lady, get the fuck out of that marriage before your husband turns into Harrison Ford in What Lies Beneath and you find yourself drugged up in a bathtub wondering how you got there.
Sleep shakers: Who falls asleep while remaining completely still? Well, a lot of people. But if you don’t then you’re a sleep shaker so welcome to our exclusively shaky club. I like to think of us as being prematurely independent and adult-like, because as kids, we rocked ourselves to sleep — we learned to adapt. By the time I was born, my mom was 40 and had already done the family thing with another guy prior to my dad, so there was definitely no way I was getting the rocking chair, baby swaddle treatment. (Ugh, life as a middle class white girl was just so hard.) We disturb in a cute way, by rocking our bodies back and forth like we’re trying to catch the ultimate sleep wave. Okay, I guess it can also be associated with Restless Leg Syndrome which isn’t so much cute as it is bountifully annoying, or that’s the vibe I get whenever Anna sternly slaps her hand on my leg while we’re watching a movie on the couch, giving me the I-don’t-love-you-enough-to-not-cut-off-your-leg-if-you-don’t-stop look.
Sleep Walkers: Man, you freaks are crazy! How do you not chain yourselves to your bed in fear of accidentally throwing yourself over your balcony? Seriously, I can barely walk down the stairs while conscious without tripping let alone while my brain hasn’t made the connection I’m still sleeping. Sometimes, walking isn’t enough though, you have to make a sandwich or prod your partner awake until he or she is conscious enough to start fooling around. I like the idea of you guys because you’re multi-taskers — I sometimes get confused when making a sandwich and listening to music at the same time, but ya’ll are sleeping and laying down smooth sexy moves. Good for you guys. (Just please don’t assault anyone.)
Mysterious sleep sound makers: You’re trying to fall asleep when all of the sudden you hear the sound of someone eating a seemingly delicious ice cream cone. But no, there is no ice cream in sight. You think, okay, someone may be receiving some oral pleasure — if you will — by way of mouth; Because there’s a smacking sort of noise, a loud puckering, smushing together of the lips — is someone gargling mouth wash? No. And there’s definitely not another person in that bed so again, no to the oral pleasure. But the thought of it being that intimately distinct sounding act sticks with you until it’s all you can think about. Oh my god, this sound is disgusting and detestable! Stop smacking your lips together, god damn it! Why is your tongue moving around so much? Sleep, tongue, sleep! God, how is that pillow not dripping wet by now? And the only way you can get to sleep is by jamming those uncomfortably awkward Apple earbuds into your ear socket until you’re sure you feel your ear drums bleeding but anything is better than the sound of that disgusting mystery smacking coming from the guy in the bed next to you.*
Darth Vader Sleepers: If we are ever attacked by aliens you fuckers would be all set — I can’t imagine any foreign being approaching a sleeping person with a sleep apnea mask and not thinking that sleeping monster can and will kill me.
Sleep Eaters and Sexers: I feel like these disturbers are sort of looking for the same thing, although I can’t for the life of me come up with which one I think is worse. You’re screaming at me “fucking a stranger is worse! It’s definitely worse!” and I’m thinking, ‘if I ate while I was sleeping I’d have to go grocery shopping twice as much and I’d look like more like my Uncle Mark than I am comfortable with.’ But mostly, these people are guilty of a couple things: suppressing their inner desires, buying too many cookies, and not finding a way to outsmart their sleeping selves. Designate a car key keeper to ensure you don’t have to enter couple’s therapy because your partner can’t stop screwing strangers while asleep. Win-win!
Snorers: Okay, this audibly difficult. Growing up, I lived in a house where I would be in the living room watching television, and even with the volume on full blast, every night the chorus of snores would play on high — the more violent, brash snore of my father sleeping in the basement and the choking, power tool snore of my mother from the bedroom upstairs, all combined with the screechy developing snore of my brother in his room. There were many times I found myself running to my mother’s room, in fear she was legitimately dying, only to shake her and have her wake to a short, punctual yet grating snore that sounded more like somebody trying to get the spanish “R” sound correctly. Don’t you love when a chronic snorer wakes themselves up? Oh my god, the pure joy of seeing that startled reaction in person is ultimate perfection.
Are you a sleep disturber? Is there one next to you in bed? What do YOU think the worst kind of sleep disturber is? Did I miss any?
*Disclaimer: Yes, this situation happened. Sorry, Charlie, for hating your sleep noises so much but I swear you’ll be invited to the wedding. Also, London was so fun!
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