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Kansas City MO 64131




Filtering by Tag: sleep


Cindy Maddera

Two nights ago we lost our house to a flood and a fire. In all the chaos, I ended up hit in the head and left in a coma for six months (yes, time is weird and relative). When I finally came too, I was all alone in the hospital. I pulled out my IV and rummaged around for some clothes. Then I walked back to where our house used to be. Seeing that there was no house, I continued walking until I got to a dumpy motel. Michael was living there some woman he was now sleeping with and all of our family members. Everybody looked rough with worn clothes and scraggly hair. I looked around at the squalor they were now living in and said “what is going on?!?” That’s when Michael, who was naked in bed with that woman I mentioned before, noticed me standing in the doorway. He sat up in surprise, sputtering to get a sentence out. I grabbed the woman by her hair and dragged her out of the bed and then kicked her. “Get the fuck out!” I spit in her face. Then Michael started rambling about insurance money and being broke. He was high or drunk, probably both. I just shook my head at him and then turned around and walked out.

And here I sit now in the light of day and reality (?) wondering what on Earth is going on.

My nights for the past few weeks have been filled with visions of nonsense. Someone said that this probably means I’m not sleeping well at night. That time between 9:30 PM and 1:00 AM is fantastic. I sleep so soundly that when I wake up sometime around one, I think it’s actually time to get up. Except I don’t because that sounds like a dumb idea. Instead I toss and turn, drifting in and out of sleep until around 4:30 ish. This week, I’ve just said “screw it” and peeled my body out of bed at 4:30 AM to get on my yoga mat. These morning practices have not been anything spectacular or fancy. I have just gotten on my mat and moved. Tuesday morning I ended my practice, curled up around the dog on my yoga mat. We lay there wrapped up in a blanket, still and quiet with Josephine’s toys scattered randomly around us. I could hear Michael snoring from his room. I could hear the creek and crack of the house shifting in the cold. Then I heard an owl hooting from somewhere in our front yard.

I heard that owl again this morning.

The hippy dippy part of me knows that these crazy night visions and the odd sleep behavior have to do with the Spring Equinox, which is just around the corner. It is my body preparing for the shifting of time. The sun is already staying out a little bit longer and I leave the house for work in the mornings in daylight instead of the dark of predawn. There is something a little bit uncomfortable in the shift because it is a slow transition. Particularly this year when we are predicted to get three to six inches of snow on Sunday. I always imagine this transition to be similar to the transition between human and werewolf. The movies always portray it so violently and painful. Think of the strain the body would go through to make such a dramatic molecular change, but then slow that molecular change down from seconds to days. I am slowely transitioning into a werewolf.

Or, if I want to be kind to myself, I am transition back into a human.

There is something about being awake while most of the rest of the world is sleeping. It is the time of morning covered in whispers and hushes. In the mist of the whispers and hushes, there is something calming and still. It is not a terrible time of day to be awake. It just sounds like a terrible time to be awake. When I was really little, I went through a phase where I would wake up in the middle of the night. I would get out of bed and quietly shut my bedroom door. Then I would turn on my light and quietly play with my toys in the middle of my bedroom floor. I don’t know how long this went on before I was finally discovered. My Mom opened the door to find me with the light on, playing. She made me go back to bed and turned the light out. I don’t remember getting up again after that, but I do remember that calming stillness. It must be something I just crave on occasion.

I am thankful for the hoot of an owl.


Cindy Maddera

Last week, I woke up at three AM from a dream where I was so angry at Michael for something to do with schedules and calendars. I got up and went to the bathroom, but when I crawled back into bed my brain was too hyped up to go back to sleep. I laid there raging and reliving various random moments of conflict and how I should have said this instead of that. I kicked off all of the covers because I was hot and flipped over to turn off my electric blanket. My period starts in three days. The dreams leading up to this have been off the chain. One night I put on eye makeup and it was perfect, but I only did one eye. The next night I tore my closet apart looking for my elephant skirt and was unable to find it. I know for sure that both were dreams because I am incapable of applying eye makeup let alone perfect eye makeup. I checked my closet and my elephant skirt is still there. 

I started watching the Masterpiece Theater show Breathless and there's this episode where an older woman discovers that her husband is having an affair with the secretary. She confronts him and so he takes her to the doctor where he bullies the doctor into prescribing some serious drugs because of her crazy menopausal symptoms. The woman makes a half hearted attempt to stab the secretary with a pair of scissors, is told she needs to get herself under control, and then overdoses on the prescription her husband forces the doctor to give her. There's a moment before she takes all of the pills when she's talking to an older nurse who is telling her to get her shit together when the woman says that she still wished she'd stabbed that girl with the scissors. It is the most frustrating episode I have seen so far because they keep playing off this woman's rage at her husband's infidelity as just symptoms of menopause. Then I got so mad about the whole episode that I picked up my iPad and threw it across the gym. 

I did not.

I had been basking in a skinny phase for the past two months. I caught my reflection in the mirror while teaching a yoga class and thought "Oh! I look skinny!". A week later my body turned into a bloated up bullfrog. I again caught my reflection while teaching a class and thought "Who is that fat girl teaching yoga?'s me." I closed my eyes to the reflection and never looked back at the mirror again. Saturday, we found ourselves on the Plaza and Michael sent me to Anthropolgie while he and the Cabbage went to look for shoes. They found me just as I was checking out. The Cabbage put her chin on the counter and told the check out lady "I'm going to be a big sister!" The woman then looked right at my belly and said "CONGRATULATIONS!" I didn't say a word. I just smiled and nodded my head. When the transaction was complete, the woman walked my bag around to hand to me. I guess so I wouldn't strain myself picking up the bag containing two shirts from the counter? It was weird and not the first time someone has congratulated me on a pregnancy. 

So, you would think that all of this plus a time change would make me a very ragey person today. Except I knew that all of this plus a time change would set me on a murderous rampage and I made some changes to my routine. First of all, I left work early on Friday and cleaned the house. I mean, scrub under furniture and wash the curtains kind of cleaning of the house. Then, I had Michael hang some shelves in my room which allowed me to free up my yoga storage box. I swapped places with the yoga box and my hamper, placed a blanket and meditation pillow on the box and BOOM! Meditation space. The next thing I did was probably the most difficult. I changed my alarm clock setting from 5:50 AM to 5:17 AM and then I got up out of bed when that 5:17 alarm went off in the morning. Here's what the usual routine generally looks like: wake up around 4 something AM, let the dog out, the cat comes in and drools on me, fall back to sleep for an hour before the alarm clock goes off, seriously consider calling in sick to work, seriously wonder if Michael is getting up, go make sure Michael is up and getting into the shower, crawl back into bed until he's done, seriously consider calling in sick, begrudgingly get up and into the shower.

This morning, I did twenty minutes of meditation and brewed a cup of hot ginger lemon water to sip on while Michael was in the shower. Am I tired? Of course, I am. But I am not as tired as I was before starting this routine. That whole going back to sleep for an hour before having to get up for real was killing me and my sleep inertia was all kinds of disrupted. Every time I fell back asleep, I was resetting my sleep cycle to think I was at the beginning of my sleep cycle, making it harder to get up when it was actually time to get up. Messing with your sleep inertia also leaves you groggy and disoriented for up to four hours after waking this way. I am still bloated. I still had some weird ass dreams last night. But! BUT!!! I feel less likely to punch someone in the face today. 

That' something.



Cindy Maddera

I know I shouldn't fall into that whole time change trap, but I do every year. My body feels it. Moving the clocks around always messes up my internal clock. 5:50 AM was not always the easiest time in the morning to get up, but I could do it without grumbling every day. Lately I have struggled to get up at this hour. I reach for the alarm and want to hit "snooze". Just one more hour. That's all I need. I swear it. Do you know what happens when you hit snooze? You're body resets because it thinks you're not done sleeping. So then it tries to fall back into the whole rem cycle. The next time the alarm goes off, your body goes "Noooooo......I'm in the middle of deep sleep....leave me alone!" So then it's even more difficult to get out of bed. That whole rinse and repeat with the alarm and snooze screws up the whole sleep cycle. I don't hit the snooze button too often, but I'm telling ya...I really want to hit that snooze button.

Our administrative assistant sent out an email on Wednesday reminding us all about Daylight Savings Time and to adjust our clocks Saturday night. I knew the time change was coming. I didn't know when and I was unwilling to look it up on the calendar because I didn't want it to be something to look forward too. Ever since the government changed daylight savings I've been confused about when it happens. So when I got that email on Wednesday, I felt like jumping for joy. It's really a little bit sad how happy this knowledge made me. All I could think of was how I've been wanting just one more hour and now that wish was finally going to come true. After I thought about it for a bit, I realized that I shouldn't be this excited about a time change. In fact the more I think about it the more I realize that this whole time change stuff is bullshit. That's right. I said BULLSHIT. All these years I've been forcing myself to adjust to this whole shifting of time thing when I should be making it all adjust to me. Time is relative. 

I am thankful that we're moving clocks back an hour this weekend. I am thankful for that answered wish for one more hour. But I'm also thankful for this sudden clarity that I do not have to obey the rules of time change. I am lucky enough to have the option of flexible work hours. When daylight savings starts back again in March, I'm not moving my internal clock forward. I realize that this means that I will most likely be showering around Michael in the mornings when Spring comes around, but I think that's an easier battle then my current one. Now if we could just get them to dump the whole idea of daylights savings time all together, that would be even better. 

What else? I'm thankful for trick-or-treating and painted sugar skulls. I'm thankful for the one evening we had of just being lazy on the couch. I'm thankful for a box of "icky eyes" that came in the mail from Katrina. The cabbage has laughed so much over throwing those eyeballs on the wall and watching them slowly roll down. I am thankful for the discovery of some new areas that I can't wait to go back to explore with my camera. I am thankful for inspiration. 

Have a safe and spooky Halloween and a wonderful Thankful Friday! And don't forget to set your clocks back an hour Saturday night!