Are you sleeping okay? Well, if you’re not you might consider sleeping alone. I say this because as the temperature rises it is not always comfortable or particularly restful sleeping with the enemy. Tradition demands that couples have to sleep together whatever the temperature or humidity level and if they do not, their relationship is deemed to be on a downward spiral, a slippery slope, thin end-of-the-wedge - you know the sort of thing? What utter rubbish… is what I say. My argument is that if you lay wide awake at night tossing and turning, keeping your partner awake - that’s grounds for divorce, not the fact that mooch off to the spare bedroom for a decent night’s kip. For a start, men’s body temperatures seem to be a couple of degrees higher than women’s, so you don’t have to be a biological genius to work out that men might need something at night that women don’t really like - air conditioning! Many a night I have stalked out of the bedroom, pillow and top-sheet under my arm in high dudgeon after being evicted for doing something dreadful. It might be breathing in a funny way, or moving my feet about in an irritating fashion; I was once sent packing for turning-over “aggressively.” One thing is for certain - if you have sleeping issues, the man always does the moving, even if you are fast asleep and don’t have any problems at all.
Then there’s that business about ‘When’ you go to bed. Are there really people still out there who climb the wooden-hill-to-Bedfordshire together every single night? Can you imagine being forced to go to bed at the same time as your wife, husband, partner, significant other, insignificant other, spouse or just a playmate? Most people have completely different body clocks and need to rest and go to sleep at different times, so we are not talking about a dangerous modern fetish, but more an understanding that no two people have exactly the same sleep demands. The only night we go to bed together is Sunday night, that’s not by way of anything carnal, it’s just that old habits die hard. Once I’ve seen Antiques Roadshow and sung along to Songs of Praise, then had a bath, cleaned my teeth and polished my shoes, I’m ready for a new week. Not very Johnny & Amber I agree, but there you have it!
Anyway, where do you stand on siestas? Personally, I love them, but never admit to ever having one, because many ex-pat Brits obviously think them decadent and only one step away from watching Phillip & Holly every morning and living off the social. But I think they are great, about 2.30(ish) my eyes start to droop after lunch and as the heat builds up, I start to make my excuses to go upstairs for an hour. “I’m off for a lay down” I say - or maybe, “I want to read that article I told you about” best of all, “I think I will close my eyes for a few minutes.” As she is a stickler for proper sleeping habits, I usually get the dire lecture about how I wont be able to sleep tonight and wouldn’t it be better if I went shopping with her? So you have to pretend that you don’t really want a lay down; it’s just that you’re all tired and shagged-out from sleeping in the lumpy bed in the spare bedroom. Hey, up there for thinking - down there for dancing!
Worst of all though, is when you are having a discreet few zzzzzz’s in your favourite armchair when you are prodded awake and asked “Wouldn’t you be more comfortable on the bed?” Well, no I wouldn’t actually, as I was having a lovely little nap and you have just spoilt it. Now I’m going to have to start my Penelope Cruz dream all over again. Not that I am a chap who can sleep anywhere like other people I know. I once sat bolt upright for 26 hours on a two legged flight from Heathrow to Aukland and can never sleep in cars or on trains, mores the pity. But I’ve known blokes who could sleep on the floor of disco after a particularly tiring evening of getting ‘knocked-back’ and another who would happily sleep on a platform at Bristol Temple Meads railway station. Did I really just use the word ‘disco’ - oh dear! And then there was one chap who claimed that he had actually fallen asleep during sexual intercourse; but it was a one-off apparently, as the fellow involved had taken something for his asthma. Nowadays, I’m an eight hours a night man - and a late night social occasion can send my life completely out-of-kilter and even if I’ve taken it easy with the demon drink, I am fuzzy and listless for a couple of days. It is an undeniable fact however that when I awake from a stolen hour-or-so in the afternoon, I feel like my mouth has been used as a nest for a family of furry animals. Indeed, this and the slight feeling of disorientation that goes with it, hardly makes the occasional 40 winks seem worthwhile. But - when you gotta go, you gotta go! This might be in my favourite chair with my mouth wide open making unsuitable noises, or gently nodding off as I read this.