At some point, you’ve probably had to share your bed with some strange people, forcing you to accommodate some strange behavior. You might even be sharing your bed on the regular with these weirdos. But don’t worry. Help is on the way.
On co-sleeping with a giant
It’s really rare that you’re going to weigh the same amount as your sleeping partner. If your partner outweighs you by 20 lbs. or more, you’re probably going to want to read about proper cover distribution and sleeping on an incline. And the other items apply to all co-sleeping configurations. Let’s get some sleep, people.
- There will be breeches – You know when you have the temperature all perfected under the covers because you’ve executed a partial to full cocoon? You should wait to complete your cocoon until your partner is fully settled; then you can finish tucking the covers around your body while smiling contentedly knowing that you’ve plugged all points of cold air entry. After you get yourself all snuggled in, you might be feeling a bit smug, but don’t get too complacent because your co-sleeper will be introducing breeches at infrequent and unpredictable intervals forcing you to reinforce your cocoon. You know what a breech is, right? It’s when there is a hole in the cover coverage that allows cold air to leak in and screw up your perfect temperature achievement. Make sure to holler “BREECH” loudly in your partner’s ear when this occurs to let him/her know you’re well and truly pissed. Remember, communication is important.
- A proper distribution of covers is a fleeting thing – In order to execute a proper cocoon, you must have the appropriate cover coverage. This can be tricky when dealing with a person who has you on size. You may get in bed before your “giant” and get to plotting so you are ready when your person gets in the bed. Will you feign disinterest this time, or come out swinging hoping to grab most of the covers at the beginning of the night knowing that eventually the covers will be redistributed? Even with a death grip on the covers and major surge of confidence, you might find yourself cold and coverless after your larger co-sleeper turns over taking the covers with him/her. Go ahead and replay the events trying to figure out what went wrong during the brief cover skirmish. It might alter your strategy for next time. For now, locate a nearby blanket and use it for supplemental coverage while throwing yourself a much-deserved pity party.
- You’ll be pinned – Your co-sleeper is going to haul at least part of his/her body outside of the covers at some point during the night. You’ll be there blissfully dreaming about the beach, or some sexy times with your partner, or some ridiculously bizarre dream with a “plot” that makes no logical sense whatsoever, and the next thing you know you’re awake and gagging as the covers have snapped down tight across your throat because your co-sleeper has thrown her/his arm out making the once-comfortable cover distribution around your neck decidedly uncomfortable. You will feel trapped and pissed, and, if you don’t wake up immediately, you will insert a scene with a garrote into whatever dream you’re enjoying. It will be very disturbing. When you are awake and able, feel free to deliver the stink eye, but remember that it is night, and the stink eye is much less effective if the recipient can’t see it. You should deliver it again in the morning if you can still summon the rage necessary to deliver a proper stink eye.
- Sleeping on an incline is tricky business – If your partner outweighs you, chances are you’re sleeping on an incline. A king-size mattress can mitigate this problem since king-size mattresses are so large that you can feel like you are sleeping in a different zip code from the other bed occupant. But if you are in a queen or smaller, you are probably lying there struggling to retain your sleep state while clutching the top of the ramp so as to avoid rolling down to land right beside your co-sleeper where the temperature change must be factored in to your comfort factor. It’s a real problem. Your best solution? Buy that king-size mattress even if it measures the size of your bedroom. It would be a little cool, right? You walk over the threshold into your room and you’re immediately in bed? OK, sounds weird. Sure. But sleep is just that important, and who can sleep while positioned so as to put the brakes on a roll? Nobody, I tell you! Nobody!
- The sound of snoring might make you contemplate ugly things – People snore for various reasons. Could be due to a bender in which case some sobering up will solve that problem. Could be due to the cold or flu in which case the snoring is here for a week or so. And it could also signify a condition that can be dangerous for that person you love lying beside you. If so, get it checked out. Seriously. Then, you might find you have a person lying beside you who wears a contraption called a CPAP. It slightly resembles a gas mask. It means that if you are currently having an argument with your intestines that results in a farticles situation, your person is totally protected. Unfortunately, if the person lying beside you didn’t take his or her Beano, you are SOL and JWF. Sorry, folks.
- What in the holy hell was that?!? – You’re sleeping peacefully when all of sudden the bed shakes and your eyes shoot open and you’re lying there all “WHAT HAPPENED??!!” Your partner jumped is what happened and you are now awake trying to determine the source of the bed shake: earthquake, detonation, or your peacefully sleeping partner? You begin to quietly seethe as you determine that it was your peacefully sleeping partner, and you make plans to get back at him/her in the morning.
On co-sleeping with your minis
This is easy. Don’t do this if you enjoy sleeping which is an incompatible outcome. Don’t have a choice? Or you can’t bear not having those cute little munchkins close by? Here are a couple suggestions to make the night go by just a touch faster because you’ll find that eight hours spent in the same bed with a mini can feel like 24. And leave your tips in the comments as this section is a bit spare.
- Sleeping with kids is like sleeping with this guy.
- A helmet is your first line of defense when dealing with the spastic movements – Purchase and wear a helmet with a face guard. Even with this protection, expect to have a foot in your mouth at some point during the night. If you have a pathological fear of feet like I do, you should hire a stand-in for this co-sleeping gig. It’s just good planning.
- What’s with the mouth-breathing when they breathe normally during the day? – Insist on good oral hygiene before those little rascals come to bed. It’s your only hope as they will be mouth-breathing all over the place during the night. And you’ll be awake to enjoy that since they will be performing gymnastics, and you’ll be dodging arms, feet and legs all night long. Good luck to you.
On co-sleeping with a beast
It can be hard to stop your pet from sleeping on your bed after you’ve already allowed it, but it can be done. But if you can’t bear to jettison your beast from your bed because, come ON! those FACES!, here are some tips or coping mechanisms. Again, this section could use your input. Help a fellow beast-lover out in the comments.
- A pet sleeps soundly when you are the least comfortable – Don’t interrupt your pet when he/she is doing the rotation before dropping into the sleep position because then the cycle begins from the start. I don’t know if he/she is playing a game of duck, duck, goose with the world’s tiniest participants as the circle they are roaming is pretty small and it’s hard to see any other players, but most pets seem to execute this relentless circle, circle, circle, circle, circle, circle, DROP ALL MY WEIGHT DOWN NOW! before drifting off for the night. Incidentally as your pet drops, you’ll notice that its weight feels twice that of its reported weight. It’s as if your pet has launched itself 5 feet into the air to drop down with the biggest impact possible. Hey there, I’m going to lay right here. Try to dislodge me. Most likely your pet will place him/herself right in the nook behind your knees trapping you into that position for the majority of the night. You might feel guilty for moving your pet during the night so you soldier on instead of shifting to a more comfortable position. This is where pets get the idea that they rank higher than certain humans in the household.
- Enough with the kneading, I’m not a piece of dough! – Cats knead you. You will find an eccentric dog or two that will do this also, but this is mainly the cornerstone of cat behavior as they get settled in for the night. They will knead and knead and knead and no matter how many layers of covers you have on you, they will not stop kneading you until they have finally pierced you with their claws multiple times. How else do you expect them to sleep soundly?
- For the love of all that is sane and good, WHAT is that NOXIOUS SMELL!?!? – Dogs in particular seem to be masters at emitting noxious fumes that will wake you right the hell up. And you will be furious and you will look for the offending pet through eyes that are tearing up due to the harmful fumes. But never fear. These nocturnal fumes seem to pass quickly. Try to go back to sleep with the covers over your face. Unless of course you have let your pet sleep under your covers. Then, I think you know what you have to do. The particles in the air are now trapped in there, and they aren’t going anywhere fast. You have no other option but to surrender. Move to the sofa. Game, set, match to your dog. Who also knows it. Don’t kid yourself.