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Compartment 14B

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To sleep, perchance to dream.

2004-01-23 - 1:35 p.m.

Iím not sure if you would call me a light sleeper of a heavy sleeper. Iíve lived with a boyfriend who was a light sleeper and if I woke up during the night the change in my breathing would wake him too. I was always so subconsciously worried about waking him that I became easily woken too. If I, oh, to pick a random example, farted during the night I would wake myself up with the anxiety that I might have disturbed him with my unladylike-ness. How base, how crude, how indelicate of me.

Fortunately I am now married to a man who is legendary amongst his friends for being able to fart on command. He takes a much more relaxed view of bodily functions and so, to my surprise, I have also started to see the humourous side of these sorts of things. When itís the two of us, a conspicuous pppbbht is more likely to produce mock astonishment, giving quickly way to giggles than any actual disapproval. I always thought I was naturally uptight but apparently I am more a product of my environment.

So youíd have to ask my husband if Iím a light sleeper nowadays. I do know that he can come to bed late, or get up and pad across the floor to the washroom in the middle of the night, and I donít even twitch so Iím definitely a heavier sleeper than I used to be. I can still get up to my watch alarm though if need be so I think I strike a good balance. What I am, however, is a hot sleeper. I donít mean that I am irresistibly sexy when I sleep; I mean that I kick out the Joules (or BTUs if you use the imperial system) while asleep. I always thought that oneís temperature dropped during sleep but I heat up like Iím racing across the land of Nod. J calls me his ďlittle furnaceĒ.*

We turn down our heat to 14.5 degrees Celsius at night and when it climbs to 16.5 or 17 in the morning, courtesy of our programmable thermostat, I wake up early, slick with sweat and my t-shirt drenched. Now I donít think that 17 is particularly warm and if I were up and about Iíd find it downright chilly but for some reason, while sleeping, it seems unbearably hot to my homeostatic mechanism. My God, Iím boiling, it seems to think, turn on the sweat ducts and cool this mutha down!

You might think that this means that I get nary a lick of sleep in the summer but, in fact, I spurn air conditioning and make do with a fan. The key seems to be fresh air. If I can sleep with the windows open and have fresh air circulating it seems to counteract the sweatiness that would otherwise be my lot if the windows were sealed. I didnít even have air conditioning put into my house when I was having it built. The rough-in is there for resale value but the actual air conditioner? Hah! We donít need no steenking air condeetioner! I love the summers too much to spend them in a hermetically sealed box with a sweater on.

I canít wait until I get to crank those windows open, stop spending my hard-earned dollars on heat, and doze at a comfortable temperature in the sultry air of spring. If Iím lucky there will be a window of time where the balance of lighter blankets, fresh air and cool nights will allow me and my honey to be cuddly sleepers all night long.

* I donít have a corresponding nickname for him other than to note that he gets ďclammyĒ (aw, how sweet) as a direct result of his proximity to me. I snuggle over, then drop off and start heating up, which overheats him and he starts to sweat. I wake up, mumble that heís all clammy and yucky and move away until the irresistibility of his, warm bulk, smooth skin and cute face nestled into the pillow draws me over again when it all begins anew.

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