I’m pretty sure Casey loathes me when she’s lying awake in the middle of the night only to see me sound asleep with her cat on the other side of the bed. Falling asleep isn’t something I struggle with; in fact, it’s something I’m glad to admit I excel at, but it hasn’t always been that way.
For the first six years of my marriage, I worked odd shifts at the United States Postal Service doing what the USPS called remote encoding. My first two years at the USPS were spent working from 5:00 p.m. until 1:30 a.m. I would usually come home from my shifts and take an hour long jog in the city followed by several hours lying in bed just hoping to fall asleep. I figured I was destined for a sleepless life. I would be one of those people who struggled to fall asleep but that all changed when my shift changed.
My last 3 to 4 years at the USPS were spent working from 11:30 p.m. until 8:00 a.m. Something I learned quickly was that no matter how much sleep I had my body would decide it was time to fall asleep at about 4:30 a.m. I have no idea where that instinct was when I was actually laying in my bed hoping to fall asleep, but it sure did reveal itself whenever I actually had to be awake. The only thing I could do to combat that instinct to sleep was to take naps during my hourly breaks. Each employee was given alternating 5 minute and 10 minutes breaks each hour and one 30 minute lunch break. Because the 5 minute breaks were so short, I had to learn to fall asleep really quickly or my break would be wasted.
After about 6 months of practicing I figured out how to fall asleep in under 30 seconds regardless of where I was or what was going on around me. For instance, I once fell asleep in the food court of a not so safe mall. I fell asleep so abruptly that the security guard who happened to be watching me awoke me to make sure I was okay. I have also fallen asleep while walking down the stairs (that didn’t turn out so well), while sitting straight up, and while taking the bar exam.
Casey doesn’t believe my method works, but I have hours and hours and hours of sleep to prove otherwise and it’s a pretty handy skill to have when it comes to parenting. We never really know how long Vivi is going to be down for a nap so getting to sleep quickly, even if it means I only get 15 minutes of sleep, really helps.
Here’s what I do to fall asleep in under 30 seconds:
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