One of the toughest things I learned to do after I ended my long-term relationship and moved out on my own was sleep.
Sleep should come inherently, to humans, I know. But the first couple of weeks I spent in my new apartment were rough, and I attributed my sleepless nights to a new space. I am a creature of habit, afterall, and being in a new house with new sounds certainly couldn’t do my sleep pattern justice. And I was sleeping on an air mattress, so surely that could add to the problem.
But when the mattress came and I had a nice bed with new sheets and I still found myself sleeping terribly, I realized it had to be something else. I had all the space in the world in my bed and it just didn’t feel right. At all.
I slept in the same bed as my ex for nearly five years. Even in college, I lived alone and we slept comfortably in a twin bed. The positions were predictable, comforting. Most people were disgusted at the idea of us sleeping in a twin bed together at the age of 19, but honestly, when we finally moved into an apartment and got a queen sized bed, it seemed too big to us. We preferred to sleep very close taking up less than half the bedspace. And I will freely admit that despite The Boyfriend having a severe snore (to the point that others have thought he was dying…), I somehow became trained to use this sound as my very own sleep machine and was lulled to sleep by the grumbles of a deviated septum so very easily.
But I moved out and I had to re-teach myself how to sleep in a bed, alone. Every night I tucked myself in to ‘my’ half of the bed, but it just seemed unnatural. It was quiet, and cold. Having my side only on served to point out to me that there was another side to that bed. A side that was empty and probably wouldn’t be full again for a long, long time. I never thought of myself as much of a cuddler or physically affectionate person. But sleeping alone in a queen sized bed is probably the most lonely thing I’ve ever done in my life. I wondered how I’d ever get over the feeling.
To snap myself out of it I stopped sleeping in the bed for a while. Who says sleep has to occur in a bedroom? I moved myself out into the living room and slept on the couch for a while. I treated bedtime like nap time. I got a blanket and a pillow, turned on the tv, and kicked back to let my eyes get droopy. Instead of moving to the bedroom, I just rode it out on the couch. That lasted probably six months. Then, oddly enough, I moved back into the bedroom, but made myself a pallet on the floor. That only lasted a couple of weeks.
Even two years later, I hate the cold spots in the bed. But I find myself laughing when I wake up now, because I’m usually sleeping diagonally in the queen sized space, no regard for ‘my’ side. The comforter and sheets are wrapped entirely around me. I sleep with the television on instead of the deviated septum sound. And instead of worrying how I’ll ever sleep alone, I wonder how I’ll ever let someone back into that bed without kicking or crowding them.
Have you dealt with the single-bed issue? Either losing someone or adding someone? Tips, tricks?