I was watching an episode of Everybody Loves Raymond the other day. Their daughter keeps crawling into bed with them crying about monsters in her room and Ray isn’t getting any sleep. His parents mention something about tough love, which appeals to him since it means ignoring her. That ends up with the daughter calling out to them all night, so his wife decides to go sleep with her. He gets all upset and says, “Don’t go… I can’t sleep without you…” So when it comes to his turn to sleep with her, he sneaks his mom into the house to stay with her for the night. Blah blah, short story long, his dad ends up showing up in the middle of the night yelling, “Where’s my wife?!” and as they start to argue about how where she sleeps isn’t his buisness, he says “It is because I can’t sleep without you!”
What is it about humans that makes us become addicted to sleeping next to someone. I hadn’t really thought about it as a common issue until I saw that. But the more that I thought about it, the more I realised that almost everyone I’ve ever talked to about it agrees. So what is it. For me, it didn’t used to be specific. And to some extent, it still isn’t. I sleep better with someone than I do alone, but I sleep the best next to someone specific. So it’s about not wanting to be alone in general, but more specifically not wanting to be away from a certain someone. Kind of like the difference between taking regular-strength Tylenol and taking Vicodin. One helps and the other eliminates the problem. When I was younger I never slept next to anyone except for the occasional sleepover. I never had any problems sleeping. I used to say that I slept better when someone was there. But I’m not sure that I completely believed it as much as I said it just to say it. It wasn’t until I started sleeping next to someone on a regular basis and then had to sleep alone that I really knew what it meant. But even though there’s a different sort of connection between someone I’m dating and someone I’m not, the addiction still grows strong either way. I slept next to my last roommate almost every night. The couple of times that he was gone for whatever reason, I didn’t end up going to bed until really late and woke up really early. The sleep that I did get wasn’t very good. He said the same thing about me. We weren’t dating. We’re best friends, but I can pretty safely say that anyone I’m going to sleep next to is going to be that.
Still, now, I won’t even go to bed until this one get’s home. If he is home, I won’t go to bed until he comes with me. I don’t know if I can fall sleep without him because I’ve never even bothered to try. I sometimes hold on to him, sometimes don’t. It’s his presence that’s most crucial. Once I’m asleep, I sleep ok, but be usually gets up for work before I get up. I can still sleep when he leaves, just never as well.
So I don’t know what the deal is. But for now, I don’t have to know.