With a guest in town occupying the second bedroom of our Manhattan apartment, my three-year-old son, a notorious sideways sleeper, bunked with my pregnant wife and me. Too many snores and little feet in the back of my neck, I relocated to the sofa, where I was blessed with the best night’s sleep I’ve had in months.
As a self-diagnosed insomniac, a good night’s rest for me lasts anywhere from three to five hours. I generally break up the slumber with walks around the apartment, followed by lying awake and unearthing inconsequential paranoia that, come morning, will not live up to the hype. When I hear people claim they get eight hours of sleep each night, they might as well be talking about the Loch Ness Monster, or alien life. All three are things I suppose it’s possible someone may have encountered, but I cannot personally confirm their existence.
The sleeping conditions were sublime on that couch: a slight rain outside, the muffled traffic of Amsterdam Avenue, and the epiphany that I was sleeping alone—cushions, pillows, and silence all to myself. By the time I awoke, the pigeons were cooing on the windowsill. I had slept through an entire night.
“It’s called enlarged mucus membranes. That’s what happens when you’re pregnant,” my wife will explain on nights I reference her snoring. Her job in pregnancy is obvious. Mine is to lie awake, keep quiet, and never, ever Google “pregnancy mucous membranes.” And I cannot confess to her that I slept better on the couch than in our bed. After all, we’re married, and married people sleep together.