2 min read

The best sleep I've ever had...

...came from giving up a preconceived idea, and surrendering to another.

This morning, I woke up feeling content and deeply happy. It’s been a while since I slept in my bed. My big, firm, perfect king bed. I often sleep in the guest room because Sid, my spouse, snores a lot. I have resigned to the fact that I will have to wear headphones and listen to sleep music, if I want to be in my bed, with my beloved.

While I had exiled myself to our guest bedroom, Sid got into the habit of letting Macha, our two-year-old goldendoodle sleep with him. We resisted for two years. I used to be allergic to pets, and we had read that keeping the dog away from the bed is one way to minimize allergies.

Yesterday, when I chose to come back to our bedroom, Macha sweetly made space for me. It surprised me. I have seen him sprawled on my side many a night, so to have him understand that it was my spot was heartwarming. That also meant I did not have the heart to drive him out.

I have heard from our friends that their dogs hog the entire bed and the humans are relegated to a corner, precariously balancing in their sleep. I was bracing myself for that. But it did not come. During the night, Macha moved to my side of the bed and laid himself on my legs. In my sleep, I instantly felt comforted. My furry, weighted blanket! I moved, changed sides, and he settled back on my legs.

In the morning, Sid said he was surprised that for two nights in a row, the dog had slept with us. Usually, he’d start by being in the bed with Sid and then go down and lie on the bench by the window in the kitchen - the coolest spot in the house.

In general, Macha is ready to go do his business at 7 AM. Today, he lingered in bed till 7.45, with me. When I woke, he rolled over and cutely invited me to cuddle him, which of course I did. That was my way of slowing down and intentionally connecting with the nowness of joy that beckoned me.

I always thought I knew what helps me sleep well. Silence and space. Turns out more things help, and I do need to be with my spouse (from time to time). I am glad I was able to be curious and open to having the dog in my bed. My immediate thought was, well, you could have had it long ago. But the truth is, I was not ready. When Macha first came home, I was still getting itchy eyes and rashy bumps if I played with him too much. Over the last two years, my body has lowered its guard and welcomed his pheromones into the safety zone and I am no longer triggered by his fur.

I am looking forward to many more restful nights of sleep with my guys. I recognize that it will change, for one, my hormones make it impossible for me to sleep close to my period, and for another, the weather will change and it will be too hot for him to be in our bed. For now, I will cherish the nights we can all be together.