After The Sunsets


Have you ever taken a drink that goes down wrong, and you end up coughing uncontrollably, eyes watering and all? Generally this occurs when you’re in a gathering or when you’re supposed to be quiet. (Smiley face)

How about the mild version when you swallow your salvia wrong and it makes you sputter? This happened the other night in my sleep.

No big deal, right? I wish.

After the initial coughing spurt, a super annoying tickle blossomed in the back of my throat, and events which ruined my night’s sleep began.

How can that be, you ask?

When I woke up coughing, I quickly peeked with one eye at the red neon numbers shining on the bedroom ceiling, 3:48a.m. less than five hours after I’d gone to bed.

I’m a heavy sleeper, but the instant my eyes open I’m awake, and it’s rare for me to fall back asleep.

Not wanting to disturb Mister, I reached toward the bedside table where a package of Halls lives. With my eyes still closed I unwrapped the heat stuck paper from the candy. Into my mouth it went. Blah, there was still paper on it. Back out it came, I felt and remove a tiny piece and tried again. Still more, after three attempts it was smooth and paper free.

With the candy wedged between my cheek and teeth I rolled onto my side and waited for it to soothe the annoying tickle which caused me to sputter every few seconds.

Even with the bedroom window open, not a hint of breeze stirred the warm, stuffy, night air. My awareness heightened, and I instantly overheated. Areas of skin on skin became hot and sticky which triggered the mosquito bites on my calves and ankles to itch.

Along with my raised body temperature came another coughing bout. In an effort to be quiet, my hands pressed against my mouth and so I didn’t choke on the lozenges I sprang into a sitting position.

When I stopped, I cracked open one eye and turned to make sure I hadn’t woken Mister. A faint glow from the living room TV reflected through the doorway enough for me to see his side of the bed was empty.

Mister often moves to a recliner during the night, for what he calls TV watching, but it usually watches him. That’s better though, because he’s getting sleep.

That last cough helped loosen the tickle in my throat so I laid back down.

Oh man, I had to pee. I don’t normally have to during the night, and remember as stupid as it sounds, my eyes need to stay closed to increase my chance of falling back to sleep.

We were not at home, but house sitting and luckily I was very familiar with the layout.

I found my way by feel, and once in the bathroom habit had me close the door and flick on the lights. My eyes popped open, (Sad face) I was in trouble now.

Even-though 4:00 am is a little early, when something like this happens I would normally just stay up, do some writing or reading, but with Mister asleep in the living room that wasn’t an option.

I made my way back to bed, determined to conquer this, to fall back asleep.

My stomach growled. My body was being guided by my mind and a ritual. You see, no matter what time I’m up, I need coffee first thing followed by two small cookies. You may have read my post, “Hiding in a Hotel Bathroom” where I explained how I often accomplish this while traveling.

I closed my eyes and ignored the hunger and craving the best I could. I couldn’t get comfortable though. My back and neck started to ache, this arm was in the way, where does that arm usually go. Gee, my knees and ankles are bony. Then my mind began to race. Oh darn, I forgot to load the dishwasher, what do I have on tomorrow’s to do list, what day is tomorrow, where does time go, I wonder what the weather will be like, how is that scene going to play out in my current writing project, tonight could be a post, on and on it went. (Sad face)

I did eventually fall back asleep for about an hour. So, yeah, I did it, I conquered the curse.

But really, all this because I swallowed a little spit wrong.

Can you fall asleep again after being woken?

Are you a light or heavy sleeper?

21 thoughts on “After The Sunsets

  1. Well you said all that with such wonderful description! It was if I was there. Sometimes my sinuses act up and I want to swallow again and again. It’s an awful feeling and sometimes puts me in a bit of a panic. That keeps me awake until I can elevate my head and calm down. I’m a light sleeper and it can be tricky for me to fall asleep even the first time at night because my mind loves to hit a play list of all my current worries!

    Liked by 1 person

  2. This happens to me several times a week! I really struggle with dry throat problems and have, many times, choked on air! Because I dared to breath! I choke on dry food items, cold air from air conditioners, dry air on airplanes-oxygen molecules, you name it I will gag on it! And, yes at night when I am supposed to be sleeping. I will actual be dreaming and, in my dream, I will start to cough which signals to me that a coughing fit is imminent in the real world. Then I am up all night! I totally feel your pain!

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  3. I love your post and can empathise Kathy, I fall asleep as soon as my head hits the pillow, no more reading in bed, my eyes just betray me after a few sentences and I’m gone asleep but once I wake, often around 3am it’s hours before I can go back to sleep. It’s so frustrating at 7.30 as I’m just back into a deep sleep when the alarm rings for work and I pop it on snooze at least 3 times before I manage to struggle out of bed..exhausted!!

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Here is a tip regarding cough lozenges, the Fisherman’s friend is free of sticky, noisy cellophane wrapper and comes in sugar free cherry flavour.
    I can quite easilyl go back to sleep in 1/2 hour.

    Liked by 1 person

    • It’s great to fall asleep fast isn’t it. 🙂 When we travel, I often wake up wondering where I am, and what day it is. Not sure if that means I’ve had a deep sleep or I have a bad memory. 🙂


  5. I find myself in the same situation (unable to fall back to sleep) at least 2-3 times a week. I’ve generally given up fighting it, instead choosing to get up and get some quiet work done while hubby sleeps. A lot of the time, this is when I get my blog posts written or work out my social media posts for the week. Other times I just sit quietly with a cup of tea and crochet or read. Funny thing is, the older I get, the less I seem to need as much sleep, so that I’m functioning as well on 4 hours as I used to with 8. I laugh to myself remembering what a hard time my poor mother used to have getting me up in time for school, and now, God help me, I’ve become the ‘morning person’ I used to despise! When I see poor Mom again in the hereafter, the first thing I need to do is apologize, lol. Thanks for sharing. ♥

    Liked by 1 person

    • You’re so right about needing less sleep as we age. I wonder if it’s a woman thing, I’m the same way. Yet most nights Mister gets more sleep than he did when he was working.

      Liked by 1 person

    • What the heck, my computer send that reply without me finishing. I put a period in and poof it was gone, so here’s the rest.
      I’ve always been a morning person, well maybe since adulthood. 🙂 I enjoy my usual 2-3 hours of quiet time before anyone else wakes, it’s the waking before 5:30am that frustrates me. Oh well, I guess 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

  6. Ugh. I fall asleep fast. But can’t stay asleep. I wake up. Try NOT to think about the bathroom, which makes me HAVE to go to the bathroom. THen I try NOT to think about anything which makes me think about EVERYTHING! 🙂

    Liked by 2 people

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