[SeMissourian.com] Fair ~ 72°F  
High: 82°F ~ Low: 58°F
Saturday, Oct. 25, 2014

Beauty rest in your own bed

Thursday, May 6, 2010

There is a saying that travel broadens a person. That is probably true, especially in the physical sense. But I have found that travel also wears out a person. It is not so much the activities that sightseeing or visiting can cause. It is the variety of sleeping arrangements.

This is especially true since I have become middle age plus. There was a time when I could go to sleep anywhere and could share the bed with two other girls or women without lying awake at all, unless it was to talk and giggle.

But now I find that a different bed is an obstacle to a good night's sleep. When I am at home I sleep on the right side of the bed. I know in my sleep that if I turn a certain way that there will still be a mattress under me. But in some arrangements when I have traveled I had to be on the other side of the bed. That can cause a rude awakening sometimes. At a recent Exploritas (Elderhostel) one of the women had to reverse sides of the bed because her husband used a breathing machine and the electric outlet location made the change of sides necessary. In the middle of the night she fell out of bed. Her husband said she wasn't hurt because the blankets went with her and cushioned the fall.

If that had happened in April she could have really hurt herself because they changed all the mattresses, bedcovers and box springs, making the bed at least 6 inches higher than before.

So even though I have slept in that same bed many weeks during the year, my last trip over was like being in a completely strange setting. I found myself feeling for the edge of the bed often during the night to be sure I was allowing enough foundation under me.

Often on my first night away, or my first night back home I have a little trouble orienting myself for a midnight trip to the bathroom. I have even been known to go the wrong direction in the dark.

Each of the rooms at Trout Lodge where I lead the Exploritas classes is identical except that every other one is reversed. I am usually put in room 210, right next to the classroom, but on one occasion recently I was put in 209. Each room has a balcony overlooking the lake on the outside of the rectangular bedroom. The bathroom is right inside the hall door, then there are two beds and then the door to the balcony.

I bet you can guess what comes next. Right. In the night I found myself trying to go to the door to the balcony. Since it was March, it would have been pretty breezy out there so I think I would have woke up, but I bumped into a suitcase before I reached the door so I was saved the rest of the trip.

I know you will say I shouldn't go walking around in the dark, but there are so many lights outside on the grounds that there is really no need for a night light. It was just that the lights were on the wrong side of the bedroom that night.

Some heating and cooling arrangements away from home cause strange noises, or are so loud that they keep you awake. It seems we can never get it adjusted just right so that we are not either too cold or too hot. But it sure beats sleeping in a covered wagon as our ancestors did when they traveled.

Carolyn Gray Thornton
Middle Age Plus