Wednesday, October 10, 2007

Sleep? Snack? Or Both?

I have a tendency to eat at night. As in I'll wake up from a sound sleep, get up to use the bathroom or get a drink of water, and decide that I really need a cookie or some cereal or an apple or something. I think it runs in the family—my mom used to do the same thing. Of course, she also took Ambien for a time and would do and eat all sorts of bizarre things in the middle of the night, but that's another story.

When I was really little (maybe two?), I apparently woke up one night and told my mom I was hungry. She asked what I wanted to eat, and I told her ham and mashed potatoes. So she heated up some for me, thinking it was weird but that I must have just been really hungry for some reason. (My grandfather's an excellent and rather prolific cook, so of course we had leftover ham and mashed potatoes.) The next night I did it again. My mom was a good sport and went along with it. When I did it the third night in a row, my mom had had enough. She decided that I was not going to be a ham-and-mashed-potatoes-at-midnight junkie for the rest of my life. So that was that.

During the intervening two-odd decades, I've periodically gone on sleep-eating jags, but only one has been particularly noteworthy. A couple of years ago, I kept raiding the kitchen. I'd take cereal to bed with me. When I woke up in the morning I'd have an apple core on a napkin on the bedside table. Once I woke up with a spoonful of peanut butter stuck to the sheet. For a particularly abnormal week or so I'd eat brown sugar straight from the box, spilling very sweet, hard sand in the bed.

I am no longer allowed to eat in bed. Afshin passed the decree before I moved in with him. I think what prompted his decision was the time he woke up in my bed with a Lucky Charm stuck to his back.

Thus concludes (hopefully) the tale of my sleep-eating.

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