Adjusting to cats as a light sleeper

thisyearsgirl

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I've always been a light sleeper and have a really hard time falling back asleep once I wake up. Despite this, I made the not most well thought-out decision to adopt two cats (Leo & Loki, now 1 y/o brothers) ... while living in a studio. So my sleep quality has REALLY decreased since adopting them half a year ago. They get at least 1.5 hours of scheduled interactive play a day, with their last play session (and last meal) scheduled an hour before I go to bed. For the most part this works--although they have occasionally act up at night, they generally settle down within an hour and they know I won't leave my bed until the alarm rings, although that doesn't stop them from occasionally trying to wake me up earlier lol. I've learned to fall back asleep when they come on/off my bed at night and I use noise-blocking headphones with white noise if they start meowing. Usually this is enough and I can be a functional human being the next day. However, Leo will sometimes act up and paw at me, attack my feet, etc. which was easier to ignore in the winter since I was sleeping with at least two blankets but now that it's summer, it's harder to ignore. Recently, he's taken to furiously pawing at any uncovered body parts (which is a lot because no AC lol), which REALLY wakes me up and he knows it (and is proud of it, judging by his tail LOL). Unfortunately, my sleep-deprived instinct at 2 AM isn't to ignore it but to flail around in bed or try to toss him off the bed, which encourages him more. Last night, he woke me up four different times so I'd be surprised if I got any more than five hours of actual sleep.

Even if the kitties are angels most nights, I'm not consistently getting uninterrupted sleep and I'm constantly tired and falling asleep at work. It's definitely not sustainable! I'm stuck in a studio for at least another year (and probably more since I'm in a HCOL city) so I need to figure out away how to deal with this, especially since I can't close my bedroom door since lol, studio. Any tips and tricks? Commiseration? Thanks in advance!
 

FeebysOwner

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Hi. First thing I would do - since this isn't a nightly occurrence - is to see if you can identify what is different about the nights they do bug you. Different routines can cause a change in behavior, so maybe something you do differently, something different about what they ate on those nights, changes in any element of the evening schedule, etc. If you have to, log what is going on each night until you see a pattern. Here is a TCS article that you might be interested in reading, just in case it triggers some thoughts/ideas.
How To Stop My Cat From Waking Me Up At Night (step-by-step Plan) – TheCatSite Articles
 

ArtNJ

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I had two kittens in a studio many years ago, and am a very light sleeper! You will get past it!

I have a house with a finished basement now, and the cats sleep in there. Would never give that up!

As for ideas to help now? Well, back when I was in this situation, I couldn't let the kittens in the bed when trying to sleep. It just didn't work. So after chucking the kitties off the bed maybe 500 times over many many nights, they decided they were never allowed on the bed, not even during the day. Unintended unfortunate consequences . . . but it did help with the sleeping.
 
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