This is something that everyone here should pay attention to. Almost every single one of you on this forum has a firearm of some type that they use for home defense. These firearms are kept in whatever state of readiness is deemed appropriate by the owners. The one thing that should be really thought about and practiced is the risks involved with the intial handling of the firearm in a half-awake/startled state. This is a dangerous moment, and has the potential to be a fatal moment. When startled, there is always a short amount of time the brain will need in order to "catch up" to the situation going on. It does not matter who the person is, this is just a fact of how our brains work. We go from a dormant "green" condition, to a startled "red" condition in a split second. We also experience a huge dump of adrenaline into our systems which will cause further loss of fine motor control and a temporary loss of situational awareness. When you put a loaded firearm into the equation, you have the potential for disaster. The worst thing you can do is fumble around and attempt to perform multiple tasks at once while your brain is struggling to process what's happening around you. The most effective way to combat this problem involves one phrase: Muscle Memory The more you practice a set amount of movements, the more you will automatically perform those sets of movements without much thought. This is a keystone of any of the martial arts. If you practice what your sets of movements will be in retrieving your firearm in the middle of the night, you will raise you success/survivability rate for yourself and those around you greatly. Some key thoughts to take into consideration: 1. Keep the firearm stowed in a place that does not require fancy movements/alot of fine motor skills to access (i.e. fancy level 3 holsters/in multiple safes/etc....). 2. Practice those movements as often as possible. Make it part of your routine. SAFETY NOTE!!!!! When practicing these movements, ENSURE your firearm is empty. Double check and triple check to ensure your firearm is unloaded before you practice drawing/employing your firearm. 3. Keep the firearm in the same place every night. Do not deviate from this location unless it is absolutely neccessary. 4. Encourage your spouse to practice also. If you become disabled for whatever reason, he/she will need to effectively employ your firearm. 5. Keep it simple. The simpler, the better. 6. Stay safe!!!! Don't concentrate on speed. Slow is smooth, and smooth is fast.