It’s Gratituesday! Today I’m infinitely grateful for that glorious elixir called sleep. It’s the cure of many ills, both physical and emotional. Sleep can turn a cranky toddler into a happy child or transform a short temper into patience. Enough sleep can make the difference between overwhelmed and empowered.
Oh, I know it isn’t that simple. But sometimes it is. Sometimes all it takes is a nap, or a full night of uninterrupted dreaming. Sometimes calling it a night is the best answer to any problem we face.
Sometimes sleeping in heals our brain fuzz. The fog lifts and what was indecipherable and impossible becomes doable and understandable.
An entire book, a classic, exists based on the idea of one man’s sleep deprivation adventures. Have you ever heard of Don Quixote? Here’s the part of the book where I wanted to cry because I’ve almost been like that a time or two.
“Finally, from so little sleeping and so much reading, his brain dried up and he went completely out of his mind.” — Miguel de Cervantes Saavedra
Running on the fumes of not enough rest can render us nearly mad and fairly ineffective or even nonsensical.
I’m a big fan of naps. Not long ones. Usually. Twenty minutes with my pillow are often all I need to regenerate and get through the rest of the day. Although yesterday I left the alarm off and let myself sleep nearly two hours. Surprisingly I dreamed a vivid, colorful, creative, restful dream in a sleep that left me feeling awake and not groggy or drugged or foggy.
This quote by Rita Rudner makes me laugh.
“I love to sleep. Do you? Isn’t it great? It really is the best of both worlds. You get to be alive and unconscious.”
Ernest Hemingway shared this same love of sleep, albeit for different reasons I suspect, based on these two telling sentences.
“I love sleep. My life has the tendency to fall apart when I’m awake, you know?”
I’d like to think I’m less self-destructive than he was when I’m awake. Although I wouldn’t mind being as prolific and talented a writer as that guy. There are days, especially the sleep-deprived ones when I think I should have stayed home, away from civilized people and kept my rude, aggravated, bleary-eyed self out of trouble.
I’ve often wondered why we sleep a full third of our lives. I’ve yet to come up with a good answer for that. I’ve concluded that being human is an odd thing. That’s all. Nothing profound.
If you want profound look to some spiritual leader like the Dalai Lama XIV who said the following:
“If you think you are too small to make a difference, try sleeping with a mosquito.”
Who knew those guys could be funny as well as wise, huh?
Here’s one more funny guy with his thoughts on sleep.
“The best cure for insomnia is to get a lot of sleep.” – WC Fields
My favorite thought on sleep was one that made the rounds on the internet recently. In fact, I think I need to get a t-shirt with these very words printed on it.
“I already want to take a nap tomorrow.”
Ah, sleep, I love thee dearly.