“Laugh and the world laughs with you, snore and you sleep alone.”
~ Anthony Burgess ~
It’s Gratituesday! Today I’m grateful for sleep.
Sometimes sleep eludes me. My body weary and eyes bleary, my brain an emotional maze of nonsense, and yet that gentle slide into oblivion simply refuses to happen.
At other times I just don’t manage to squeeze in enough sleep to fully rest my frazzled nerves and the frayed edges of ache and age.
In fact, I recently summed up my life since age twenty in four words:
I need more sleep.
Years, no decades, of my journal entries lay peppered with the phrase, “I’m so tired,” or “I’m so exhausted,” and, “If I could just get a nap.” What boring journals.
Some of that I lay at the feet of parenting babies and toddlers and teens. It’s a given, for parenting requires our all. But sadly, some of the constant fatigue I can lay at the feet of depression and its insidious energy sucking vortex of gloom and misery. No amount of sleep cures that kind of tired.
Lately, though, I’ve waged a daily battle against exhaustion – emotional, spiritual and physical. When my head meets the pillow I feel such incredible gratitude to be horizontal, to be resting, to have sleep waiting to take me somewhere far away.
Exhausted Beyond All Reason
Last night I called it done at 7:45 p.m. Astounding! Normally it’s eleven or midnight.
No I didn’t drag myself around the house doing this and that. You know that wasted time of “getting ready for bed” that takes an eternity? Nope. I felt such lassitude I don’t really even remember pulling my pajamas over my head or pulling the chain on my bedside lamp. I do know the clock hadn’t yet rolled over to eight when I set my alarm and pulled the covers up around my chin.
Six hours later, at two a.m. my body woke up. Not for any noise or nightmare. No. Six hours equals how much sleep I normally get and my body knows it, so it woke up. Calmly I reassured my brain and body that it could rest another three hours. Three more hours!!! Imagine a snooze button that does that!
I woke still groggy but rested and thrilled, yes thrilled, at having gotten so much sleep. The pace of my morning walk surprised me, less strolling and more actual forward momentum. Surprising what a little (fifty percent more) sleep will do for a person.
There’s a solution to that…
I know I should go to bed earlier. And I’ve literally been telling myself that every single day for years, “Tonight, I am going to bed early.” And nada. Nope. I get sidetracked, waylaid, pulled in, tricked by a series of just-one-more-things.
I wish sleep didn’t feel like such a luxury.
Naps fall in that decadence category, too, don’t they? And yet, twenty minutes with my eyes closed mid-afternoon can make the difference between a moody unproductive evening and a cheerful, pleasant one. That’s not decadence, that’s survival!
Everything seems more manageable after some decent sleep. Doesn’t it? Yes. Yes, it does.
This sums it up nicely:
“It is a common experience that a problem difficult at night is resolved in the morning after the committee of sleep has worked on it.” ~ John Steinbeck
Yes. Today I’m particularly grateful for sleep and its restorative, sanity-keeping, energizing, blissful escape. I’m guessing you are too.
The title of today’s post comes from a quote by the Dalai Lama, “Sleep is the best meditation.”