Posts Tagged With: napping

“Sleep…the Best Meditation”

“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.

Original art by Adolph Menzel - http://www.villa-grisebach.de/

Original art by Adolph Menzel – http://www.villa-grisebach.de/

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.

photo 2.PNG

Every morning, except Sunday!

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.”

Categories: Gratitude, Gratituesday, Mental Health | Tags: , , , , , , , | 3 Comments

The Best Cure for Insomnia

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.

A couple of fluffy pillows is all I need!

A couple of fluffy pillows is all I need!

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?”

Sleeping like a baby is an oft misunderstood phrase. Babies, esp. newborns wake up crying every two hours to be fed.All. Night. Long.

Sleeping like a baby is an oft misunderstood phrase. Babies, esp. newborns wake up crying every two hours to be fed.All. Night. Long.

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.

Categories: Gratitude, Gratituesday, Humor | Tags: , , , , , , , | 4 Comments

Create a free website or blog at WordPress.com.

%d bloggers like this: