The Girl Who Dreams about Sleeping

7 Dec

I struggle on and off with insomnia and have since I moved back to America from England.  I have no idea why (sometimes it is triggered by stress or lack of exercise or noise, but often there is no reason for it at all).  The last month, I haven’t dealt with it because I haven’t been sleeping due to sickness and being overworked.  Hopefully, when my work hours calm down, the sleep will come.

Sleep is a gift.

Sleep affects our mood, our emotions, our ability to process stress.

Everything seems harder, bigger, worse, more pressing, without sleep.

Little annoyances become big annoyances.  Big annoyances are still big annoyances.

You wake up after an hour or two feeling groggy, you remain like this the rest of the day.

Occasionally, you wake up after an hour or two feeling energetic.  You use that energy only to realize that it was a false positive.  You hit rock bottom at 9 AM instead of noon.

You lie awake at night, you teach yourself to slow down your breathing, you think about lots of things.  Everything.  And nothing.  You think jealously about all the other people you know who are sleeping.  You wonder how much happier/healthier/more pleasant you would be if you had adequate sleep.

You listen to everyone’s advice on melatonin and Tylenol PM, yoga and new mattresses, and you politely nod your head even though you’ve tried everything multiple times.

You’re the only one of your friends who listens enviously as a new Mom describes only getting 5-6 hours of sleep a night. And you think how wonderful that would be.

You run a marathon on a sum total of 9 hours of sleep.  In the past 6 days.

You realize that while most people love sleep, not everyone feels so emotional at the thought of laying down for 8 whole hours.  You forget that “having time to sleep” is only part of the problem. On the nights you have 10 hours available to sleep, you may still only sleep 2.  It seems grossly unfair.

You learn that you can’t control everything.  And that you can’t be the best person you can be.  You learn that there is no such thing as a super human who doesn’t need to sleep, who doesn’t need to eat, who doesn’t need to recharge batteries.  Human Energizer Bunnies are a myth.  Some thrive on less sleep, some on more, but everyone needs some. It is an even playing field.

You adjust to the reality that if sleeping were a sport, you suck at it.  Big time.  You wouldn’t even pick yourself first if you were the Sleep Team Captain.  And the Most Improved Player award is looking doubtful.

But every night, or nearly every night, you lay down and shut your eyes and dream.  Of sleep. And pray that your awake-dreaming will turn into sleep-dreaming.  And that your sleep-dreaming will last all night long without chunks of time spent awake, dreaming of dreaming.

 

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