Oh Sleep, Oh Dream

When I was in college, my sleeping habits were sporadic at best. My last semester, I average something like three hours of sleep a night. Crazy, right? If I was struggling to maintain consciousness, I would stay awake with a mixture of collegiate energy, caffeine and sheer willpower. And I loved it! Sleep was an afterthought, not a necessity.

And this is when I knew I was maturing (a euphemism for “getting older”):
Sleep became, not only a necessity for a good day, but a requirement to function.

I have to come to grips with this. Coffee is now a vital component to my morning, not just an afterthought because it tastes good. Going to bed and waking up at the same time each day isn’t just something old people do, it’s what I do. For the first six months this new set of sleep requirements became part of my life, I resented it – not only resented it, I abhorred it! It was the biggest inconvenience to my schedule I could imagine. All this sleep stole time from me! But now (and I see this as a sign of growing and maturing), I respect it. I like hearing the bedtime alarm on Josh’s phone, because it means that my tomorrow will be a good day.

But there always seems to be a dark cloud to accompany a silver-lining, right? My dark cloud is my inability to actually fall asleep. Ironic? I think so…

I go to bed now, for the first time in my life, grateful for the rejuvenation sleep offers and yet, sleep alludes me. Instead of embracing me as an old friend, sleep snubs me and leaves me hanging, like an overlooked fist bump. Its as if sleep toys with me, wanting me to know that it knows I’m there, waiting on it, but it doesn’t want to actually look like it acknowledge me, because then snubbing me would seem rude, and of course, sleep can’t seem rude. But sleep chooses to add insult to injury, sleep embraces my husband as if they were old lovers, warmly welcoming him within moments of his head touching the pillow. And I am left, staring at the ceiling, wishing so desperately to join him in the Land of Dreams.

This relationship I have with sleep, this make-out-buddy mentality that sleep seems to have for me, comes and goes. For a long while, sleep seems to love me and meets me at a moment’s call. But then, as so many relationships that are built on sand, sleep grows weary of me. Sleep chooses not to visit, chooses not to care. At least not until sleep seems to need me again (who knows why…), and then sleep returns and we have a blissful relationship yet again. I’m always left wondering, though, how long will it last this time before sleep finds someone else?

Maybe this is sleep’s subtle payback for my neglect during college? Maybe this is sleeps way of saying, “you didn’t need me then, so I don’t need you know!” Is sleep really so petty?

Oh sleep, how can make it up to you?



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  1. * Amber says:

    I struggled with the same problem for years- all the while, my husband was able to sleep at the drop of a hat. There are so many factors at play- when you eat, when you work out, how you quiet your mind, etc. Recently, we’ve made a major investment to ensure that I get enough sleep- major as in $2,700 for a brand new mattress and it was worth every penny. I’ve also discovered Valerian- an herbal remedy that calms the nerves, slows the mind and helps me sleep. Maybe you should try that.

    | Reply Posted 7 years ago
  2. * Sis says:

    When I have a difficult time going to sleep, I often recite hymns or Scriptures. I start with “A” reciting a hymn/scripture that begins with “A,” then on to “B,” and so on. This gives my brain something to do, but I’m not focusing on not being able to go to sleep.

    | Reply Posted 5 years, 11 months ago

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