If you asked me what I did best when I was younger, I would have said sleep. I could sleep wherever I wanted, whenever I wanted, for how long I wanted, and never need an alarm, even for a twenty minute nap.
Sadly, those days are gone. It’s not uncommon for my sleep to be disrupted, often for no reason I can discern I know I am not alone in this! If you are like me, you have counted (forwards and back, in English or another language), drunk warm milk, tried different meds, both OTC and prescription, breathed into relaxation, and so on. Sometimes these techniques work, sometimes not.
Once I was lying awake, remembering that I’ve read that resting (at least when I don’t have the heebie-jeebies) is almost as good as sleep. I realized the worst thing that would happen would be I’d be tired the next day. Then I noticed how quiet it was, how warm I felt in my cozy bed, that I’d had dinner and would be eating breakfast, and was filled with gratitude; then I promptly fell asleep. But, I can tell you from experience, neither gratitude nor a classic technique can be counted on to produce sleep. Like most things, sleep is not under my conscious control.
Can I accept this? Or do I struggle with the truth of how things are?
Photo: This man appears to be sound asleep with his head next to the rock against which his friend is pounding gold into gold leaf to be pressed onto Buddhas as an offering. Mandalay, Burma, 1987