Sleep is my friend. It comes to me easily and without fail. The moment I am still within my world, sleep comes to find me and takes me away.
Sleep and I became out of sync at one transitional point in my life. I could fall asleep easily but I couldn't stay asleep. I became addicted to turning on the TV to turn off my thoughts during that phase. A habit that I have yet to break.
Years later, I went through a particularly stressful time when I tried transitioning to work-outside-of-my-home. I faced a situation within the workplace that took me down and the residual effect still lies within me. I felt powerless in that world and I believe that I slipped into a depressed state. It hurt to be awake during that time. Sleep was my narcotic, aided and abetted by the television which lulled me into a semi-comatose state that got me through the worst of times. Sleep saved me from myself.
Unfortunately (perhaps it is fortunate?) it means that the television has become like a sleeping pill to me. The moment I turn it on, sit still and focus my attention on it I am asleep.
This skill has been honed to a degree where I fall asleep whenever I stop moving, eating &/or talking. I have been checked out and told that my sleep habits are "unremarkable" so this mild dose of narcolepsy does not concern me. I know far too many people who suffer with sleep deprivation to be anything but grateful that sleep and I are such constant companions.
This affection for sleep really cuts into my productivity though. If I make the mistake of sitting down after supper, it is 'lights off' for me. The later I eat, the longer I can stay awake. The less satisfying my supper is, the more inclined I am to snack (thereby delaying my automatic sleep cycle).
Long story short, it is very hard to stay awake past 8:00 if I am not moving, eating or talking. There is a benefit and a pitfall to falling asleep so early. I wake up often during those long nights.
My ability to fall back to sleep the moment I become interested in a television program makes these wakeful nights very easy on me. In fact, I often turn on the TV and become excited at the fact that I may finally be able to watch a program that I have slept through on other occasions. I have turned on a program with only fifteen minutes left and it is a rare occasion when I make it through to the end. One night I even brought some ju-jubes into bed with me in the hope of watching the end of some program (it didn't work).
Our house is a busy one. We could install revolving front and back doors. The kitchen and living room are the core of the activity around here so I have retreated to a quiet zone in the corner of the house that is furthest from the activity. I love my little oasis. But I am still very much aware of the comings and goings of our household. When I wake up in the middle of the night, I am surrounded in a house full of sleeping beings. It is the most peaceful, serene place in my world.
Last night was 'one of those nights'...
I had fallen asleep on the couch by 8:00 and made my way to bed by 8:30 (after saying good-night to my Youngest Son and our cats). I woke up somewhere in and around 1:30 a.m. and I felt wide awake. I checked my email and found a few personal messages. I sent off a reply in the middle of the night. I was energized by the social contact within my quiet space and quickly turned on the DVD that I had been trying to watch before I fell asleep. And poof! Lights out. Again.
I woke up this morning energized by my window of solitude in the middle of the night. The house will be a flurry of activity within the half hour and I am so grateful for that time that I found in the middle of the night.
Sleep is good for your health. It gives your body a chance to recharge. It gives your immune system a chance to fight all that ails you. Resting your body, mind and soul is the best medicine for all that ails you. Add a good friend to the mix and you are pretty much invincible.
That ... is precisely how I feel this early Monday morning. I am rested, nourished and nestled up all safely within a most wonderful life. I may not be entirely invincible but I am most definitely the best-I-can-be. I couldn't ask for a better way to start a new week.