Thursday, July 23, 2015


Insomnia: A man likes to practice the things at which he is talented, particularly the things he likes to do. Practice keeps him sharp, engaged, fresh, at the top of his game. I love to sleep. I’m good at it. I dream frequently and enjoy the world of my dreams. I seldom remember my dreams in any great detail but that does not matter. Dreams mean REM sleep, and that means 90 minutes of restful, mostly unconscious bliss. I just wish I were better at falling asleep and staying asleep. As a child and well into adulthood, I was horrible at getting to sleep. It would take me hours (I mean that literally), no matter what time I retired for the night. It wasn’t until marriage that I seemed to develop a rhythm that let sleep come within twenty minutes of placing my head on the pillow. That easier slippage into dreamworld lasted for years, with only occasional lapses. But now, over the past two years or so, dating back to the time my misdiagnosed chest pains made bedtime worrisome, insomnia returned with a vengeance. I have a hard, hard time. I rest. I know I rest. But sleep itself comes to me reluctantly and dances with me for short spells. Whether it’s an ache or a worry or a full bladder, I awaken and the struggle to return to sleep begins. Maybe that’s one reason people drink or take sleep aids – to relax and numb themselves. It’s especially bad when I know the alarm is set, as if I’m afraid to miss the awakening. I have learned one thing: you can’t force it. I’ve learned another: I hate being tired. And a third: I’m not so good at sleeping as I thought, although I try to set aside a third of every day for practice.

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