Sometimes sleep eludes me

Red sky at dawn

Red sky at dawn

Sometimes sleep eludes me. Most often it has nothing to do with how tired I am or what time I go to bed. In fact, I usually have little trouble falling asleep, especially on days when I have been physically active. I have a fairly regular bedtime and a routine of taking a warm shower just before going to bed. Our bedroom is cool and dark and there is no TV, computer, phones or other electronic devises to distract from a calm, peaceful sleep space. We live on the end of the road across from a quiet lake with the occasional loon, bird, or frog(s) calling out to their pals. After reading a few pages of the book on my headboard I get sleepy, turn out the light and blissfully drift off. I generally wake up once or twice to use the restroom and have no trouble going right back to sleep. But sometimes…

Sometimes when I return to bed I don’t drift off right away. My first thought is to use this quiet awake time to mediate and pray. I think about concerns of my family, friends, and even the world in general. I toss and turn a bit. I start feeling guilty that I am going to wake my husband. It seems the more I try to keep my body and mind quiet the more I toss and the more my mind wanders. When I was working, I would start thinking about all the things that were waiting for me at the office. Occasionally I would get up and go in to work at 3 or 4 in the morning to get a jump on the day and then return home to fix breakfast and get the kids off to school. Thank goodness the office was only a half mile away! I guess it’s really not that different now that I am retired. When I start tossing and turning and I know sleep isn’t going to come, I will get up and putter quietly around the house, write letters, read, or work on projects in my study.

I am thankful that this seems to occur less often these days, but it is still frustrating. I know that there are a lot of people who struggle daily with sleep disorders that are far more serious so I shouldn’t complain. Although my inability to overcome this recurring situation frustrates me, I have no interest in taking drugs just to make sure I always sleep through the night. Probably it is best just to accept that this “quirk” is part of who I am and make the most of the quiet time that I am given. After all that isn’t an easy to find in this busy world of ours.

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