Sleep and I have never been good friends. Even as a young girl, I remember laying awake for hours, just watching the clock. I would tell my mom about this, because she was a grown up and could therefore fix all problems, but she just told me I was lying and should stop.
This laying awake for hours, each night, became a thing that would last for the whole of my life, most nights. The imagine can be in those dark, quiet nights. Though I was not a fan of working the graveyard shift, I learned that my mind is at it’s wildest, most productive time, in those hours. Later, when my husband worked nights (well, until 3 a.m.) I realized that these hours meant I would sleep the most and be the most productive.
Alas, now I am a real grown up too. My schedule is that of normal hours and my sleep is the same mangled mess it has always been. During the time that I was alone in Idaho, earlier this year, I got into the bad habit of falling asleep to tv. I think that it was because I didn’t feel so alone.At any rate, now there are nights when I simply can not shut my mind off without a tv show. (the unexpected downside to this is that it may take me 6 nights to actually get through an episode because I fall asleep.) The issue I am having, sleep wise, as of late is that I am having the most bizarre, vivid dreams. It is like they speak in screams, they are so bold. I am not getting quality rest and am waking up completely exhausted. While I am a big believer in dreams being my psyche processing what I am dealing with subconsciously, these dreams are so utterly ridiculous.
Every night, these past few weeks, go a little like this:
- go to bed.
- an episode of tv.
- fall asleep for about 20 min.
- wake up, tv off.
- lay awake for about an hour.
- sleep fitfully, for a few hours.
- wake up for about an hour, lay there and pray.
- fall asleep into deep, weird dreams for a few hours.
It’s awful. I am so tired.
As a result I have been thinking a lot about REST. What is rest? How can I achieve this when my nights are working against me? And, question of the hour: what is it that is psychologically causing this?
This week, with a fresh (loosely knitted) blanket of snow on the ground and a peace dangling ornamentally from the sky, I am on a quest to answer this question… Any wisdom to share?