Friday, August 9, 2013

Ah, sleep!

As I lay there the other night trying (and failing) to fall asleep, I starting thinking about sleep. And the more I thought about it, the weirder it seemed.

We willingly spend significant chunks of our day comatose, periodically paralyzed and hallucinating, I thought. If we don't get that time, we can actually go insane. Once we fall asleep, most of us have a hard time waking up. At least, I do.
Love not sleep, lest you come to poverty; open your eyes, and you will have plenty of bread.  Proverbs 20:13
As I reflected, I concluded that even more than being asleep, I love falling asleep. Oh, that sweet drifting! And the irresistible tug of sleep in the morning, my head feeling heavy, my breathing still slow. The pleasure of falling asleep is like falling in love; it's not the actual thing, but it is more thrilling.
He said, “Go away, for the girl is not dead but sleeping.” And they laughed at him. Matthew 9:24
For several years, in fact, I experienced a stomach-dropping sensation - like what you experience on a roller-coaster - just as I was falling asleep. It was a little like a panic attack, but without the adrenalin rush. Not unlike the stomach-flip that happens when you see your beloved, in those early passion-laced days.
If you lie down, you will not be afraid; when you lie down, your sleep will be sweet.  Proverbs 3:24
I've only had anesthesia a couple of times, but I know that waking up was the hardest part. I just wanted to sleep and sleep and sleep . . . Quite honestly, I understand how Michael Jackson became addicted to induced sleep. (Not that I excuse his doctor for providing it.)
O sleep! O gentle sleep!
Nature’s soft nurse, how have I frighted thee,
That thou no more wilt weigh my eyelids down
And steep my senses in forgetfulness?
Why rather, sleep, liest thou in smoky cribs,
Upon uneasy pallets stretching thee,
And hush’d with buzzing night-flies to thy slumber,
Than in the perfum’d chambers of the great,
Under the canopies of costly state,
And lull’d with sound of sweetest melody?

2 Henry IV (3.1.7-16)
Anyone who struggles with insomnia knows the misery of being absolutely bone weary, but completely unable to make that delicious transition from tired to asleep.
Of all the comments I've posted on Twitter, this is the most "favorited."
More than 80 days since I posted that, it still gets "favorites."

For his part, Stephen rarely has trouble falling asleep, but when he's stressed, he often has trouble staying asleep. A friend of mine has the same problem.
Sometimes a thousand twangling instruments
Will hum about mine ears; and sometime voices,
That, if I then had wak’d after long sleep,
Will make me sleep again: and then, in dreaming,
The clouds methought would open and show riches
Ready to drop upon me; that, when I wak’d
I cried to dream again.

The Tempest (3.2.96-104)
I think either one is bad. It means we aren't getting our rest.

Weekends, of course, are positively rife with potential to sleep: Naps! Sleep late! Go to bed early! (If that's your thing.)

On that note, I will wish you a good weekend and sweet dreams. I am off to read in bed and sleep in tomorrow morning!


  1. Excellent post! I need to get more sleep. Definitely don't hate it, but need to respect it more. ;)

  2. I love being asleep, but hate trying to go to sleep. I have fought sleeping as long as I've been alive. For some reason, my brain thinks I will miss something the SECOND I go to sleep. Once asleep, though I wake up a thousand times a night, I could sleep forever. Me and sleep have an abusive relationship. It's weird.


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