To Sleep Perchance to Dream

March 26, 2013 § Leave a comment

Throughout infancy, childhood, and (for some of us especially) adolescence we close our eyes and fall into deepest slumber, the most natural of activities, one that nourishes and restores. What bliss!

And then, for many of us, there comes that day, at some point during adulthood, when it all turns to custard. Perhaps it is the very sign that adulthood has truly arrived; perhaps listening to all those adults complaining about their sleepless nights as I was growing up was really my view into the crystal ball, a sign of what was to come, what was inevitable.

How did it all go wrong? When did something, once so easily, thoughtlessly enjoyed, becomes the holy grail of quests. How does it happen that all of a sudden, one day, sleep becomes a goal that one sets out to try and achieve, rather than a thing that just happens?

I used to be a very skilled sleeper. I could sleep through anything and, if for any reason my sleep was disrupted, I could close my eyes and return to my (I believe sometimes snoring) slumberous state without a worry. Not anymore! Now, either I can’t get to sleep, or get back to sleep, thinking about nothing and everything all at once, or I toss and turn, waking up constantly during the night because I am uncomfortable, or hearing noises, or need to wee, or am too hot, or too cold, or I am having bad dreams, or am too aware of my significant other’s body lying next to me, or I can hear myself breathing, or any manner of ridiculous inconveniences that creep into my consciousness to interfere with my much desired, much required shut eye.

As the days go on, the night after night of neither quality nor quantity of sleep starts to add up: my energy wanes, my concentration becomes diminished, my skin loses vibrance, my eyes lose their sparkle, my muscles tighten, my reflexes dull, my emotions become increasingly volatile, and more than anything I else I feel very, very, very tired. After all, I just happen to be an 8 hour-a-night kind of a girl – always have been – anything less than is just not enough.

The dusk settles, the moon rises, the curtains are closed, the nutritional supplements are ingested, the herbal tea is drunk, the noise is dimmed, the pillows are fluffed, and the mood is set. Tonight, I try, yet again, to seduce my body, seduce my mind into the ultimate of fantasies, that of pure, blissful, unparalleled, deep, delicious sleep. Oh, to sleep perchance to dream, sweet dreams.

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