You know how kids hate nap time? And then those kids become adults and suddenly there doesn’t seem to be enough time to catch a decent night of sleep? And then those adults get really old and even though there’s all the time in the world to sleep, it just doesn’t come to them? Sleep is one of those things that’s always taunting us about how we never seem to manage to get it right.
I’m a heavy sleeper. When I was younger, I’d be asleep within minutes of my head hitting the pillow, and could sleep through pretty much anything (loud music, people yelling, physical jostling, earthquakes). It was always a chore waking me up in the mornings. My brother, like all children who wake up first and then can’t stand to see their siblings still asleep, used to try all sorts of things to make me get up. Splashing water on my face, jumping on the bed, pulling me up to a seated position, switching off the ceiling fan (this was the worst) – these tactics would wake me from sleep, yes, but getting me up and out of the bed was another matter. I feel sorry for the people who can’t go back to sleep once they’ve woken up. No matter what had been done to me, I could easily lie down and fall right back into a peaceful sleep within minutes, to the frustration of everyone around me.
These days, I’m still a heavy sleeper, but things have changed considerably. It takes me anywhere between 10 minutes and an hour to fall asleep once I’ve laid down on my bed, and I wake up easily, too. (By wake up, I mean mentally. I can lie on the bed for quite a while after this stage.) I’m much more sensitive to sounds around me than I used to be. When I started work, I had to wake up at unearthly hours, and though I got used to it over the years, it was never not cumbersome. I’d wake up late on the weekends to compensate, but you can’t really make up for sleep that way, and it never did me any good.
These days, I’m free to sleep and wake up whenever I want (within reasonable boundaries, of course), and I’m making full use of that liberty, but those early days of deep, peaceful, dreamless sleep are gone. There are too many things occupying my mind now for that, too many worries, too much to sort through while lying in bed. Still, it’s not all bad. A few weeks ago, I was lying awake at 4am, plagued by this one mosquito that just wouldn’t leave me alone, and it suddenly occurred to me to be grateful that I’m not an insomniac. I can’t imagine there’s anything worse than the feeling of wanting to sleep but not being able to.
Right now, one of the few ways I can make people jealous is by talking about how much sleep I’m getting. I’m unemployed, free of responsibilities and finally done with my blogging challenge. I’m not sure when I’ll ever be in this position again.
Better go catch up on some zzzzs, yo.