The Healing Power of Sleep

(Or lack thereof)

Nothing makes you grateful for something like noticing that it’s missing. Sleep is one of those things in my life these days. We need it. After all, your brain doesn’t process things effectively into long-term memory without it. Without sufficient sleep, we are more prone to heart disease and people with diabetes have more trouble controlling their blood sugar.

That’s why it pains me when there are times like this week that sleep eludes me. I wish I could say it’s over some big existential crisis (not that I want one of those!) but my insomnia is more run-of-the-mill. Sometimes it’s just a factor of being the age that I am. This week, it’s thanks to the lovely cold that is still hanging on. It’s getting better but much more slowly than I’d like. I’m not the world’s most patient person, anyway, and I could certainly do without the annoyance.

Some days I wish I could be a Westie. They seem to be able to sleep anywhere, and they are very practiced at it. In fact, there’s a Westie sleeping under my desk as I write this, and the other is snoozing in the sun on my bed. For me, though, there’s no sleeping during the day, partly due to work and partly because I’ve never been much of a daytime sleeper. (Just ask my mom. I suspect there were fireworks over that once upon a time).

So what’s a girl to do? Here’s my plan. I’m going to take it easy, pamper myself, and go to bed whenever I darn well feel like it (which last night was 9:00 and the night before was as early as 8:00). Going against the “gut it out” American culture, I’m going to make it easy for myself to rest and get better. And when I do get a good night’s sleep, I’m going to be very grateful for it. Just the thought of that makes me feel better.

How about you? What are you grateful for today?

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