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Tuesday, January 17, 2012

Sleep... A Highly Underrated Activity

If only!!!
For so many people, myself included at some points in my life, the idea of sleep seemed somehow wasteful.  Just think of all those hours of potential creativity and accomplishment going to waste!  In recent years, I have developed a greater affection for these hours of rest, finding naps rather restorative.  Now, more than ever, I have the utmost respect for hour upon hour of seeming inactivity.  Why?  Quite simply because I cannot get to sleep for anything!

It's a vicious cycle...  I could go to sleep with little trouble at around six o'clock every day, but by the time sleep would be reasonable, I've gained my second or third wind.  Fast forward to sometime around midnight...  while there is a small chance that I might be nodding off, even then the slightest interruption seems to fill me with all the energy needed to embark on a jog around the neighborhood.  What does this mean?  Likely another four or five hours of sleeplessness.

It wasn't always like this.  My notoriously awake wife would complain about the ease and speed with which I seemed to drop off.  Moments after hitting the pillow, the comforting sounds of a roaring dump truck would begin to emerge from my mouth and I was down for the count.  I lay the blame entirely with Max, our tiny by determined infant.  When Max was very small, he would stay up until all hours.  He wasn't upset, he wasn't cranky, he was just uninterested in sleep.  The little man and I would be sent off to watch late night television until he finally found slumber.  Ever since this time, I've found it harder and harder to catch my own z's.

Sleep is, perhaps, one of the most productive things that we do, and one of the most important things that we don't do enough of.  When I look at my children's schedules, which routinely begin with wake-up calls of about five in the morning, I am astonished by their ability to actually get through a full day.  To them it seems to simply be the nature of things.  To me it seems like torture.  When did a good night's sleep become a luxury?  When did the idea of rest turn into slothfulness?  I am all for activity and productivity, but perhaps we've lost our ability to grant our minds and bodies those undisturbed hours of peace and refreshment.

Like so many things, you often don't appreciate what you have until you've lost it.  For me, that applies doubly to sleep.  I love the feeling of falling into dreamland.  I love barely waking up in those early minutes of slumber, just to feel that wonderful, warm enveloping sense that you get to go back to sleep!  If there's no pressing need to get up in sight, all the better.

So, when you next visit the land of nod, think of how lucky you are...  I may be out there, tossing and turning and counting the short hours until it's really time to be awake!

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