Not Sleeping

By Sandra Clark

Sleep hasn’t come for me yet tonight. This is hardly the first time. Everytime I overload my brain and calendar and list of concerns past a certain threshold, my ability for easy sleep gets bumped. Sometimes it is my boredom in trying to sleep and failing that urges me out of bed.  Other times it is the lure of something more scintillating than sleep. Why waste time trying to sleep when you could be reading, cooking, working, watching something you’ve been wanting to? Something has got to be more productive than this. I am not a good self sleep coach. Though I have tried tonight.

I let out a sigh. I know I should be sleeping, and I will get out of bed more willingly in the morning and my eyes so much nicer if I can get enough time logged in REM cycles. But no, I can’t always sell myself on sleep. I have  tried to sync sleep schedules with my husband, thinking that could be nice. General failure. He likes 8-9 hours a night. I can cruise for days on 5-6 hours a night. So he snoozes away unaware while I wait, turn to my side, my back, my stomach and my side again, unable to sleep.

I was not a good sleeper as a kid either. When I would pop up out of bed early in the morning or struggle to fall asleep at night my parents begged me to please read a book, watch a show, anything, just don’t wake anyone else up. And I could do all those things when I was up, but they didn’t help me go to sleep.  So I created some mental self-hypnosis: imagining myself in an antique  Bedknobs and Broomsticks-style bed, down mattress, thick duvet; spinning slowly accelerating as I until the centrifugal force of the Gravitron at Six Flags that pulled me down further into the softness, forcing me to surrender to sleep. While the imagery I had created worked most of the time when I was younger, sometimes, and more now as I get older, it’s just not cutting the mustard.

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