My husband has a talent I really wish I had.
He has the amazing ability to close his eyes, shut off his mind, and fall asleep. He can do this lying down, or in a chair. He can do this if he is alone, or if there are twenty people walking in and out of the house. It doesn't matter whether he is tired, or whether he has had eight full hours of sleep. Once he fell asleep in the middle of an Easter gathering. There were at least twenty adults, and a dozen or more children running around looking for Easter Eggs. He sat in a comfy chair and snored.
I, on the other hand, go through a myriad of requirements before I am able to shut off my mind enough for my body to go to sleep. If I’m worried or upset, it’s a given – I won’t sleep. If I’ve had more than two cups of regular coffee or tea, it’s useless to lie down before midnight. And if I’ve had a full eight hours of uninterrupted sleep in the last two weeks, I plan on staying up late, or waking up early the next day.
Lately, I’ve been working at a full-time temporary job at which I read and evaluate student responses to reading comprehension questions. I have to be awake and alert for this job. But my mind doesn’t want to cooperate. Last Sunday night I lay awake for five hours before I gave up. But as usual, my dear husband snored away, totally oblivious to my dilemma.
I got out of bed at 3:00 am, furious at my lack of ability to sleep. Hubby was sitting in his recliner, watching his forensic murder mystery shows. After years of working the early-early shift at the factory, he refuses to change his sleep schedule.
Me (storming into the family room): “You make me so mad!”
Him (still staring at the TV screen): “Why?”
Me: “You don’t have any trouble going to sleep!”
Him: “Why is that my fault?”
Me: “Because I can’t! I lie there night after night, hour after hour, and I can’t get to sleep!”
Him: “What do you want me to do?”
Me: “Stay up with me!”
Yeah, I know. I was being unreasonable. Lack of sleep does that. On Monday during my lunch break I went to a nutritional health store and got some herbal sleep aids. They’ve helped a little. I just have to learn how to switch my mind off. Maybe someday my head will be as empty as his.
And then I’ll sleep.