Of course, "to dream" is the continuation of the line from Hamlet's famous "To be or not to be" soliloquy. But, there are times when I think the "perchance" applies to the "to sleep" part. At least, that is what it seems to be for me some nights.
And last night was such a night.
When my husband and I had both retired, and were free--like water--to seek our own level, we found we have different body clocks. Work requirements, of course, impose a body clock on any of us. I am perfectly capable of getting up early in the morning. In fact, after our son, our first child, was born and I was still teaching college, I had a 7:30 a.m. class. So I got up at 5:30 a.m. on those days, got myself ready, woke up our son and got him dressed. Then we headed off to campus, where one of the faculty wives living on campus took care of him. I nursed him, then headed off to class by 7:30 a.m.
But, when given the opportunity to go to sleep when I was ready, and get up when I was done sleeping, I found my natural timing was late to bed, late to rise (sorry, Ben Franklin). I rarely wind down before midnight, and usually prefer to sleep to around 8 a.m.
As I have gotten older, a new dynamic has crept in--occasional insomnia. It takes me a long time to unwind--make that, a L-O-N-G time. I read at least a half an hour, then turn out the light and even then stay awake maybe another half hour before I finally drop off the sleep cliff. I am doomed if I fall asleep a bit, then awake immediately. That dooms me to an even longer struggle to go to sleep. As I said, last night was such a night. I turned out the light at 12:05 a.m., then fell asleep somewhat quickly, but awoke within 5 minutes with a tickling cough. And that was it--I could not get back to sleep. All told, it took me an hour and a half to get back to sleep.
My mind jumped from project to project that I COULD do--say, clean out a closet, or tidy up the basement. But I made myself stay in bed. However, my body seemed to think adrenalin was called for, which woke me even more. Eventually, I got out of bed, went to where one of the cats was curled up, and snuggled up to her for a while--that is very calming.
The one thing I didn't do is read--because, frankly, reading just wakes me up. Finally, I did get to sleep.
I find it humorous that one of the proverbial ways to drift off to sleep is to "count sheep." My luck--I would end up shearing them, carding the wool, weaving it into yarn and then knitting a sweater--all before I finally got back to sleep.
Hope your sleep is less disturbed than mine. Sweet dreams.