I lie here, warm in my bed and wait for sleep to find me.
I can hear my small boy breathing next to me, sleeping peacefully and I wonder….
It’s funny how differently we approach sleep.
The Small boy lies in his bed as tired as tired. He lies there, holding my hand, playing with my arm, touching my skin, running his fingers up and down, being close to me. His eyes open. Occasionally he looks at me but mostly he stares off into space.
He waits for sleep to find him.
He doesn’t beckon sleep to him, he doesn’t fight it, he just waits until sleep comes to him, as if he has nothing more important than this to do.
Eventually his eyes become heavy. His blinks become slower and longer and for a moment he will close his eyes, only to open them again. Eventually his eyes give in and they close, his breathing slows and sleep has found him.
Me on the other hand?
I stumble into my bed much later than I have planned and burrow under the covers. I close my eyes and will sleep to come to me.
My mind races with all the things I have done and all the things I am still to do. I tell my body to relax and my mind to be quiet but they don’t obey. I lay there, eyes shut tight in the hope that this simple act will magic me quickly to sleep, but it doesn’t.
I’m still there, eyes still closed tight, an hour later… still trying to work out how to get sleep to come to me. My mind is betraying me now, it’s calculating how many hours it is until I have to get up for another day, how much sleep I would have gotten if only I had gone to sleep when I first came to bed. I tell my mind to be quiet in my most stern teacher’s voice and scrunch my eyes tightly closed…
Come on sleep… where are you?
I am in bed, my body is still, my eyes are closed…. if only my brain would kindly shut up, then I am sure sleep would come.
I toss and turn. I’m not comfortable, that must be why sleep hasn’t come yet. I take off my socks and then put them back on because my feet are cold. I listen to the snoring coming from either side of me and try to block it out. I tell my brain to be quiet again.
Then the Small Boy stirs… he mutters something in his sleep and rolls over. It makes me wonder… How differently we approach sleep… and then I stop fighting and let my brain wander around this thought, writing a blog post in my mind, until eventually………
Read the comments or scroll down to add your own:
Ooh I am the same as you!
It takes me forever to get to sleep, my mind simply wont shut up!
How nice it would be to simply let sleep come!
I do exactly the same thing! I wish I could say Bibi was as calm when she goes to sleep as the Small Boy is but she fights it. :(
It struck me while I was reading this (beautifully written BTW) that we spend all this time developing sleep routines for our kids and making sure they wind down, follow their sleep cues etc and then don’t do the same thing for ourselves. I know I keep working/surfing/watching/reading right up until my eyes are hanging out of my head, then jump in to bed. No wind down time, no time to switch the brain off! The only way I can then relax is to read a book in bed and look at the clock thinking “I should be asleep. I have to get up in x hours!”.
Anyway – I feel your pain and hope you get/got a good night’s sleep tonight. :)
Oh I hate it when the day intrudes and erodes at your sleep. My problem is not in the initial dropping off, rather the early morning re-entry into sleep…
How true. To have the mind of a child sometimes. I find that reading before I go to sleep helps me rid my mind of the day to day intrusions although sometimes they creep in.
Nicely written, I’ll have to meditate on this the next time I’m burrowed under my doona with my eyes scrunched shut tightly, waiting impatiently for sleep to find me…