Last night, I fell asleep while we were watching one of the late night talk shows. I awoke with my eyes blinking in the darkness at shadows peeking through the blinds. Struggling to stay asleep, but knowing I wouldn’t be able to pull it off, my eyes found the clock and focused on the time. It was 3:00 a.m. Often, the clock reads 1:30, other times its 4, but at some time every night I am usually awake.
Sometimes it’s physical pain that keeps me from sleeping. Other times I think it’s just an age thing.
If this had occurred before I retired, my mind would have started whirling with all of the items on my “to do” list, mentally starting my day. Of course, when one’s mind enters that mode, sleep is lost. I was the world’s biggest worry wart. Always worrying about things I couldn’t control.
The last few years have been difficult, but retirement and having more control over my time each day have presented new options for my sleep patterns.
I have discovered napping. Tom tells me napping has been around for years. He ought to know since he has reached the rank of master class. As a novice, I’m just getting the hang of this wonderful remarkable sleep choice.
I learned a long time ago that when my eyes flew open bringing me to wide awake status, it was better to get up. Get my mind off problems for a little while and then go back to bed. It usually worked.
But, old age sleeping patterns are a bit different. Tonight I refreshed my mug of water, went to the bathroom, filled my weekly pill-box, read a few chapters, then closed my book and turned off the light. Knowing I would be able to go back to sleep. My eyes closed and the next thing I knew it was 7:00 a.m. My body was still tired, but wanted to get up.
This is where the new sleep option comes in. Sometime in late morning or early afternoon, I will drift off to sleep in my recliner. Sleep thirty or so minutes and awake refreshed. What a concept.
Slowing myself down, now able to relax my mind has made a big difference in my life. No, I don’t get eight hours of sleep every night, but who says my eight hours can’t be broken into smaller periods of time throughout the day? I’ve decided that it would be wonderful to sleep through the night, but it’s okay if I can’t.
Now, if Tom and I could only regulate our naps so we are awake at the same time.
Ending on a Positive Note: Accepting what we can’t change or what we can no longer do is the first step to freedom in our lives.