(Photo Courtesy of Kristin Perers, www.thisis50.me)
I am generally a good sleeper.
Meaning, when the conditions are right: bed, sheets, pillow, prone position — I can fall asleep tout de suite.
Not on a plane. Not on a train. Not with the TV on. Not with an occasionally snoring spouse. Not with people blasting Pitbull outside my window at 3 a.m. (yes, why in fact would you stop the party?). And not when I’m stressed out.
But — I have a trick for that last one. I imagine all the worries of the day, those actual events keeping me up, shifting to my left foot (with all apologies to Daniel Day-Lewis). I imagine physically transferring all the little angsty details to my hoof where they will be stored for tomorrow’s dissection and rumination. For some reason, it feels more practical and comforting to not let go of them, but to tuck them away in a place furthest away from my mind.
Various shrinks have told me this is a classic relaxation technique and have praised me for my virtual, au naturel self-medication. I had no idea, I thought I’d happened upon it during college mid-terms. One concerned naturopath cheered on my meds-free technique, though warned that if I kept up using foot-as-suitcase, I might actually create problems in my foot. I do have plantar fasciitis in my left foot… but I have a bunion on my right — that foot bears no burden of information, just years of dicey footwear.
Yes, I love to sleep.
Not as much as my sister who, decades before she had kids, would crash until 1p.m. on a Saturday. “She’s our best sleeper,” said my 6 a.m.-rising parents, clearly a veiled insult implying, “get the hell up and clean your room.” These days, I think, sadly, she gets about three hours of solid sleep a night.
When faced with the choice, I will almost always choose sleep.
Now you try:
Sex vs. sleep?
Dinner and a movie vs. sleep?
Writing this column vs. sleep?…
Ok, back from my nap.
As I get older, the “epic nap” has become the holy grail of deliciousness. For kids, naps — like showers — are the disruption of every juicy moment of life and Lego building. For adults, they are the noiseless, peaceful refuge when every stressor can magically halt.
To sleep, perchance to dream, but hopefully just to conk out.
This week we try to get some shut-eye:
- Jody Jones shows us how to build the perfect bed.
- Courtney Colwell offers tips to how to get good sleep while traveling.
- In What The…?, we ask an expert how sleep patterns change as you age.
- Laurie White shares her secret crime: snoring.
- Amy Barr, insomniac, gets serious about her sleep (or lack thereof).
- Nancy Davis Kho gives us 10 songs to fall asleep to.
Get some Zzzs.