14 January 2011

The Beauty of Sleep

I'm often surprised at just how little some people sleep.  Sleep is one of my favorite things in the world, and I love to lay down in bed and just drift off, allowing myself to fall into a state of release and relief as I let go of the cares of the day and devote myself to relaxing, recharging, and rejuvenating myself.  Some people see sleep as a luxury, but I definitely see it as a need, one of the most important elements of my life, to be honest.

I've never been one to sleep late in the morning.  I usually wake up quite early (between four and five) and get out of bed, but that's not a problem--once sleep is over, it's over, and there's no use trying to hold on to something once it's gone by.  But getting up early in the morning has a benefit on the other side of the day.  When it's time for bed, I usually am more than ready for going to sleep fairly quickly.  Because I get up early, I almost never have to deal with not being able to fall asleep when I go to bed.  In fact, sometimes I go to bed very early because I got up so early, and that's fine with me--sleep is always worth it.

I like to sleep in the day sometimes, too.  Naps are one of life's great joys to me, and there really is nothing like lying down in the middle of the day and allowing myself to fall asleep.  I know many people who never would dream of taking a nap because they're too concerned that they won't get everything done that needs to be done.  For my part, though, I'm more than willing to put on hold things that really deserve to be put on hold in order to give my mind and body a break by getting a little extra sleep.

I don't take it to extremes.  I sleep about seven hours a night--that's enough for me--and take maybe half an hour naps on weekends, sometimes.  But for me the important thing is devoting myself fully to the idea of sleeping, giving myself the chance to do something good for myself.  It's an enjoyable feeling to me to relax and to feel sleep coming on, and it's a feeling that I relish and appreciate every day when it comes on.  I think we don't respect sleep enough, don't respect our need for sleep.  I think we get so caught up in doing things that we often don't realize just how much our bodies need sleep, and that's why so many people are crabby so often--they've been depriving themselves of sleep, one of the most important aspects of our lives.  So the next time that you lie down to sleep, appreciate the chance to relax and drift off into an unconscious state.  The sleep that you'll be getting is one of the most important things that you can do for yourself.

There is more refreshment and stimulation in a nap,
even of the briefest, than in all the alcohol ever distilled.

Edward Lucas

Sleep is the golden chain that ties health and our bodies together.

Thomas Dekker

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