To Sleep…

And if tonight my soul may find her peace
in sleep, and sink in good oblivion,
and in the morning wake like a new-opened flower
then I have been dipped again in God, and new-created.

~ D.H. LAWRENCE


A good laugh and a long sleep are the best cures in the doctor’s book.

~ IRISH PROVERB


My Dad went home from hospital today. He is recovering well from the surgery. He will recuperate for the next six weeks.

It is a relief that so far all is well.

The amount of tension between my parents and I is negligible right now. Between that and my husband’s business suddenly picking up I have felt the need to sleep. A lot.

Those of you who experience bouts of anxiety and depression as I do will know that sleep is in short supply at such times. I wouldn’t be exaggerating to say that I haven’t slept well for the past two years.

There are lots of differing opinions about how much sleep we actually need but there does seem to be agreement that when we don’t get enough we borrow from the sleep bank and at some stage that loan needs to be paid back.

If that is in fact, the case, then I will probably be asleep for the next twenty years. So yeah, see you at my 60th birthday party….

Most people when coming out of a bad bout of depression  begin to experience the things that have plagued them less and less. Things like panic attacks, digestive and skin disorders, crying, an overblown sense of melancholy, disappear much more quietly than they came.

However, the last thing to come back to normal is sleep. When the arcadian rhythms are disrupted it seems to take an awful long time to realign them.

Don’t think that you don’t sleep during depression, because you do. But it is a heavy, ponderous slumber that is broken and leaves you feeling unrefreshed. What I am experiencing now is a deep, refreshing sleep that leaves me feeling as if I have been given a tonic overnight. I am no longer waking up in the morning with dark, negative thoughts in my head and an intangible feeling of dread.

It feels as if there is an end to something, something I am glad to say goodbye to. For the moment the worries and the strains have been pushed to the background and at long last I am able to sleep.

It’s a great day in the morning.

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22 thoughts on “To Sleep…

  1. Having been a shift worker for most of my adult life, I found it very difficult to get into a ‘go to bed at 11.30; get up at 6.45 routine’ … it took me nearly five years.

    And even now, I can sleep anywhere, at any time …. usually, on aircraft, buses, etc. when I don’t have anything to do.

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  2. I suppose I’m lucky here. Occasionally I have bouts of insomnia, but this is mainly due to cfs. Other than this, i’ve never had problems sleeping – anywhere – and i can honestly say I’ve never even experienced what I would call a nightmare – surreal at times, yes, but never a nightmare.

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  3. Unfortunately I am having a great deal of trouble sleeping myself at the moment and it’s really wearing me out. Everything seems so dark with no sleep doesn’t it? I can see why it’s used as a form of torture.

    I am very glad you are getting the good restful sleep you need Sel and that things are going well for your dad. That’s wonderful news.

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  4. The sad part is, lack of sleep adds to depression, which in turn causes lack of sleep.

    But, oh glorious sleep, when it is good is better than just about anything to make you feel better, even wonderful. Here’s to many more good night’s sleep and the departure of the dark horse.

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  5. Ah yes, the heavy ponderous sleep of depression. Bleh. I had one night last week where I slept so well and woke up feeling so terrific and THAT hasn’t happened in so long, I was delighted! Good for you for some much needed relief and release.

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  6. I hear ya Sel, been there, done that…too many times. Actually, that kind of unrefreshing sleep you refer to is my norm. 😦

    I hope things are sunnier for all of us this week. Many hugs and write when you can. G

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  7. Selma I’m so glad things are turning around for you and your family. Your blog keeps being in sync with my recent research- hate to be bringing it up but…I’ve recently done a lot of research about circadian rythyms. Being out of sync is very harmful to your health. Getting back into a proper sleep routine can have profound effects on hormones and energy levels as well as digestion and even cancer.

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  8. TRAVELRAT:
    I would love to be able to do that – sleep anywhere. I think it was Winston Churchill that was a great cat napper. I think I read somewhere that he had mastered those quick power sleeps. That would be fantastic. You’d certainly get a lot of work done!

    ANTHONY:
    You are really fortunate, especially with the nightmares. I used to suffer from nightmares really badly in my teens but the good thing about insomnia is – no nightmares. Always looking for the positive, that’s me 😀

    THE HURRICANE:
    A peaceful slumber is like the best present you’ve ever had wrapped in a big red bow. It’s fab!

    GYPSY:
    I sympathise, hon. I didn’t realise that part of the reason I was feeling so flat was because I was sleep deprived. My attitude has suddenly shifted. I hope it lasts. And I hope you get some sleep soon. XX

    KAREN:
    It truly is a vicious cycle the whole sleep/depression thing. I can see why depriving people of sleep was used as a form of torture. Not fun at all.

    NANNA:
    I’m glad you woke up feeling terrific. There’s nothing like it. Hope it continues for both of us!

    GERALDINE:
    It is amazing just when you ask around the people you know how many of them don’t sleep well. It’s quite worrying, actually. I second that hope for a good week!

    LAURI:
    I can’t believe I wrote ‘arcadian’ rhythms. D’oh. I really must need more sleep. I have read a little bit of the research you’re referring to and it does highlight the importance of sleep. I think lack of it does stress us and in turn can lead to illness. I know that is true with regard to my own health. Such a fascinating subject.

    KATE:
    Just call me the big Kipper. *snore*

    PUNATIK:
    Not being able to rely on a good sleep adds to our overall stress, doesn’t it? If only there was a natural technique that guaranteed it!

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  9. Oh how I love sleep!!!!! Lately it is a vicious cycle either 10-12 hours of really weird sleep or nights of insomnia thanks to the meds I have to take! How I love having a great sleep, I think in another life I was a bear who hibernated all winter and slept all that time! I know once I get back to a regular routine and life I will really miss sleeping cuz now if I can’t fall asleep and end up being awake till 2 or 3 I know I can still sleep 8 hrs because I don’t have to wake up early!

    I hope that now that things are looking up for you, you will be able to enjoy some well deserved sleep! And yes depression can lead to a vicious cycle, sometimes making want to just say “Why does life have to be so complicated!”

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  10. TBALL:
    Life is unbelievably complicated, isn’t it?
    I hope that when you are off the meds your sleep patterns are OK.
    I’m just excited about you going to Greece. Can’t wait to hear all your stories!

    JOANNA:
    Thank you so much, hon. You are a lovely person!

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  11. MELEAH:
    I think it’s the relief. I’ve been on tenterhooks for ages. So good to have a refreshing snooze.

    TEXASBLU:
    I’m keeping my fingers crossed. There is still further testing to be done but we’ll take it day by day!

    DAOINE:
    It’s great to sleep but I keep having one of my recurring dreams where I am doing a maths exam in my final year of university in the nude. Don’t know what that’s about….Any Freudians out there?

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  12. One of my whackiest dreams was the one where I was shooting flamingoes with a pistol from the flight-deck window of a C-130.

    (On one occasion, Liz Hurley was there!)

    That would get old Sigmund thinking!

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  13. Hi TRAVELRAT,
    Oh that is just hilarious. I don’t know what is funnier – the fact that you were shooting flamingoes or that Liz Hurley was there. Very Austin Powers!

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