Monday, July 28, 2008
The Over-Stimulated Mind
I've learned the hard way not to read a scrapbooking magazine before bed. The ideas buzz 'round and 'round in my brain and I don't drop off to sleep. Has that ever happened to you? Ever get so wrought up about a project that you can't sleep? And I don't mean worried. It's not that...it's more like creative overdrive. The ideas fly around like popcorn in a ripped bag in the microwave.
I mentioned this to my sister, Jane. She works in a sleep lab. Honest! Her job is to help people figure out the reasons behind their insomnia. According to her, insomnia is a national epidemic, one that never happened until our nation went to 24/7 television.
At http://sleepcompass.blogspot.com/ she's posted a list of great tips for getting a good night's sleep. One being never to use your bedroom for anything but sleep and sex. (No idea books allowed.) She shares her blog with another sleep tech and a doctor who specializes in sleep issues. Visit them for all sorts of ideas on sleep--gleaned from decades of working with the problems that keep us from catching those much needed ZZZZZZs.
Here she writes about Courage, her delightful Chihuahua and what we can learn about our sleep from his...and how what we think about can give us--or keep us from--a good night's sleep. (The lovely young lady in the photos is my gorgeous niece, Lexie.)
The Courage to Sleep Like a Dog
And he does, bless his heart. He's a happy boy. Cheerily dragging one of my nieces' Beanie Babies down the hallway, through the kitchen off into the netherlands of the laundry room. Checking out the cat's food and ignoring his own. Pouncing on Spike, the only 20 lb cat with claws in the house, eager to play. When he wants to play, he does, when he wants to eat, he does and when he wants to sleep, down goes the eyelids on those huge Chihuahua eyes. Wherever there's a bed, he lays his head. 180 count sheets or 500, Ralph Lauren bedding or Dora the Explora, 11 o'clock in the morning or 11 o'clock at night, down he goes. He never has "one more thing to do," one more email to check, one more deadline to meet.
Courage trusts. Courage believes. Courage has no fear. That when he shuts his eyes, he'll sleep, opens his eyes, he wakes.
All this is nice and poetic and politically correct. But in my heart of hearts, I know there is another reason why sleep comes so easily to him. He has a clean soul. (Spike sleeps well too, but clean slate? That's another story.) Courage is a little furry piece of Paradise dropped down from heaven in the form of a very, very small dog. Yes, I know dog=God spelled backwards. And so must he. I look at him wonderingly as he sleeps, paws pointed heavenward and know, just know, he's never lived with regret. No "what ifs" and "should haves." He never has a day where he hates himself or life or when he has to convince himself the purpose of it all. He shuts his eyes and sleeps and as I rub his ears or stroke his fur when he snuggles up against me, he shares with me his Peace.