SLEEP

THE PRISONER’S RELEASE

THE POOR MAN’S WEALTH

I have the worst sleeping habits, but now that I’m approaching 80, I need and crave sleep more than I ever have. Shakespeare once said, “sleep is the prisoner’s release and the poor man’s wealth.” This may not be a perfect quote, but you get the idea.

For as long as I can remember, I’ve been a night owl. In college, I survived on naps. As an adult, I have managed to operate with various levels of sleep deprivation. Unfortunately, I am at the end of the line, and I need rest wherever and whenever I can get it. I usually take a nap in the afternoon and one when I come home from work before diner, and then one after dinner. I own five strategically placed recliners between home and work so I can nap comfortably just about wherever I am.

I have been doing my very best to alter my routine in hopes of capturing a few extra hours of sleep at night. I go to bed early. I go to bed late. I have changed my eating and drinking habits. I have taken medication and alcohol. I play soft music and listen to nature sounds. I have changed pillows, blankets and purchased an adjustable bed. I’ve thrown my wife out of the bedroom because she snores. It seems as if everything I try just doesn’t work. I’ve been attempting climate control, lighting, and aromatherapy. Lately, I’ve been considering a sleep therapist. If anybody out there has a good idea of what to do, please, please, pass the idea along.

The other night something strange happened. I woke in the middle of the night and found that I had been in the deepest and most comfortable slumber. I felt as if I was floating on air and I had the most wonderful sense of we’ll being and happiness. It was reminiscent of the death scene in the movie Soylent Green where Edward G. Robinson was resting in a flowery field while beautiful music was playing. I wondered if I were still alive or did I have the big one in my sleep. I swear I have never felt this good.

Immediately I started to wonder what had caused the euphoric occurrence. What was the mystical combination of ingredients? Anyway, I fell off to sleep and woke up feeling refreshed and rejuvenated. Emotionally I was in a blissful state. I know I shouldn’t be looking a gift horse in the mouth, but I couldn’t stop thinking about the experience all day long. I wanted the day to pass, so I could crawl back into bed for another beautiful night’s sleep. I couldn’t wait.

I was so excited that I told everybody of my experience and for the entire day I was the most pleasant guy on earth.

Night finally came, and I was more than happy to retire. I practically danced my way into the bedroom, turned on the soft music, reset the thermostat, and crawled under that fluffy and most comfortable quilt, and turned the light off. The preparation for a repetition of the previous night was unbearable One would think I was seducing Cleopatra.

Well there I laid waiting for the most anticipated night’s sleep of my life. Each torturous hour passed until I realized that as long as I waited for it, it wasn’t going to happen. Funny how your mind works. I don’t think I will ever know blissful sleep again even though I know it’s out there somewhere.

BETTER TO HAVE LOVED AND LOST THAN NOT TO HAVE LOVED AT ALL

That is how I feel about my sleep.

PERHAPS SOMEDAY THE GIFT WILL RETURN?

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