Many people are insomniacs, lying in bed for too many hours with thoughts NOT of sugar plums dancing in their heads. I was one of those people for a few decades. Reading. Hot baths. Warm milk. Vodka. Nothing seemed to help. My head swarmed with the events of the day, conversations that took place only in my head, worries and dreams for my children, local politics, national disasters. You name it, I worried about it!
When the kids were in their teens, I blamed my insomnia on their hours and activities. I could not sleep until they were home and in bed safely. I could not survive on the “no news is good news” theory. I needed to be awake when they walked in the door, and I do not begrudge them one minute of the missed sleep during those years.
For the most part, insomnia was as much a part of my life as was reading. Some night I went to bed at a “decent time” and lay there for 4-6 hours, dropping into a sound sleep as the birds were waking. Other nights I kept busy until dawn sewing, reading, house projects. There were nights that I did go to sleep by midnight. Enough of those nights kept me from going completely bonkers. But regular sound sleep was not generally part of my life.
Today I sleep quite soundly. More important, I fall asleep very easily. I log 6-8 hours, most in deep sleep. (My Fitbit tracks it.) Why?
Maybe it’s because I have more time during the day to ruminate on the problems of the world, my community and family. Or with age has come an acceptance that I can not change too many of the things that used to keep me awake. I can only change myself.
And I write every day. I share my worries in my journal and with you.