Sunday Blog 11 – 7th November 2021

The night before last something very strange happened to me. I went to sleep at 8.30pm, and I awoke at 5.30am. In between, I had laid in bed all night, asleep. Eyes closed. No toilet trips. Nothing.

That may be your night every night, but for me, it felt like a miracle.

Last week my daughter turned 23, and it’s fairly safe to say since then, I have slept right through the night about as many times as I have fingers on my left hand.

Sleeplessness began in the obvious way, tending to a baby human’s need for survival, then became a habit when the baby no longer awoke but the sweet peacefulness of the wee hours was so enticing I stayed awake. Some nights I get up and do things, others I listen to podcasts, or read books. When I am feeling really rebellious I might scroll through socials, although that’s not much fun because you don’t want to like or comment and out yourself as the night owl you are.

Long ago I have learned how much can be achieved with little sleep. But as menopause is now upon me, I have let the period of early parenting natural wakefulness elongate right into menopausal sleeplessness. Plus, I have been slowly realising that what I can manage on four hours’ sleep is not what it used to be.

So the night before last I tried something revolutionary. I actually heeded the advice of the many sleep books out there. I didn’t look at a screen and let myself fall asleep naturally.

While not exactly able to pull the miracle off two nights running (because all those episodes of Grace and Frankie won’t watch themselves) it does feel important that I turn over a new leaf, pay attention to habits the support good sleep.

Then when listening to Martha Beck’s new podcast, Bewilderment (right at the end of Episode 4 if you want to know) the quote in the image for this blog leaped out at me. It does take courage to rest, to stop, to relax. Turn off the screens and let natural sleep do its thang.

Night night.

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