When there’s no place to run to, I take refuge in sleep. It heals me when I’m hurt, soothes me when I’m agitated, takes me away from the realities that I can’t do anything about. If I sound like an escapist it’s because sleep lets me escape temporarily from this world. It’s like amnesia for my overworked mind.
And I seek it whenever I can. It keeps me healthy, pretty, fresh. I can sleep off my exhaustion, boredom, anger, pain. When I’m happy, content, drunk, I sleep fitfully too. I hit the bed, close my eyes and there’s no thought between me and sleep then, not unless I want there to be.
I also seem to need more sleep than other people and studies say that’s a sign of stress. Oh well, I didn’t say I wasn’t stressed, I just said that sleep helped me deal with stress better.
It’s all I could ask for. I’ve seen too many insomniacs battle not just their sleeplessness but also so many issues in life. If I sleep well, I take it as a sign that everything’s alright in my life, that I don’t have problems that will give me sleepless nights, that my mind is getting it’s share of rest and is ready for the next day. And that’s more than one reason to be thankful for.
My grandmother had a strange way of sleeping: at any time in the night you would find her sitting on her bed and dozing off. She felt responsible for every member in the family, never could lie back, close her eyes and sleep like she had no cares in the world. Old age does that to you – takes the sleep away.
But this dozing off in the chair runs in the family. Both, my dad and his brother would invariably go off to sleep sitting in the chair and watching television. Now my husband does that too – dozes off while watching TV. He says it’s his lullaby!
The same uncle and a friend from his college days developed a strange relationship years after they had passed out of college. They would visit each other regularly with their families, and while everyone chatted, they both fell asleep on the sofa. Such comfort it must have been for them to be in each other’s company!
On the other hand, my mum couldn’t go off to sleep without reading something. And my sis still wants to hear a story before she can sleep. When we were in school, I’d let my imagination run free, cook up stories for her only to find out she’d slept off much before I’d ended. (I shall tell you more about the art of storytelling in an upcoming post). And when I was staying with friends during college days, we talked in the night till we could talk no more, stayed up till our eyes refused to stay open! Even now, I love a talkathon before I sleep.
What’s your sleepy story?