Wednesday, February 19, 2014


Insomnia has been a problem for me--maybe even going back to childhood.  I know I would get up and tell my parents that I couldn't get to sleep.  One of them would crawl in with me and start snoring while I lay awake!

This past week has reminded me of the many nights I have lain awake--and thus caused more such nights this week.  Last Saturday NPR posted an article recommending cognitive therapy for insomnia.

 I read it and knew I needed to practice what it said--but the harder one tries to follow suggestions, the worse it can get.  During the night, I decided I was not ever going to be able to play the difficult organ prelude I had chosen for the church service and I opted for an easier one.  This was not a good thing to be thinking about at 2:30 am!

Then later in the week I brought years of journals to Pokagon State Park with the goal of purging the private, therapeutic stuff in them and leaving the good or at least important memories that I wanted to share with my children someday.    I got through five of them, tearing out page after page of the recording of sleepless nights and other issues.    It served my purpose at the time to vent in my journal but at this point, there was pain in remembering and accepting my frailties!  However, there was also so much good stuff to remember in the middle of it all--some of which I have already shared with Dan who said that his dear Raven is always eager for more little Danny stories.

Yesterday Laura posted a story on her blog of a sleep-deprived mother and asked for advice.

Many readers responded  and once again I was reminded of those difficult years of being awake in the middle of the night when your life is controlled by children.   One mother posted this:

 One of the WORST things about long-term disrupted sleep is that – at least in my case – it can cause insomnia even though you are totally exhausted. 

I know that is what happened to me.  It is not true that if you are tired enough, you will sleep!

How is this related to retirement?  I am thankful that I don't have to be up for a class today.  I don't have to drive in the snow and ice to work.  I can take a nap this afternoon.  It's OK to be 67 and retired and not have as many demands on one's life.  

Somewhere recently I read that the mealtime grace "For these gifts we are about to receive, we give you thanks" is also a good one for a bedtime prayer.  A good night of sleep is a wonderful gift. 

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