Sunday, November 14, 2010
Many recent studies point to a single factor as the most important contributor to good health. To keep your brain facile and plastic, retain memory, strenthen the immune system, stay positive and cheerful, reduce anxiety and stress, successfully heal from injury and surgery, recover from traumas of all kinds ... drum roll ... the Very Most Important Thing is: sleep. (Sound of a single, loud strike on the high hat cymbal.) Indeed, sleep deprivation is a form of torture. Those who go without sleep become psychotic. Prolonged sleeplessness will actually kill you. What a hideous way to die!
Getting good, consistent sleep where I live, on the American east coast, especially in the cities, is like rowing upstream without the proverbial paddle. Sleep deprivation is a way of life here. Getting enough sleep is seen as a sign of laziness or lack of motivation. I hear people say things like I shouldn't need this much sleep. What does that mean? Based on what? It's so weird, but maybe that's the sleep deprivation talking. Who knows?
I am ordinarily a great sleeper (thank you God!) There are exceptions, however, including the last few days. My sleep has been disturbed by powerful dreams, astral visitations, unexplained fits of sudden wakefulness and plain old insomnia. Too much sleeplessness makes Reya a dull girl, oh yeah.
I'm hoping to invoke the Sandman tonight after my day of work. I'll count sheep (I've tried - it actually works), cast protective circles around my bedroom, drink warm milk (YUCK) if that's what it takes. Dang, man, I'm tired.