Opinion: Not losing sleep over lost sleep

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Friends, it’s taken me 50-plus years to realize that sometimes, despite my best efforts, I’m not going to sleep a wink. And that’s OK.

The other night is a prime example. I climbed into bed at my usual 8:30 p.m., read a few chapters of my latest YA fantasy book (a pre-erotica Sarah J. Maas that I am luv-ing), snuggled under my weighted blanket, turned on the sound machine, donned my mask and hit the lights. And lay there, body tired but mind racing: Grading assignments; kids; COVID-19; student loans; a weird leg mole; 2024; Dad in heaven; laundry; 2023; menopause; global warming; pie; assassins; “The Great British Bake Off”; pandas; hair dye …  nooooooo!

After a few hours of this, I got up to use the bathroom, practiced some deep breathing and returned to my happy place, only to continue to toss and turn. On my back, then on my stomach. On my right side, then on my left. Count backward from 99, mentally scan my body from scalp to big toe, name the presidents in order. Ugh. Nothing. All while my husband Doo snored away, the traitor.

Normally at this point, I would start to panic, but I kept calm with the mantra “You’re all right. You might be tired tomorrow, but you’ll survive.” Let’s use the bathroom again. More slow breathwork. Return to bed, rinse and repeat all the tricks and positions. Doze a little. Resist the urge to look at the clock. “You’re all right. You. Are. All. Right.”

Did I feel terrible the next day? Absolutely. But I got through it. Some nights I just won’t be able to sleep. And that’s OK.

Peace out.


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