Tuesday, December 27, 2011

Oh sleep, why hast thou abandoned me

The sun is working its way down the skyline. It's slow descent will end behind the Big Horn mountains, blanketing Sheridan in darkness until its reemergence on the morrow.

Currently it's creeping into my office, working its way up the back of my legs, resting on my back, shoulders and head. Its heat acts as a gentle blanket filling me with the urge to sleep. Working in tandem with the sun is the low hum of the portable heater I use to fend off the cold Wyoming winter air. It's vibrations are almost rhythmic, lulling me further into slumberous temptations.

Mid afternoons have to be the hardest for me. This is the time that I would much rather be snoozing than doing anything else. It's interesting then, that napping is not something I do.

Although this year has been different. Sundays I find myself stretched out on the couch watching whatever football game is on the television. Usually by the third quarter I find myself in a semi-napping state. I can hear the world going on around me, but I am on the precipice of sleep; willing to take the plunge, but not quite there. I snap to before the third quarter ends and peel myself off the couch.

It would be nice if I could transfer my mid-afternoon tiredness to the night time. Instead I find myself lying in bed for nearly an hour begging for sleep to wrap me in her arms. She is a cruel vixen - teasing me when I can't have her, staying far away when I need her most.

I tried several ways to induce sleep. I try to do deep breathing, unwinding two hours before bed, reading until tired and so on. Nothing seems to work.

Usually I can feel sleep starting to wash over me, but in the end it eludes me.

Often times it is my own mind that keeps me awake. I find myself thinking about the day, current events, songs, friends and more. My mind becomes so full of thoughts that I am unable to dump it and relax. So I lay prone in my bed and think.

My wife has no problems sleeping, as is evidenced by her snoring. She enjoys watching television before bed and, after shutting it off, can fall asleep in what seems like seconds. It's frustrating when I have been lying there for more than an hour trying to sleep.

I once read that the problem with trying to sleep is that fact that your are "trying." By "trying" it would indicate that you are engaging in some form of activity and therefore unable to relax fully. I am not entirely sure I believe that, but whatever.

Until then I will enjoy the warm caress of the afternoon sun; the lulling of my portable heater; the solitude of my office. Maybe, just maybe, I will be able to sleep tonight.