Sleep is like the unicorn

Sleep is such an important feature of our lives and in our house at the moment, we have opposite extremes on the sleep spectrum : we have Joshua who is sleeping for probably 23/24 hours a day, while he is unwell and we have me, who is wide awake now after just three hours deep sleep. I wonder if our bodies just know how much sleep we need at any given time and respond accordingly as it does seem so variable. I find it an interesting topic and people do spend a lot of time worrying about the amount of sleep that they either have, need or would like.

Why should it be that teenagers can stay asleep until lunchtime? you might think that it is because they are up all night on social media or playing computer games, but Joshua does neither of those things yet he still exhibits teenaged sleeping habits. That implies that it is a physical need for sleep to me. While he is ill, he is only sleeping and I like to think that in sleep, that he is healing himself. I brought him downstairs about 5pm yesterday for a change of scene and to try to give him something to eat. I put ‘The Show’ on blasting out to encourage some dancing/physical exercise, but to no avail, he simply curled up on the settee and resumed his deep sleep. He was not interested in either music or food, two of his favourite activities, thus showing just how ill he feels.

Whereas for me ‘sleep is like the unicorn – it is rumoured to exist, But I doubt that I will see any’. I went to bed, exhausted, unable to keep my eyes open, last night and fell immediately into a deep sleep. Yet three hours later, here I am, wide awake again. Is that a feature of my life-stage , like Joshua’s teenager tendencies? They do say that you need less sleep as you get older, or might it be the impact of 15 years of disturbed sleep, that my body does not know how to behave normally any more! Whatever the reason, I do not stay in bed battling to recapture the elusive state any more, these days I get up when I wake up and potter about. I may go back to bed as it becomes light or maybe not. Right now I am off to put the kettle on….

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