Sleeping is the foundation of my waking life. Without it, everything gets shaky. I’m short with my children and husband. I eat more than I should to keep my body going, and usually the wrong things. It takes so much energy to plough through the day that I lose my ability and desire to look ahead, to imagine and work toward a better reality, to consider new ideas. Sleepwalking through my daily routine, I don’t notice other people, I don’t see the beauty of the world around me, and I forget the blessings of this holy life.
According to recent studies, many of us are chronically sleep deprived. The fast pace of life, work, and the easy availability of everything around the clock lengthen the day. The glowing, blinking light of tv’s, computers, phones, and games make it hard for the mind to rest even after they are turned off. Good sleep doesn’t just happen anymore: it’s something we have to value and plan for. Sadly, getting enough sleep isn’t very high on our cultural must-do list.
So why are so many of us living a sleep deprived life? It can’t be because we feel better or happier. Could it be because we prefer a half-aware life with a few extra hours each day to a wide-awake one that includes restful nights of dreaming?
What is so important that it keeps me up at night? What is so critical that it robs you of sleep? It’s something I’ll explore this week. I hope you will, too.