Let me tell you about a time, a once upon a time time, when eight hours of sleep was not the longing of my daydreams, but actually my reality...every...single...night. I could even leisurely nap on Sunday afternoons, or any afternoon for that matter if I so desired. I could curl up
with a book, a blanket and doze a little if I wanted. Sleep was just a luxury I certainly took for granted. Ohhhh, those were the days of a rested body and an alert mind.
I remember a wise old aunt - actually she is not that old, but she is wise! - once said that if she could get six hours of sleep a night while taking care of her small children, she could make it. I remember thinking that was a good standard to remember when the time came in my life when it would apply. Looking back, it was never clear as to whether or not those six hours had to be in a row or if they could be broken up, say into an infinite amount of segments. For the sake of my own sanity and the need to feel like this standard of success applies to my life, I am going to pretend it can be broken up into as many sections as my most recent night demanded. Say three or even four. And sometimes I even do creative math rounding the hour up or down, just so long as the hours of sleeping time add up to six. Knowing that she successfully survived that time in her life when sleep was rationed, I have faith that I, too, can make it.
The question I just can't figure out is: If my body can miraculously form a child in my womb using a variety of hormones to stimulate and monitor the progression of a fetus, why can't the amount of sleep I am required to sustain myself as a human being subside? Can't that hormone be manipulated? Can you imagine all that we could accomplish if we could get by with less sleep?? I am not even talking about leisurely activities...I am talkin' a clean house! I admit sometimes I pretend my body does not need as much sleep as it actually does and I stay up much too late only to be reminded the next morning that I am bound by the laws of nature. The dark circles under my droopy eyes are the clear indication that I am -in fact- not invincible contrary to my desire. I do occasionally test this facet though I have yet to yield any other result...unfortunately.
I guess I do need to remember that while my sleep patterns are unpredictable from night to night and six hours a night is more of a goal than a standard, it really is only for a fleeting moment in my life that I am burdened with the lack of sleep. The time will soon come again when I will take eight hours of sleep for granted and leisurely take naps at my own discretion curled up with a book and a blanket. But until then, I will realize the sacrifice I am making is worth it...difficult, but worth it. And I will continue to daydream of sleep.