It was like I’d forgotten what it meant to be sleepy.
I wrote a few weeks agoabout trying to see sleep as the gentle restorative time it’s supposed to be rather than the time I’m not getting things done – cleaning, cooking, writing, exercising. That was all a nice idea, but I was still pretty revved up and having a hard time putting my brain and my computer on standby before 1:30 a.m. Not until I had a craniosacral therapy appointment did I realize how profoundly not tired I’d been.
The therapist did not say my system seemed agitated or “upregulated” as she’s said before. In fact, she thought I was doing well; my rhythm had more “amplitude” and I seemed generally calmer than the last time I saw her. But she also said we had a “really deep session,” which I knew. I completely dropped down into another level of calm. After the session was over and she left the room with the instructions to take my time and get up gently, I fell asleep.
Later on that night, my husband I had 9:00 p.m. reservations for Restaurant Nora, the organic restaurant near Dupont Circle in Washington, DC. My mother-in-law was visiting, and she’s the only one who’s ever put our son to bed. We had a nice drive in, and I was still glad we were having date night, but I was so tired I could hardly see straight. All I kept thinking about was being home and being asleep. I remembered the same thing happening several months before — for a few weeks after a treatment I actually felt like going to bed early. This work is powerful.
The contrast between that feeling and my regular pep was profound. I’ve enjoyed having high energy, but I also know I’ve been a little snippy and impatient with my son, the kind of attitude that comes from the body not replenishing its sleep stores for several days in a row. I’m pretty sure my son was feeling that energy, too. Sleeping only from 2:00 a.m. to 6:00 a.m. (or earlier, if my son wakes to nurse earlier) and then nursing in a half-sleep off and on until 7:30ish does not give me the space and my body the time to unwind. And clearly, I was wound up, literally and energetically. My therapist helped me through some unwinding in my neck; that was when I stopped chatting and really sunk back into a quiet dark space behind my eyelids.
I enjoyed the food at dinner but, once we got home, I could hardly get into jammies fast enough. I was in bed by 11:30 p.m. and didn’t wake until E woke at 6:00 a.m. — a good run of sleep for him and for me. Normally I get up to pee before 5:00 even if I’ve only been in bed for three hours. This time I slept for seven uninterrupted. That’s probably a 26-month record!
A week from tomorrow morning, I will be running a half-marathon at 7 a.m., so this week’s project is to commit to going to bed before midnight so I can reasonably get up at 6:00 with rested rather than revved adrenals.
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