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A Full Night’s Sleep

I went to sleep last night and didn’t wake up. No, not that (or logically, I wouldn’t be typing this, right?) I mean, I went to bed and got a full night’s sleep until morning light.

If you take my life and cut it into the size of a ruler, this statement has been true for 11 3/4 inches. One of my few talents has always been that I’m a cham-peen sleeper. I can do it for hours. When we used to drive from Charlotte to Jackson, I would go to sleep in the driveway and wake up when we arrived at Bigmama’s house. In those days, the trip took 12-13 hours. Daytime hours. After I’d had a full night’s sleep. I mean, I could sleep.

Not just could sleep. I had to sleep. As my kind Aunt Dean used to say, “You have always needed your sleep, even as a little girl.” Not just any sleep. I specifically needed morning sleep. So it did no good for me to go to bed early because I still needed to sleep deep into the morning (eight am has always been early for me.) Which is not to say I wasn’t adaptable. After all, I worked as a lawyer for almost twenty years. At one point, when we opened a new office, I was clicking on the lights at five or six o’clock every morning because the workload demanded it. But it wasn’t my biological preference.

Now, my sleep cycles roll like the ocean. They wax, they wane. I sleep fine for a while, solid. Then it fails. I wake at 2:30 or 3:00, and I’m up until 5:30 when I briefly sleep before the day must begin. I hold on during the day, not giving into a nap, and sleep exhausted that night. Which allows me to get a full night’s sleep.

They say sleep changes with age, but apparently that’s more about going to bed earlier and rising earlier or medications that interfere with sleep, neither of which is my issue. Which leaves anxiety, which wouldn’t be surprising. Times have been anxious lately. This leaves me wondering if, when that resolves, will I return to the person I’ve always known for whom sleeps comes easy and spreads as velvet as night?

Black and tan pup with her chin on my thigh encouraging me to get a full night's sleep
My bestest companion to get a full night’s sleep.

anxiety effect on sleep, sleep cycles as you age, sleep habits

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