Happy Mortal

This life, well-lived.

Gratitude Friday: Sleep


I often work long hours. Lunches and breaks aren’t scheduled and certainly aren’t guaranteed. The pace is generally fairly hectic. Some months require me to work weekends and frequent 30-hour shifts. It is not particularly rare for me to forget to go to the bathroom in the midst of it all. I love it. What I love more? SLEEP.

This month I get the best of both worlds: Shift Work!

This means that I know when to show up and I know when I get to leave. I’m working four 8-hour shifts/week and life is good! Busy shifts with interesting things going on, but still plenty of time to sleep. Plenty of time, that is, in theory!

Today I stopped to reflect on all I have to be grateful for in my life, and I found myself completely overwhelmed by the sheer number of beautiful and positive aspects of my life. From the simple to the profound, from the warm weather today to the love of family and the satisfaction of being in a career that I love – life is good and I cannot deny that I have been blessed. It got me thinking, how does my gratitude for these blessings show up in my life? What does gratitude look like, day in, day out?

It strikes me that one way to put gratitude into action is to respect the things that I have been given. When I receive a gift I am truly grateful for, I put it to good use and I take good care of it.

It has come to my attention that I have not been taking very good care of my sleep hygiene. Even when given this beautiful opportunity to get enough sleep, I just don’t. My time schedule unfortunately ends up looking quite similar to that of the poor schmuck in the cartoon above.  And I have no excuses! No kids, no pain, no true insomnia, no loud neighbors, nothing … just a love of staying up late.

Am I alone out there? Do you get enough sleep? Could you if you tried? If you do, how do you go about it? Does it come naturally? If you don’t, what gets in your way?

I cannot say how long it will last. But today I am going to make a commitment to show my gratitude for this beautiful schedule by taking advantage of this wonderful opportunity to do what I love … SLEEP.

One Comment

  1. I used to be the worst insomniac. And when I wasn’t having an insomniac period I would still postpone sleep.

    For me I think it was the combination of being afraid of missing something, the fact that my artist brain kicks in at about 11 at night (hence all nighters of painting or drawing) and that in some deep way below the surface way I was afraid of dying. Going to sleep every night was like the end.

    Making the decision to treat my sleep time in a bit more sacred manner has made a huge difference in my daily life. I love sleep. Why did I always treat is as something so subsidiary to my experience?

    I’d love to hear if you enjoy the change.