I didn’t sleep much the night before last.
Last night as I was waiting to fall asleep, I was thinking about sleep.
How do people fall asleep?
It’s not something that can be willed — you can’t just say, okay, I’m going to sleep NOW. Some people drop off more quickly than others, but I don’t think they just have a switch they turn off.
I often find myself starting to fall asleep, and as soon as I recognize that’s what’s happening, the observation wakes me up again — I have to shift position, I have to breathe, I have to rearrange the covers, I have to go to the bathroom, I have to get a drink, or I just have to lie there and wait again.
Someone said to me (who was it?) during PPD, when sleep deprivation was at its worst, that peace is more important than sleep. I think Joe has said similar things. Not that you can get by with peace instead of sleep, but that anxiety and panic and worry and willfulness is not going to make sleep more likely, and is going to make miserable the time spent not sleeping.
Finding peace when I can’t sleep is not a skill I am good at yet, but just having it in mind does help, especially when the anxiety peeks out from around the corner, wondering if this is a good time to get scared.