I Need Sleep Lessons
Sleep is one of those things we expect people to learn on their own, like eating or breathing. We don’t really teach people how to eat, even though they may need lessons to improve their relationship with food, and we don’t really teach people how to breathe, even though yoga studios offer lessons on how to full inflate your lungs.
Sleep falls into that category. We expect babies to know that at some point in their day, they should close their eyes and lose consciousness.
But I am living proof that not everyone naturally gets it.
I am really terrible at falling asleep and staying asleep. I’ve tried all the tips sleep experts offer up, and all of them are sound ideas for people who already know how to fall asleep. But that is my problem — I don’t know how to make myself sleep. It doesn’t naturally happen when I close my eyes. I can keep my eyes closed for hours, thinking about nothing, and I still don’t fall asleep. Nothing is keeping me up, in the same way that nothing is holding me back from fixing my own car except for the fact that I don’t know how to do it.
Sometimes I fall asleep by chance only to wake back up a few hours later. I am just as unknowledgeable at staying asleep as I am at falling asleep. I have never been able to nap unless I’m operating at such a sleep deficit that my body switches to autopilot.
There are a lot of articles on the importance of sleep, and I believe everything they say. There are manifestos about setting aside time for sleep, and posts about limiting screen time before bed, and articles about what to eat for a good night’s sleep.
But zero books that explain how to force your brain to take a few hours off.
Do you fall asleep and stay asleep easily?