Experience as a Flashlight
“I’m Only Sleeping” (Beatles)
When I wake up early in the morning
Lift my head, I’m still yawning
When I’m in the middle of a dream
Stay in bed, float up stream (float up stream)
Please, don’t wake me, no, don’t shake me
Leave me where I am – I’m only sleeping
The clock’s numbers seemed frozen in time. My staring didn’t help. I couldn’t get back to sleep and I didn’t know what to do with myself. I thought about the next day and how hard it would be to make it through. I would probably have a dull headache. My brain wouldn’t function at full capacity. I would go through the day in a daze.
During other sleepless nights I have tried to outsmart the sleeplessness. I tell myself “as long as I can’t get to sleep, I might as well do some work.” While thinking about what I could be doing, I usually fall back to sleep. Other times I have thought about all the people who need my prayers and after starting down my list, the next thing I know it is morning.
Sometimes I have tried wearing myself out doing push-ups until I dropped. This seemed to release any anxiety and tension and I usually fell back to sleep rather quickly.
The experts at a local sleep clinic had me for one night and told me I had a slight case of sleep apnea and a CPAP (continuous positive airway pressure) device would probably help. I endured long lectures on how to use the device, but in the end I had to return it because I kept tearing it off during the night, not to mention scaring myself when I got up to use the bathroom and looked in the mirror.
Nowadays I use a little strip that opens up air passage into my nostrils. This plus a cold glass of water and a couple of Tylenol tablets help me most days. If that doesn’t work, I know the last thing that will work is staring at the clock. That just adds to the frustration. There are things I can do to help myself in this as well as many other difficulties in life. If all else fails, I can pray. That seems to tamp down exasperation faster than anything.