Sleep is a funny thing- without it we perish but too much of it can destroy as we over sleep, miss work commitments, social interaction and generally flittering away our lives amongst the duvet.
Sleep comes to us all, sometimes easily. But other times I see sleep as some kind of old man in his night robe and cap, hiding around corners and evading our sight. Take just now for example; as I write this blog, it is half five in the morning of a day I, somewhat ironically, have off to rest. Waking up, I made the mistake of thinking about work and the game of hide and seek begun. Where is Sleep? Is he hiding in our bathroom, knowing that I will never look for him there? Is he chilling out in our living room, giving me at least a fighting chance to be able to tag him and exclaim “you’re it!!”? Or has he used up all his resources on my husband and the dog, both fast asleep and breathing deeply?
Sleep is a basic human need. But possibly the only need that, at some point, is denied to us all. We all know what it is like to sleep badly the night before and go through the day in a haze. And, as I get older, I find it more difficult to battle through that haze and not let it affect me. Or, more accurately, the unfortunate people around me.
God created sleep, whether it was for our pleasure or for our fragile bodies, I do not know. Whether sleep became necessity before or after Adam and Eve ate from that tree, I do not know either; but what I do know is that, although God does not need sleep as such, He did rest after creating this world in which we live. Rest to refuel; rest to take a step back from work; rest to survey what you have achieved and say ‘it is good’; rest.
In this fast paced, modern world where we are all getting increasingly busy; particularly in the UK where we work longer hours and spend far too much of our week in motorway ‘car parks’, Old Man Sleep is the first thing to be shunned. As we try to work our 40+ hours a week we cram in our five-a-day whilst getting our few hours exercise, cooking healthy meals, finding the best bargains, spending quality time with family and friends and developing our skills to keep up with a fast-paced marketplace.
Poor Old Man Sleep. Maybe it isn’t so unreasonable that, when we finally get round to giving him some attention, he isn’t always there at our beck and call. I imagine he is a bit of a mischievous fellow; proven by all those unusual dreams and all those times when you lie awake for hours and fall asleep moments before your alarm goes off, stealing the best sleep you have ever had.
Enough of these musings. Time to seek this old man of who we speak.
And so, to bed.