Wednesday, March 20, 2013

Perchance to Sleep

When I'm 'sick', I sleep--pretty much around the clock. It's been that way at least since I was felled by the dastardly flu when I was eleven. This is completely counter to the standard expectation in our culture where sleeping is often viewed as laziness. The corporate structure is not designed to cope with employees who are at home sleeping.

Women who are sleep deprived are more susceptible to heart disease, a host of ailments such as diabetes and thyroid issues, and stroke (I've been there on most of the list because I was probably the most sleep deprived person in New York during my forties and fifties).

Even in my retirement, there's residual guilt about sleeping. I wonder why that is?

Of all the ways the body recovers from illness, sleep is the safest, most natural, and least expensive. It's also often the first signal of impending illness. When I reach that flat-on-my-back-can't-seem-to-stay-awake stage, I generally surrender and crawl under the covers. I'm not talking about the bed-and-book stage. Or the bed-and-television bit. No, when I go to bed for recovery, it's lights out, warm comfy covers, and surfacing only for bathroom breaks and meds. As long as I'm sleeping around the clock...I'm still in healing mode.

Now since women are more affected by sleep deprivation than men are, what's the most romantic thing a man can do for his woman? Make sure she gets her eight hours every night.



  1. Oh Anny - you nailed it. I've always felt guilty about needing more sleep than my husband. But I love, covet, crave a good night's sleep.

    1. Yep, Julia. I need my sleep. And when I'm not tip-top shape, I need a LOT more.