It sounds like the title for a children’s book, doesn’t it?
In case you were on your chair edges, wondering how I am after yesterday’s gloom-o-rama, I am fine. Nothing like the grouper special at Bistro Aix and a good night’s sleep to set a person right. I think I discount the role of tiredness in my occasional despondency. As much as I read about the benefits of sleep, eight hours of downtime seems like a copout to me. And after a lifetime of insomnia, sleep is a foreign country I have just begun, in year three of my sobriety, to explore.
Appetites and Good Nights…
Now that I am sober, I have an appetite. I am also what might be described as a “good sleeper”. It’s funny, because to hear Lauren tell it, she never saw me eat during her entire childhood. And I am the one who used to sniff at my husband as he burrowed into the duvet and said, “I’m going to take a little schluff.” He’s English. It means nap. As in the middle of the afternoon…
These days, I eat (I am embarrassed to say this) with the gusto of a lumberjack. I also fall asleep at a reasonable time and slumber through the night (although it took a while for my sleep patterns to improve after I quit drinking). For those who have slept on the great-room daybed in my house in The Bahamas and had to suffer the 4 a.m. clanging of soup pots, this is a welcome state of being. But for me, it feels a bit like a capitulation. I’m working on that.
There’s a reason I used to have insomnia.
Drinking makes a healthy person fall asleep quicker, and sleep more deeply for a while, but it reduces REM sleep. The more you drink, the more pronounced these effects. According to the WebMD, the benefits of sleep are really similar to the benefits of sobriety:
- Better health;
- Better sex life (at least a better remembered sex life);
- Less pain;
- Lower risk of injury;
- Better mood;
- Better weight control;
- Clearer thinking;
- Better memory;
- Stronger immunity.
I have to go. I am going to burrow down into some cool, white sheets and take a schluff (it’s interesting how sobriety makes you understand your ex-spouse a bit better too…).
Today I’m not drinking because I think I like the fact I’ve become a “good sleeper”…