My Kingdom of Sleep

From midnight until 6:00 am this morning, I had a mosquito violating one of my rules. I make a lot of rules when I’m trying to sleep: Mosquitoes should not be within ten feet of my head when I’m sleeping. My neighbors shouldn’t be allowed to drive their ATVs in the field around our house at 3:30 in the morning. Airplane stunt pilots shouldn’t be allowed to practice right above my house at 8:00 a.m. when I have the opportunity to sleep in. Crows shouldn’t be allowed in my yard. . . When I make the rules in my partially coherent state, I imagine them being handed to a herald from a royal court (circa 1620) who goes out among the public and unrolls an official scroll with the latest proclamation of the Queen for all to see.

In my waking existence I find myself desiring to accommodate everyone’s wishes and I have let people get by with doing outrageous things in my presence; but, I become pretty self-important in my unconscious state. I’m very protective of my sleep and I feel like a royal leader who has been threatened in some way when it is interrupted. I instantly jump in to guard my unconscious state by creating rules and boundaries that “should not” be violated. I have plenty of opportunity to feel royal because I am a very light sleeper and am usually aware of every sound and movement around me.

While I hate spending time sleeping because there’s so much else that could be accomplished during that time, it’s unfortunate that I can’t shut down easily during the night, because, I need around 8 – 10 hours of sleep to function well. I am susceptible to becoming severely ill if I don’t get enough sleep. So, I think it’s my extreme fear of being sick that drives me to make rules in my sleep – my body and my mind know how desperately I need to get good rest.

In my awake state, my body and my mind also know that I need to rest, but for some reason I have the conscious message stuck in my head that everyone else’s  needs are more important than mine. I don’t know if it’s a mom thing, a female thing, a boundary-less person thing, or what. But I do know that my desire to sleep often becomes secondary to everyone else. I will stay up late, get up early, and pass on a nap just to be able to do things for other people and their happiness.

If I could just treat myself like royalty in my conscious state and become my own herald, boldly announcing to all what my personal rules are, I just might have a chance at becoming a pretty healthy person. And then maybe every minute of my unconscious experience might not seem so precious. If that happens, I might be able to stop cursing ATVs, planes, crows, and mosquitoes and banishing them from my Kingdom of Sleep.

At 6:00 am I had finally had enough of feeling violated. I sat up and with my eyes still shut, I instinctively clapped my hands through the air around me as if I was doing a double-handed royal wave. Squish. I had successfully conquered my enemy and regained control of my kingdom, where I promptly returned to sleep.

I wish I could be the Queen of Me when I’m awake.


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© 2016 by Julie Ryan. All rights reserved
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