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.

1970-04-00-julie-in-crib-spring-1969

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© 2016 by Julie Ryan. All rights reserved
No part of this document may be reproduced or transmitted in any form or by any means, electronic, mechanical, photocopying, recording, or otherwise, without prior written permission of Julie Ryan.

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