Sleeping Beauty ©
Sleep is a great thing, it’s a form of food, an hour before twelve is better than 2 after. We all recite this as we encourage our kids to go to bed, and then again in the morning when they cannot get out of bed. Sleep is good, it’s a bear necessity, just ask Baloo from the Jungle Book. With a good night’s rest we can face any dawn.
Lack of sleep makes us very grouchy without any Marx, it leaves bad marks on our day, on all our interactions, we are not fully switched on. So a good night’s rest is better than any medicine. So how do you get ready for bed? Some say exercise before bedtime makes us tired so that we fall asleep quickly.
Switch all those gadgets OFF, don’t fill our mind with rubbish, or work, or anything. Perhaps we should all listen to the Book at Bedtime. Or a bit of passion to wear us out before bedtime. A cup of cocoa or any other metaphor, or just the real thing, a cup of cocoa, or ovaltine, whatever warm drink you prefer.
So you are all ready for bed, then you must have a cosy bed to lie in. Soft pillows and enough blankets. When I grew up duvets were not invented, yes we did have one eiderdown in the whole house, buy blankets were king. In winter we’d all have 5 or 6 blankets, and they were so heavy, you could hardly breathe.
Then there was no central heating either, a sheet of ice would be on the windows in the morning. Double glazing had not been invented either. And if you wanted the toilet in the night, you would have to go outside.
A bed would have rubbish mattresses on them, nothing compared to today. And they were all stripy as were the pillows, like prison issue, black and white stripes. I did treat myself to a nice bed and mattress when I moved home, and a duvet too. Becoming middle class I supposed.
Once in bed sleep leads to dreams, your own private cinema in your head, though Salvador Dali seems to be the projectionist. Strange dreams, nice dreams and nightmares too, my latest dream had me teaching again, I don’t know what classification of dream that is. Though using my books as teaching tools is a kind of dream I now having, a waking dream, a hope.
You wake up and then you cannot get back to the same dream, or when you awake you forget the dream. Why do we forget dreams, is it a rule, a law of bedtime, only Peter Pan can remember dreams, he is a dream pirate.
If you are very lucky you sleep through the night, and awake refreshed, I wonder is this a rarity in today’s world. Shifts and stuff challenge the natural rhythm, we get up in the dark and go to work. Cave men only lived in daylight, they followed nature.
One job I had was the graveyard shift, 6pm to 2.30am, I’d wake up my taxi driver and then get home by 3am, I’d never be in bed till 4am. Though I did discover that this time aided reproduction. It took me 3 months to deprogram my body so I slept when I went to bed and not stay awake for hours till 4am chimed. Though I then automatically woke up at 4am instead.
Sleep and a good bed are essential, it’s what makes us civilised, and children of all ages just love bouncing on beds. Watching a child’s joy as they count the bounces on a new mattress is such a great thing. So tonight when you go to bed and before you snuggle down like Baloo the bear, just do one thing for me, bounce on your bed.