By Rosie Moore

William Shakespeare, that renowned author from long ago, once wrote in his play, Macbeth, “Sleep….knits up the raveled sleeve of care….sore labor’s bath, balm of hurt minds…chief nourisher in life’s feast.”

That sentence sums it up for me. One of my favorite movies is “Sleepless in Seattle.” The main character, played by Tom Hanks, that versatile actor, had trouble sleeping because he missed his deceased wife so desperately. That is one of the reasons we deprive ourselves of sleep. The death of a loved one, financial worries, all kinds of major or minor cares come to visit us once we hit the pillow and try to go to sleep.

I looked up “sleep” on Google and here’s what it said: “Sleep is a naturally recurring state of mind characterized by altered consciousness, relatively inhibited of nearly all voluntary muscles and reduced interactions with surroundings. “What?” you say. In layman’s terms, sleep is your body relaxing, period. As you fall asleep, activity of the body slows down. Body temperature, heart rate and energy use all decrease. Sleep patterns vary widely between human and animals. Most people know there are two types of sleep, REM and Non-REM. REM can consist of four or five cycles a night and most of them occur during the latter part of the night, perhaps just before waking up. Here are some ways to insure a good night’s sleep: A little exercise two hours before going to bed.

No eating two or three hours before. Soak in a warm bath, read a book, or listen to soothing music. Avoid nicotine. Restrict fluids. Avoid spicy and fatty foods. If you can’t get to sleep, get out of bed and do something monotonous in a dim light until you are sleepy.

I sleep eight or nine hours, not because I do a lot of strenuous work during the day but I think it’s because I don’t do the things I used to do any more. And I have funny dreams just before I wake up; dreams about a little boy who doesn’t have enough clothes to go to school, can’t find his shoes, or only has one sock. Or I’ll dream a lot about babies, cute, adorable babies but I don’t know who they are. Sometime I’m going to look up on Google and find out what these dreams mean.

One way to fight insomnia is: DON’T watch the 11 p.m. news!

Thought for the day: As we grow old, the beauty steals inward. Ralph Waldo Emerson

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