Sleep is for the weak. Sleep the sleep of champions. Go, get your beauty sleep. I rebuke every spirit of Eutychus in this assembly. I can’t sleep. Darling, not now, I need to sleep. Sorry I was sleeping when your call came in. You sleep too much.
Random quotes from me about sleep. Sleep is just a hater. Saturday nights the way sleep flees from your eyes in bed and then resurfaces on Sunday morning you just know there’s a demon called Slumber collecting extra salary because of you.
For many years in my life I had trouble sleeping. In fact, since I was a baby I had trouble sleeping. My mum told me stories of how my eyes would be shining bright like a diamond at 2 am, and how my dad would sometimes fall asleep on his feet trying to put me to bed. I carried this into my teen years. I came alive in the night time, imagining all sorts of bad bad things and thinking about the retorts I should have given to the people who disrespected me during the day. I mean, I even used to think about the replies I would give to those about to disrespect me in the future. “What would be my response if so-so-and-so said or did this?” And my mind would run riot thinking through various scenarios and war games. When I woke up I would say my prayers and switch on my halo.
The annoying thing about this is I am a very light sleeper. If you open your mouth to call my name while I’m asleep I will open my eyes and say good morning before you can. Any mosquito singing in my ear will wake me up. Snoring used to be a problem too. I would have to wake you up and have you stay awake till I fell asleep. And the worst was heat. If the fan stopped turning for a minute I would be up sweating and complaining about Nigeria. So I could go to bed dead tired, sleep for 2 hours, wake up for a flimsy reason and be unable to fall back asleep.
Horror movies worsen the situation. Any sound outside my window and I’m reciting Psalm 23. It got so terrible I had to read the book of John in the Bible to fall asleep after watching some movies. For this reason, I still never watch horror movies till this day.
Midnight calls came from MTN at one point of my life. It was manna from heaven to my sleep deprived soul. Finally I had something to utilize my sleepless skills. I had regular customers to call every night and sometimes the customers clashed with each other and there was family quarrel. All my customers thought they were my only customer so you can imagine what would happen when they tried my number and saw call waiting. I wouldn’t be able to hang up the hot gist on the current line and when I called back hours later to apologize they would accuse me of phone cheating on them. The things I’ve been through in this life.
I had accepted sleeplessness as part of my life o jare (sorry, Thermocool). One day the devil showed me pepper in church. I woke up that Sunday yawning a bit after my night watchman duties and dragged through morning devotion and prepping for church. But by the time the sermon came on I could not focus. I badly wanted to receive the word of God but the demon of slumber kept pressing my head down. Talk about oppression. I tried taking notes to stay awake but I was forgetting how to spell IF and THE in my notes. My writing was all over the place. I would begin with one thought and end with another. And when I tried to review my notes later I couldn’t make sense of anything. I think I tried everything in the book: sitting up straight on the edge of my chair, staring unblinkingly at the pastor, biting my tongue and my lip, giving myself small uppercut punches, etc. The fan was also very relaxing and… and… Nothing worked. I was miserable.
I knew I had a problem but I didn’t know how to solve it. So I trudged on. I think I discovered the sleep affectors by mistake, experience and during my world travels.
They say the sleep of a labourer is sweet. I didn’t know this when I started exercising regularly. I would work myself so hard that at night I would collapse on the bed and sleep the sleep of champions. I also found out that listening to exciting music, watching exciting movies or having exciting conversations (Twitter take note) around bedtime did not help either. I had to bore myself to sleep with a boring book (academics) or soothing music. Even prayer was a good one. Remember how the apostles slept whenever Christ took them to pray? Yes! I think the Slumber demon is upset every time we kneel down to pray. So if you stay awake, it’s good. Pray harder. If you fall asleep, mission accomplished. Pray harder when you wake up. I hear clean sheets, curtains, windows and mosquito nets also help. When there’s dust in the clothes around you (or you went to bed without a refreshing, relaxing bath) your breathing might be impaired and your sleep shallow. Also, the whole late eating thing doesn’t help. Your stomach is supposed to be asleep at night, not busy grinding and digesting fufu and oha soup. Fix up please. If you want to be serious, you can try to limit your water intake before you go to bed to avoid waking up to pee in the night. Oh and having an air conditioner working well helps a whole lot. If you are married you can cuddle to bed. (That will likely be the topic of another post).
So there! Fellow insomniacs I hope you can learn from my experiences. Be committed to the fight against irregular sleep and we will be there at the end to cheer you during your victory lap.
See y’all tomorrow 🙂
Fear-of-GOD is a school in skilled living— first you learn humility, then you experience glory. (Prov. 15 vs 33, The Message)
P.S. I really enjoyed Proverbs 15.