Monday, April 28, 2008

Why can't I sleep?

"You won't sleep well during the short part of your menopause when you may be swept by waves of volcanic heat, shiver through arctic chills, have sweat rivering through your bedclothes, and feel powerful surges of emotion. There may be times when your mind and hormones and memories make a crazy quilt of your dreams and days. Surely you wouldn't expect to sleep peacefully through that.

"Inspiration may shake you awake before dawn. Be ready to receive the gifts of this Change, whether awake or asleep. Be ready; what you thought were walls are veils...."

Grandmother Growth, from Susun Weed's new Menopausal Years the Wise Woman Way

It would be nice to have the luxury of napping whenever and wherever we feel the urge to catch up on lost sleep. Especially for those of us who work during the day, a little power nap would be great, if we could allow it for ourselves.

Sleep is one of those things you just can't do without, yet it doesn't come when it is bidden. For pregnant or nursing moms and hormonally challenged menopausal women, sleep is elusive. It is the one thing that makes you feel crazy if you don't get enough of it. And yet, sometimes it's the first thing we skimp on to make room in our busy lives for more 'activity'.

What if we saw more sleep not as a lazy person's habit but as a spiritual practice?

I was shocked when I read this in The Woman's Quest by Alexandra Pope, that sleep is "a powerful spiritual practice and the most powerful of all for overworked women." She goes on to say it works wonders for our being at all levels. Especially around the time of our period, and during the Pause. It could be the extra dream time we need, or a time of rest and repair.

If we look at the menstrual cycle as our inner guidance system, then it would make sense that when you feel sleepy, you let yourself sleep. Consider it an ally, and a way to be kind to yourself. Make an effort to get to bed at a regular hour every night, and find time during the day to have some down time, which may not be a nap but just a chill out time of doing less.

Somewhere, somehow, we need to nurture our need for sleep. Countering the 'productivity' machine is not easy, but in menopause, our bodies are clamouring for self-care. Slowing down while you eat, moving at the pace of your body instead of the pace of an overactive mind, taking cat naps wherever possible, writing down your dreams if you do wake up in the middle of the night, all these are ways of listening in to the Feminine.

enjoy the spring rain, take a nap!

musemother

1 comment:

Anita M. said...

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