After a cold shower and breakfast of oatmeal, I began meditating. Within the first moment, sleepiness enveloped my body with abundance. I hadn’t felt like this while meditating all year.
Three minutes in, I noticed my eyes staring at a floodlight. I was lost in thought but unable to recall what I was thinking about. On a normal day, the pictures in my mind are as vivid as physical photos. This allows me to replay the mini-movie that my meditation session had been directing.
Unfortunately, today wasn’t a normal day. There was no rewind button. My mind was a blank page.
My eyes moved from the floodlight to the grass. My abyss-staring continued for the rest of my meditation session.
After meditating, I attempted to read a book. Paralyzed, I stared at the words on my Kindle without being able to move my eyes. I kid you not, I stared at the same word for three or four minutes without being able to read the damn word. I managed to read 3 pages over the next 18 minutes.
For the rest of the day, I continued to have paralyzing lapses, even while practicing yoga. I was bloody out of it. I wasn’t myself. Having slept a measly 5.9 hours the previous night, I was drunk on sleep deprivation. While I prefer to hit the hay by 9 p.m., I couldn’t resist Christmas caroling to end a wondrous family Christmas party.
On a normal night, I sleep for eight hours. I’m lucky. I jump out of bed between 5 and 6 a.m., eager to drown myself in a quick, cold shower. Yet, this morning I didn’t jump out of bed. I awoke at 5 a.m. to pee and then fell back asleep before crawling out of bed at 6:30 a.m.
Restful sleep is vital for health. It’s also vastly underrated. Sleep affects my mood and energy levels more than anything else. There is no superfood or fitness routine that comes close. You may not think the same is true for you but, well, it is.
A daily meditation practice will help you become more aware of how sleep affects you. If you think you don’t have time to meditate daily then I pose one question for you to consider: