I wonder what it would be like to be one of those people who sleep soundly virtually every night of their lives. I never have, not since I was a kid. Last night, though, I slept deeply & almost continuously. The extent to which sleep, or my waking relationship to sleep, has directed the currents of my life is extensive. When I think of my childhood, for instance, I often think of lying awake, sometimes in fear of night noises, sometimes listing to rock & roll on a tiny transistor radio under my pillow. Nine volt batteries were expensive and an eleven year old boy needed to hoard their power, deciding on a particular night whether to sip or binge.

Author: jd

Joseph Duemer is Professor of Literature Emeritus at Clarkson University in northern New York state. His most recent book of poems is Magical Thinking from Ohio State University Press. Since the mid-1990s he has spent a good deal of time in Vietnam, mostly Hanoi. He lives with his wife Carole & five terriers (four Jack Russells & one Patterdale) on the stony bank of the Raquette River in South Colton.

2 thoughts on “Sleep”

  1. There are a lot of contributing factors to sleeping soundly. A few of them are 1) mattress quality, 2) purity of breathable air, 3) lighting (or lack thereof), 4) temperature, 5) presence or lack of moving air, 6) presence or lack of ambient sounds, and 7) mental state prior to sleep.

    Do you find yourself frequently going to bed with unresolved conflicts or projects hanging over your head? These can powerfully affect the quality of your sleep as well.

    Best of luck.

  2. Technically, I guess, the above comment might be considered commercial spam, which I usually delete. But the comment is actually filled with real information, so I let it stand. To respond, I find that using ear plugs helps me stay asleep once I get to sleep. And we do need a new mattress, though the one we have isn’t a total wreck. We recently installed very dark shades in the bedroom, which helps me stay asleep, too. I used to go to bed filled with worries, but I seldom do that now.

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