Sunday, December 28, 2008

Sleep- Hormones and the Nature of the Mind-Body & Soul


Sleep, a solace to all mortals
Sleep, to some so natural
Sleep, to many so elusive
Sleep, to some so simple
Sleep, to some a real struggle
Sleep, for some, bountiful to envy
Sleep, for some, commodity to buy
Sleep, in it some walk riskily
Sleep, in it some talk profusely
Sleep, a gift to all human beings
Sleep, a basic necessity of life
Sleep well, wake up refreshed,
Step on to face daily challenges.

Rangarajan Kazhiryum Mannar

Information from this post and the poll cited taken from the National Sleep Foundation:

I ponder this early morn on the delicate & resilient walk as the Good Lord created us with such incredible complexity. Though I tend to consider myself a good sleeper, perhaps those most close to me tease about my sleep habits, as does my daughter who says I need "5 minutes".. truth be told I need about 6 hours, yet on vacation I am more likely to have a few days that span an entire 8 hours of time. Yet perhaps once a month I am rendered sleepless either if I am deep in thought, awaken by matters of the heart, awaken in pain-- particularly if the body is not in a state of homeostasis, or if I am just plain "not tired". ...

So I contemplate just now my current state of sleeplessness as perhaps a combination of thought, heart twinges, gentle questions and contemplations on life's journey, and a drop in Estrogen render me in a sleepless state. ... It boggles the mind that the mere failure to take my pill last night, would a few hours later awaken me in pain thus calling to the body to get up and take care of the self. ... Is not God's creation so wonderous, complex and mystical? ... I consider the power of sleep... According to a National Poll, at least half of all Americans experience some form of sleep disorder or insomnia each week. The mere thought boggles the mind, yet too perhaps amidst the numerous studies we prescribe sleep to folks and yet I do believe we all have unique needs for sleep and that it is far too simplistic to identify the precise amount of sleep needed for all persons, just as it is minimalistic to prescribe the exact diet. ... Yes, studies show less than 5 or more the 9 hours on average may lead to numerous health problems, yet the difference of 5 & 9 is substantial and I myself know that there are times I need 6, and times I need 8... so I listen to the body. I too have come to realize it makes no sense for me to lay in bed if I am rendered sleepless, I find if I get up, even for a half hour to an hour and drink tea and do something productive yet not too active (i.e. like visit a journal or blog :-) )... I am far more likely to either go back to sleep, or to feel productive for the next day, thus, I visit just now.

As I contemplate God's delicate yet resilient creation, I too think of the power of hormones. ... Though perhaps I contemplated whether to publicly post this on a blog, or more privately in my journal, I consider... why the contemplation? We all have hormones! ... I first hand witness the effects of low estrogen as it often renders me in pain, or affects cognition, mood, and other areas of daily performance. Though I am one to always hold to faith, hope, love and optimism, I too feel very deeply, and I am mindful that at times hormones perhaps bring me even more into touch with depth of thought and feeling in a unique way. As this Christmas has brought such joy in the visiting of friends, and last night with my side of the family, it too has brought sadnesses that touch the heart and at times the most tender of places. ..... Yet what a gift God gave us, in the ability to feel, to hope, to think, to contemplate, to cry, to laugh, and to love. Though perhaps better saved for another day, or a more personal blog space, ... I revisit a deep conversation with Mikaela and my aunt last night amidst dinner. Sandy has always been my favorite aunt and I have many fond memories of going to visit her and her partner(s) over the years. She was always a forward thinking woman who loved life, adventure, and like many on our side of the family was into sports, health and fitness long before it became "vogue". ...

Sandy spoke of being "true to the self"... and "true to the heart", something I have pondered deeply and spoken to God about numerous times over the past week. ... As she spoke, I witnessed my beautiful daughter take in her words as a sponge as she later said, "that was one of my favorite conversations we've had with your family... and so true". Though I did not speak many words in response,... I too gently stated, ... yes, dear, sometimes our greatest challenge and joy is finding that which we believe, who we are, and what lies in the depths of the heart....

So I close my random blog created in the early morn hours, contemplating the delicate yet resilient creation and dynamic interplay of the mind-body-spirit. ... Yes, some we may logically explain through science, yet contemplation of our unique make up, and matters of life, reason, faith and love, go way beyond science and venture into the spiritual realm.

Yeah, life is perplexing sometimes... and certainly isn't logical

but what a wonderous creation the Good Lord painted....

'Pure logic is the ruin of the spirit.'
Antoine de Saint-ExupŽry

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