Superpower – #resound11

Faster than a speeding bullet. More powerful than a locomotive. Able to leap tall buildings in a single bound … we know you’ve got one. What’s your 2011 superpower?

For those of you going what the what … stop. Think about it for a moment: what have you learned that you can do better than anyone you know this year? What can you do that no one else can?

MB & Yoda's bedtime ritual. Image by Chris Welsh

I have a specialized ability that is the envy of many.  My dear partner C. says it is my superpower, and he should know.

My superpower is. . .

SLEEP.

In a dangerously sleep-deprived society, those of us who can get a good night’s sleep are at a decided advantage.  We are safer overall, our immune systems function optimally, we process stress better and think more clearly than those who can’t get to sleep at night.

As for my own sleep habits:  I start “circling the drain” by about 9:30 or 10 p.m. most nights.  If I can be in bed by 10, I might read until 11 or so.  Then, lights out and I am asleep within one minute on most nights.  I rarely set an alarm unless I have an appointment before 8:30 a.m., as I wake up on my own by 7 a.m.

I wake up slightly when I roll over, or when a cat comes to visit — but am able to get right back to dreamland.  Sometimes I wake up for a trip to the bathroom, if I am drinking enough water as I should.  However, I think mothers learn during their pregnancies to somnambulate as needed.  This sleepwalking skill persists even after the children are grown and gone, if it is cultivated and maintained. If my sleep is interrupted, I can be awake enough without being totally awake.

This is my biological clock, my biorhythm, and my preference.  I love to wake up early in the morning, feeling rested and ready for the day.  On the weekends, if conditions are right (low light, cool temperatures, snuggly sheets) I can sleep for 10 or 12 hours.  I don’t make a practice of it — I just trust my body to know what it needs.

The flip side of this regular, sleep-satisfied rhythm is what I call my “benign manic states,” and they occur three or four times a year.  If I am working on an idea or project and find a flow, I can work, play, and stay up for an all-nighter with energy that a seasoned college student would be proud to match.  I prop myself up the next day with a little coffee and a lot of protein, and go to bed early for the next couple of nights.  It is always well worth the temporary sacrifice.  I am thankful that I can choose to do this when I want, and that my life’s demands do not require that I live like this as the norm.

Most Feldenkrais teachers can help you to discover the ability to go to sleep, or to get back to sleep if you should awaken.  There is also some very useful work called the Sounder Sleep System that is safe, effective, drug-free, and enjoyable.  This is a superpower that can be learned — and practice makes perfect!

I have a bit more work to do tonight, but I’m right on schedule to get to bed by 10. To all a good night!

Problems sleeping?  Leave a comment.  Other superpowers?  Let’s hear ’em!

[I’m posting daily (ish) during December as part of #resound11 and #reverb11.  Join us here.]

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