All you can think about is the couch.

When you’re hungry, tired, stressed, overworked… and the only place you want to be is on the couch.  To sink deep into the cushions, feel your eyelids get heavy, your breathing slow down; this is bliss.

You’ve read something about sleep.  An article probably slid through your FB newsfeed and you’ve clicked on it, read 3/5 of a summary of some sleep study at UCLA that  showed how people operating on minimal rest are just as dangerous behind the wheel as drunks, or how sleep scientists woke some poor college kid every time he entered REM sleep and took him from healthy to pre-diabetic in three weeks.

Rest is important.  Recovery essential.

The soundest advice I’ve read about rest is to make it consistent. Try to sleep the same hours every night.  Keep bed time and wake up time as religious for your 20/30/40 year old body as you would for a 6month/1/2 year old.  Even for you type A’s who only sleep 5 hours, make it the same 5 hours, and keep your naps consistent.

I’ve tried a thousand times to get this right, but being an adult gets in the way.  My schedule is a living, breathing thing.  Always moving, always changing.  I don’t think I’ve had the same schedule day to day or week to week in my adult life. I’m constantly playing catch up.  Even perfectly scheduled days can become an endless run of clients, scheduling, working out, programming, dog walking, cooking and commuting.

And all I can think about is the couch.

What sweet bliss awaits on the couch.  I’ll close my eyes and sink into the pillows, hit the reset button; problems wash away when my head hits the pillow and I don’t need to set the alarm?  This is bliss.  Earned.  It’s almost worth the sleep deprivation, the stress, the endless days and appointments to feel like this.

And yet sometimes you look for that bliss and it’s not there.  I lay there, bored, mind racing, can’t sleep.  I’m tired and can’t sleep.  All you can do is lay awake and think.

This summer I came down with walking pneumonia, a hamstring injury, a hip pain, a knee click.  My body is sending a message. Slow down.

All I’ve had is the couch.

And all I can think about is getting back out there.

The bliss is in the balance.

Ernie has found bliss on the couch.  The rest of us must seek a balance.

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