When In Doubt, Sleep It Out

For as long as I can remember, my main coping mechanism has always been sleeping. Whether I’m angry, sad, life in shambles, or have things heavy on my mind, the first thing my body wants to do is go to sleep. There is truly nothing a quick nap can’t fix. Just kidding, there is plenty that a short nap or even a deep hibernation can’t fix. But I have practiced this form of self-detachment for basically my whole life.

I am hands down one of the sleepiest girls you will ever meet. I am never not tired. Even when I get a great night’s sleep, I am still tired. I’m not a coffee or morning tea person, as I don’t want to be dependent on caffeine. I love tea, but 97% of the tea I drink is in my milk tea. As a result of my personal choice to avoid being dependent on caffeine, I am forced to run on my natural energy, which is close to 0 a lot of the time. I’m the bitch that schedules in a nap in-between events to make sure that I am recharged. It doesn’t matter if I take a long afternoon nap, I can still sleep soundly at night.

I overthink everything, to the point where I annoy myself. Sleeping is my way of shutting off my mind, even if it’s only temporarily. It’s like getting a break from yourself. You don’t want to overthink the scenario anymore, overthink the decision at hand, or jump to conclusions, so, you sleep it out. If you’re a person that gets in your head a lot, you know what I mean. I’ve learned a long time ago that overthinking can be the mental death of you. There are times when there’s literally no point to overthink things that have already happened or are just beginning to unfold. Of course, it’s a lot easier said than done, and sometimes it feels like it literally can’t be done.

Yes, it’s avoiding feelings and suppressing my emotions from time to time – well, every time – but if the situation at hand is not fixable in the moment, there’s no point in stressing myself out. I’d rather detach and deal with that shit when I wake up. I’m not saying it’s the right way to handle things, but I’ve noticed this continuous pattern that I’ve repeated since I was a kid. When I get overwhelmed, I’ll sleep it out until I get the motivation to deal with it, let it go, or keep suppressing it. Sleeping away my problems definitely won’t solve anything, but at least I’ll be well-rested.

Everyone knows that awesome feeling when your head makes contact with that pillow. You can go to bed with a thousand and 1 problems, but with time, you slowly drift in and out of consciousness. The things that are stressing me out, or whatever scenario is heavy on my mind starts to get cloudy. And for a moment in time, my problems don’t exist. If I’m not awake to think about what’s bugging me, then it’s not a thought in my mind. I escape my reality briefly. And for a split second, I’m just existing in the universe, problem free, and at total rest. I let my mind do its thing, and I eventually surrender to my own subconscious. When I’m asleep, I’m detached from worldly complications, life is still, I don’t have a care in the world – even if it’s just temporarily.

I flip and turn in my sleep, and in those brief moments of slightly being awake, I try my best to lull myself back to sleep. There have been many instances where I’m teeter tottering between being awake and remaining asleep, and my mind starts to remember the issue, and I quickly try to get some more shut eye. Naps and sleeping are a great escape from your present day problems. It’s a great distraction to have when the weight of the world is on your shoulders. It forces you to detach and revisit the issue at another time.

That’s probably why people say, “I’ll sleep on it,” when making an important decision. Sometimes in the moment, you can’t think clearly. It takes a while to process information, stress, and getting the full story on things. So at times, sleeping it out is a great way to delay that process when you need more insight. Because of course nobody wants to make decisions in the heat of the moment or act out irrationally. Sleeping allows you to let things sink in and buys you time to see what you really want to do. It’s a very crucial step in my decision making thought process. Ironically, being unproductive can sometimes help me be productive when I wake up.

However, it does have its bad aspects as well. I feel like sleeping can be very productive when you can come to a conclusion right after. But for me, sometimes my coping mechanism of sleeping it out just prolongs my decision. Or, I sleep on it too many times that I end up just doing nothing and not dealing with it. I can push it to the side and avoid the problem all together. At times I feel like that 1 episode of Avatar the Last Airbender when Aang frustratedly asks Boomi why he didn’t put up a fight / do anything when the Fire Nation invaded his land. He casually said that he was waiting around and doing nothing, waiting for the right moment to strike. He had to wait and listen for the right moment to make a move.

I feel like I’m Boomi, doing “nothing” by taking naps to escape my problems, waiting to see when it’s the right time to act on something. I’m just waiting it out and seeing how I feel when I sleep on it. Do I choose to react? Do I make a decision ASAP? Do I even have to make a decision? Do I just let it go? If it’s important, I’ll eventually come up with something. And if I don’t come up with something….

I’ll sleep on it…

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