I had a nightmare early this morning. I have not really had many nightmares in recent years, but I have had several since the Coronavirus crisis started. My husband is struggling with some insomnia and he never has trouble sleeping. We both know the sleep disturbance is related to the stress of our current national crisis. In fact I saw a segment on the New Hour last night (PBS) called “Ask Us.” They had a psychiatrist answering viewer’s questions on the program. The first question was from a caller who was struggling with insomnia. The doctor said during particularly stressful times, many people get along perfectly fine during the day time, but struggle with bad dreams or sleeplessness at night. She said it was very normal. She also had some suggestions: be kind to yourself, take naps, exercise, get plenty of sunshine. But mostly I just try to remember that my body has got to work out the stress somehow and a bad dream is not a bad way to do it. Better than yelling at someone I love. Here’s the link if you want to look at the clip or read the transcript: https://www.pbs.org/newshour/show/sleep-sunlight-and-self-care-a-psychiatrists-advice-for-pandemic-mental-health
I would add a couple of other helpful suggestions to the doctor’s list. I find that a quiet moment of prayer helps, especially before bed. There are some lovely evening prayers called Complines that I like to read at bedtime. They help me fall asleep. Here’s a link to the Northumbria Complines that I use: https://www.northumbriacommunity.org/offices/how-to-use-complines/ There is a different Compline for each day of the week. When you go to the page look at the box on the right entitled “Pray the Daily Office.”
Here’s a bit from the Compline for Thursday:
May God be in my sleep;
may Christ be in my dreams.
May the Spirit be in my repose,
in my thoughts, in my heart.
In my soul always
may the Sacred Three dwell.
Peace be with you,
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