by Jane Keep, UK
Ever since I was a teenager I always got so tired by mid-evening. I would see my parents fall asleep on the couch around 9pm, and I too felt very sleepy at that time. I would hear other parents joking with each other that they fell asleep around 9pm too, in front of the TV… yet they would continue their evenings until 11pm or maybe later. In fact, my parents used to get a coffee and cake at 9pm so as to stay awake for a further few hours.
As I grew up I found that most social things happened in the evenings, and as I got into my twenties, the social nights out actually never started until 9pm: so I used to follow the crowds and do the same. In order to do this I needed to use something to keep me awake, such as drinking tea or eating chocolate. I did, however, find that I was always struggling to stay awake after 9pm, even with chocolate, cake or tea. I even tried a little alcohol to keep me awake, but that didn’t help me either. I would sit watching my friends leaping about when we were out, while my whole body just felt like going to bed.
Then came my relationships, my two marriages. Again, by 9pm I was always struggling to stay awake, and my partners would say “but if you go to bed now we won’t have the evening together”, so I would override what I felt by using tea, chocolate or cake so that I could stay awake and keep them company – whether watching TV or going out to a pub or movie.
It was always a strange feeling for me to be up or out after 9pm; it was as though my body had begun to shut down, yet I was still using it. It always felt like the ‘twilight zone’ after 9pm – a kind of eerie feeling. I found it hard to focus, and caught myself on a number of occasions falling asleep while driving after this time. The push to stay up made me feel constantly on edge, and by the time I got to bed I was so overtired I often needed to eat something to put me to sleep. But this put me in a constant daily cycle of sleeping restlessly, feeling exhausted when I awoke, and over time feeling resentful towards myself and others for doing this.
During all of this I would often say to myself, why am I not going to bed when I am tired? Yet it kept on going; it continued to place a toll on my wellbeing, and I was irritable too. What I found was that, when I tried to stay up later, the quality of my sleep was always deeply affected, as was the quality of my day, and the next day.
Then one day, at one of the first presentations I attended by Serge Benhayon, he talked about taking care of ourselves, our bodies, and that the most natural sleep rhythm for our bodies was to be in bed by 9pm, this being the time when our bodies were able to rest and gain optimum healing during the night: being in bed by 9pm and then waking up when our body was ready. This for me was one of my life changing moments, and made so much sense. I could now feel that my body, since being a teenager, had always been asking me to go to bed around 9pm. My body sighed hugely with relief. What I had always known, but had over-ridden, I now realised was my natural rhythm – I realised I wasn’t the one who was abnormal, as there was a natural truth in our biological make up whereby being in bed by 9pm was normal.
From that day forward I gave myself permission to go to bed when I was tired, and in particular to go to bed around 9pm. At first, friends, relatives and my family would nag me, but over time they all just got used to me going to bed early. If I was going out for supper with girly friends they would meet me at 6.30pm, and when I went out for meals with my mum we would go for lunches, or when I went to the movies with anyone it would be a Sunday afternoon.
I absolutely love being in bed by 9pm, and I love taking the time early in the evening to go into a restful phase prior to going to bed. I love the mornings whether it is 4 am or 5 am; to hear the birds singing, or to hear the quiet crispness of the day beginning before all of the usual daily noise/traffic sounds. It really is the simple things that make a huge amount of difference. Nowadays, I feel so much less tired than I ever did, and my body so much appreciates snuggling up by 9pm.
I now absolutely know I would never change my now normal sleep rhythm. I am always appreciative of the inspiration I have had from Serge Benhayon in confirming my natural sleep rhythm, that which my body had been telling me for so long.