“To die, to sleep – to sleep, perchance to dream – ay, there’s the rub, for in this sleep of death what dreams may come …”
Poor Hamlet, afraid that his torments would follow him to the grave and he’d never get a peaceful night’s rest.
This is the same soliloquy that begins “to be or not to be” as Hamlet contemplates death.
With such heaviness as hangs over the man, is it any wonder Hamlet fears the afterlife would be rife with nightmares?
Why, who hasn’t complained of not getting a good night’s sleep only to be asked, “What’s bothering you?”
But I don’t have Hamlet’s excuse for not sleeping. These sleepless nights have been going on for a few weeks now, and we can’t figure out why. If you think you may have seen me dozing off in public, you’re probably right. Two or three hours a night just ain’t getting’ it.
I have a couple of friends who swear by Melatonin. I remember trying it years ago, in another life. I’m trying it again. It has given me one good night’s sleep … or maybe not. I’m not sure Melatonin deserves the credit for just one night, and I’m positive that one night in seven is not a trend.
Saw the doctor this week. Before appointments, I always send him an email through the patient portal to list the things I’d like to cover.
Regarding the insomnia, he suggested I put the iPhone and earbuds to good use and listen to some podcasts when I can’t sleep. Nothing exciting, of course. Something interesting, but not too interesting.
And don’t get out of bed to listen. Just have the earbuds ready and the podcast queued up.
I might add here that I have never, ever listened to a podcast. I have no idea what’s out there. So I go to iTunes and search “podcast.”
After searching iTunes for several derivations of “podcast,” I break down and call our daughter in Memphis. She said she uses an app called Stitcher Radio for Podcasts.
It’s like the secrets of the universe have opened before me. So many topics and podcasts.
You won’t believe this – I barely do myself – but the first podcast I click is a woman who is soliciting phone calls from people who are having trouble … sleeping. She calls her site “Nocturne,” and the episode I’m listening to is “The Dream You Should Be Having.”
She’s doing some kind of research … no, not research. She’s offering phone counseling to insomniacs like me.
But all of her advice deals with Hamlet stuff, people not sleeping because their dog went missing or they’re having marital problems or their boss doesn’t like them or …
None of that applies to me.
But I am intrigued by one recommendation: dark chocolate.
“Did you know eating dark chocolate might help you sleep better?” she asks in that soothing voice of hers.
And what luck. Her sponsor for this episode happens to sell a sampler of dark chocolates; her favorite is dark chocolate with sea salt.
I’m pretty sure Publix has dark chocolate. Maybe I’ll try it tonight.
Meanwhile, with apologies to Juliet, “Wherefore art thou, insomnia?”