When Sleep Makes a Surprise Visit

Some nights, having insomnia is like having the worst kind of reverse surprise party. You know there’s a small chance you will sleep, but the odds of it happening are slim to none. You steel yourself for the long night ahead while at the same time readying your body to accept 40 winks. (Yes, even 40 would be welcome most nights.)

Each night you make preparations to get comfortable, settle into bed, all the while hoping to feel your eyelids get heavy. If and when that blissful moment comes, the excitement can be overwhelming.

Anticipation of a new experience

I had my own surprise sleep party a few nights ago following my first visit to an acupuncturist. My appointment was late in the evening, and I had anticipated many different scenarios all day long. Prior to my arrival, I began to grow more nervous - excited to see an improvement in my Meniere’s symptoms, but nervous nonetheless. Not knowing what to expect, I imagined all the possibilities and became increasingly anxious throughout the school day.

Having heard only good things about the doctor I was seeing, I fully expected a comforting experience all the way around. I was not disappointed. The longer I was in the office, the more relaxed I felt. Everyone I encountered was kind, caring, and attentive to my concerns. It made for a very pleasant first-time visit.

After-effects of acupuncture

Fully expecting to remain keyed up throughout the night from my novel experience and thoughts of the new sensations my visit brought me, I was shocked at what happened a few hours later.

My drive home took about 45 minutes, and not long after I arrived home and settled down, I noticed a calm I don’t usually feel that time of night. A relaxing tide washed over me, and I felt strangely at ease for the end of a long school day coupled with a lengthy drive and doctor visit.

Recognizing that old familiar feeling

Though my goal had been to attend to the symptoms of Meniere’s disease and hopefully treat my tinnitus, I found my acupuncture visit to bring a very welcome calming effect to my tired body. In addition, I was able to clear my mind and actually not stress for a little while.

As I sat on the couch, I noticed my eyelids felt heavier than normal, and I repeatedly lost focus on the show I was watching. It took me longer than it should to recognize the feeling. I was actually tired and sleepy all at once! It was time!

Sleeping at last

I made myself shower quickly and headed excitedly for bed. So pleased that I might truly be able to fall asleep at a reasonable hour, I jumped into bed almost forgetting to turn on my sound machine and fan. I was that beside myself with joy.

It’s an amazing feeling when your body surprises you with those welcome hints of impending slumber. Incredibly, I fell asleep quickly and didn’t wake until my alarm sounded at 5:30 a.m. I was gifted a solid 7 hours of sleep. It was a fantastic feeling.

Appreciating the little things

If I have learned nothing else as a mother and teacher, it’s to appreciate the little things. My visit to the acupuncturist resulted in one of those little things. Whether it was the procedure itself or the calming atmosphere that relaxed my body, I can’t say for sure. It could also be the by-product of a long school day.

Whatever the reason, I’ll take it. Any time sleep arrives, it’s a welcome surprise I will always greedily accept.

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