Write For You: Sleep Habits

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by Nancy Casey

Many different types of habits and rituals come and go from our lives, but the one habit that we have kept since the day we were born is the habit of sleeping.

Most of us sleep for at least a quarter of the day. Maybe a third. Maybe more. Every day.

Today, write about some of the things that you do that have to do with sleeping.

How do you know it’s time to sleep? Do you sleep at the same time every day? How do you get ready? What do you wear? Do you have favorite pillows and positions? Do you dread it or look forward to it? Do you take naps?

When we are asleep we lose most of our awareness of the world around us. But not all. Sometimes we have to roll over and adjust the pillow or the covers. All sorts of discomforts can intrude—from aches and pains to having to use the bathroom. Sometimes our sleeping selves listen for sounds made by others in the household. What kinds of things are you aware of, even when you are asleep?

Some people talk in their sleep. Others get out of bed and do things without waking up. Does that ever happen to you?

What is waking up like for you? Do you bolt out of bed at the first sign or wakefulness, or do you emerge in slow stages? If you use an alarm, how do you react to it? Do you have any habits or rituals about the way you transition from being asleep to being fully awake? What happens when they are disrupted?

What do you do when you go to bed and sleep doesn’t come? Some people get up and do something else until they are tired. Some people lay there and fret. Some people have restful and sleep-inducing practices that they do in their beds, such as breathing, counting, or reciting poems and prayers. Perhaps what you do when you can’t sleep depends on what you know you need to do the next day.

What do you do when your whole body wants to be asleep, but the situation says you can’t? Situations like driving, taking care of children, or being at work, for example. Are there situations that always make you want to sleep? What are you like when you don’t get enough sleep?

Even though everyone sleeps, sleeping patterns are personal and often unique. Pick one aspect of your sleeping life and describe it. Maybe you’ll fill a whole page writing about that one thing. Perhaps your page will look more like a list with many different details about your sleeping patterns. Maybe you will write about a dream you’ve had.

Whatever you end up writing, when you have finished, give your work a title. Make sure the date is on it somewhere, too. Add decoration and color to the page as needed. Here is an example of what a person could write.

You can share what you have written by posting it as a comment below. You can type in your work. Or post a picture of it.


Nancy Casey has lived in Latah County for many years. Sometimes she teaches writing classes at the Recovery Center. You can find more of her work here. She offers (free!) writing help to anyone in recovery. This can be for any kind of writing project—resumes, letters, stories novels—email latahrecoverycenter@gmail.com for more information.

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