The business of the broken sleep is interesting, but the business of sleep generally is interesting. I once did without it almost all the time for several weeks. I had high fever and was taking cortisone in big doses, which prevents your sleeping. I was starving to go to sleep. Since then I have come to think of sleep as metaphorically connected with the mother of God. Hopkins said she was the air we breathe, but I have come to realize her most in the gift of going to sleep. Life without her would be equivalent to me to life without sleep, and as she contained Christ for a time, she seems to contain our life in sleep for a time so that we are able to wake up in peace.The reason it rung the bell for me is that when I have trouble sleeping, I head for the rosary. Well, more accurately, I start saying Hail Mary's. Holding the beads doesn't help. I'm usually too tired to keep track of which bead I'm on in which decade, so I just jump in with "Hail Mary, etc." and keep going. (I've more than once realized that I've said several Hail Mary's while still holding on to the same bead, so I have to start over.) I do try to think of a few intentions beforehand so that I'll feel like I'm doing something more important than counting Mary's in lieu of sheep. I'll just have to trust that the Lady doesn't mind. After all, she gave the idea for the rosary to some saint way back when, it's repetitious by nature, so she can't complain if people use it as a sleep-aid. It was her idea. Plus, the only reason it ever occurred to me to use it that way is that she once rocked baby Jesus to sleep, so I figure she can do the same for me. Rocking is repetitious, but so are the good habits that end in virtue. (So they tell me, not having gotten that far.)
The only other technique that works nearly as well is stuffing the King James Bible under my pillow. I don't know why it works, but it does. Just trust me.
I won't have that problem tonight, though. I did a lot of yardwork and inhaled enough beer to keep me yawning through this post. Probably best not to tempt fate. The night might come when I can't sleep and she won't let the Hail Mary's work. Fine. I have a backup plan. It's called the Miraculous Medal. No beads to count. Just hang on and say the words. Over and over.