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“Parade’s End” As Hot Milk, Or, Saturday Morning at 11:13am

Well my goodness. I slept until 9:40am. That hasn’t happened in 20 years. Of course, I was up for a while, sometime in the dark morning, but still. Sleep! Sweet, oblivious, restorative sleep!

I always heard that Nod can desert us as we age. I imagined I’d be safe. Ha. Pride goeth before a fall, and years of sweet dreams precede a terrible familiarity with 2:30am.

I have a few strategies. First, I try to worry a lot before I fall asleep. Sounds counter-intuitive, but I find that if I ferret out that which I might have glossed over during the day, if I worry and sort, I can put to rest those issues that might otherwise wake me later on. Second, I watch British television. Not the boring sort – although there isn’t as much of that as there used to be – but the gorgeous sagas and comedies.

For example, Ricky Gervais’ HBO comedy special. Or, as I have said before, Doc Martin. More recently, Downton Abbey, and just now, Parade’s End, playing on HBO. I swear the plummy tones of Benadict Cumberpatch’s voice talk me right into River Lethe. (Although I keep hoping the bad girl wins.)

And so off to Pinterest. It’s far easier to daydream, I find, when the night dream cousins have been fed.

(Note: the blog is displaying oddly today. Technical geniuses are working to fix it.)

19 Responses

  1. I should have waved your way, last night — I spent huge chunks of it awake, spreading my worry out rather than employing your wiser strategy. Have you watched The Hour yet? Another British drama well worth checking out.

  2. Loved Parades End. Loved the slowness and the voices. I mean the show crawled but I loved every minute. It did put my husband to sleep so I watched with headphones. Ah, progress!

    As to Doc Martin, that’s wonderful for soothing ones parts that need soothing also.

  3. I stayed awake until 4:00 am reading “The Good House” by Ann Leary. All my fellow New England wasps will understand why when they open this wonderful new novel.

  4. Well, that settles it. Upstairs I will go to watch Parade’s End! Last week a dear friend said I’d love it, and now today, you and Sandy. It’s snowy and dreary here in PA this afternoon. Universe, that’s all the nudging I need.

  5. My favorite sleep aids are early evening Zumba, and a bit of magnesium citrate and plain gelatin, dissolved in a (non-caffeinated) tea, consumed before bedtime. Keeps the 4 a.m. wakies (which have something to do with one’s adrenal hormones) away, at least for this aging lady.

  6. I’ve read several articles that the mid-night wake-up is natural and have learned to embrace it. As soon as I wake up (usually 3:00) I get up, get a drink, look out the window to see what the weather is, etc. Then I straighen out the bed and hop back in. The ritual puts me right back to sleep.

  7. Have you seen the new (modern) Sherlock on BBC? If you liked Benedict in Parade’s End, you will LURVE Sherlock. (I certainly do.)

  8. We just finished watching Parade’s End the other night, and I have to admit it grew on me to the point that I now want to read the books. I want to know the back stories on the characters, and have more of the subtext filled in.

  9. I kind of hate to tell you this since I know you like your glass of wine, but I find that if I have alcohol I wake up after several hours of sleep and end up awake for quite a while. If I don’t have alcohol, I sleep through the night (with only momentary waking to look at the clock). You might experiment with the occasional night off alcohol to see if you sleep better. I still have wine or beer when I want it, but I know the consequences and so choose to drink less often.

  10. Yay British dramas! (But also yay HBO series like True Blood, Boardwalk Empire and Game of Thrones…)

  11. Wonderful! As for me, I learned to meditate back in my 20s. if I do it in bed, I always fall asleep. It’s not technically meant for sleep- but it works.

  12. Downton Abbey came and went so quickly this season. Maggie Smith should have her own show, then I would go to sleep with a good chuckle.. i will take a peak at Parade’s End . Sweet dreams!

  13. Hi! Hope I’m not too late in commenting: I have two books to recommend for fellow “Downton Abbey” fans.

    First is “To Marry an English Lord: Tales of Wealth and Marriage, Sex and Snobbery.” It details (wickedly and humorously) the marriage sweepstakes among American heiresses in the Belle Epoque, pitting social-climbing parvenues against “bar-the-gates” Knickerbockers. Particularly riveting for anyone whose progenitors lived in New York at the time.

    The second, which I haven’t read yet but which was a NYT bestseller, is “Lady Almina and the Real Downton Abbey: The Lost Legacy of Highclere Castle.”

    Oh, and Benedict Cumberbatch, yes, by all means, even as the new villain in the upcoming Star Trek movie!

  14. I’ve been looking forward to watching Parade’s End. I love Rebecca Hall. For real relaxation before going to sleep, when going through a restless period, I watch certain movies that I have on DVD, and that I almost know my heart – for about 15 mins before I end up asleep. I haven’t slept through the night – maybe ever?

  15. I never saw Parade’s End! I am waiting for the rerun. I find Downton too preposterous for words (although I do love the set and costumes, and of course Maggie Smith) but I have high hopes of anything which has met Benedict Cumberbatch’s approval.

    I find 5HTP quite useful, when sleep is evasive. We use melatonin in the ITU for patients whose sleep-wake cycle is disrupted. It’s not licensed OTC here but I think it is in America, so might be worth a try.

    I like your tip of getting your worrying out of the way before drifting off! I always try to stop my brain whirring when I am waiting for sleep, but maybe I should try embracing it …

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