Sleep that knits up the ravelled sleave of care
The death of each day’s life, sore labour’s bath
Balm of hurt minds, great nature’s second course,
Chief nourisher in life’s feast.
~William Shakespeare, Macbeth

No, I did not retrieve that quotation from those English classes in which we had to memorize passages from Shakespeare.  I did remember enough to look it up online.  The only literary passage I actually remember is a sentence or two of the Prologue to the Canterbury Tales, which we were required to memorize in Middle English.  It was Senior English at West Aurora High School taught by Mrs. Winteringham.  When asked why we should memorize the Prologue to the Canterbury Tales in Middle English, she told us that some day we would be riding a bus and sit next to someone of the opposite sex whom we would impress by reciting it and in doing so begin a wonderful relationship.  At least that is how I remember her answer.

Sleep!  What a wonderful and delightful gift we have been given.  Between 7pm last evening and 11:30am this morning, Mary Ann and I accumulated a total of 28 hours of sleep.  I slept from shortly after 11pm (early to bed for me) to 10:30am this morning (could have slept longer), and Mary Ann went to bed and to sleep at 7pm last evening and woke up just before 11:30am.

Why so long?  Who knows?  We have had a number of restless nights.  I claim the first few hours after Mary Ann goes to bed as my own personal time, listening to music, writing a post on this blog, doing household tasks, occasionally getting caught up in a movie on television.  I pulled out the video of Riverdance and watched it again the night before last.  I can only guess that the restless nights, staying up too late and the hint of some virus or other trying to get a foothold drove my need for sleep.

Mary Ann, of course, has also had restless nights, sometimes for a good portion of the night.  One of the symptoms of the Parkinson’s Disease Dementia (a Dementia with Lewy Bodies) as it progresses is excessive sleeping, long nights and/or naps during the day.

Whatever the reasons for the long night, we both felt better today.  Mary Ann was sharp and funny and pretty much her old self for a good portion of the day.  There is continuing research on the function of sleep in humans. Some need more, some need less.  Some who study sleep seem to question the need for it.  I think Shakespeare nailed it.  Sleep provides a way not only for our bodies to rest but for our minds to file and sort and build links in the database, process events, and just generally unfrazzle.  That is a technical term used in the neurosciences — or not.

Speaking of which — I think it is time for some unfrazzling.

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