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Vision for a person involved in guided imagery is somewhat metaphoric. After all, words are what help create the visual scenarios for someone undergoing such meditative treatment. It is the imagination that makes the words come alive. It is the skill of the person guiding the imagery that makes the process viable and worthwhile. I remember one of my favorite sessions. The therapist or person directing me to enter another realm started out with soft-spoken descriptions of a beautiful garden complete with leafy green trees, beds of coordinated flowers, and fountains spouting gentle water sprays. There were vast expanses of lawns upon which birds alit in pretty patterns. The success of a guided imagery tour is in its ability to captivate the listener and to hit something within that resonates with strength and power.

So vision is part of my life in more ways than one. No wonder I rushed off to the eye doctor the minute I felt that it was failing me. My usual clarity wasn’t there and no doubt I need a new pair of glasses with a stronger prescription. I told the doctor I am having trouble reading even large street signs. Forget the small ones; they are impossible. I feel like I could use a magnifying glass.

I made an appointment for a complete eye exam and was surprised upon arrival that the doctor pulled out a pocket Snellen eye chart. You know the standard chart with rows of letters, each row getting progressively smaller. No more of those charts posted on the wall that you can re-read before the doctor asks you to. Who hasn’t cheated at least one time before? It seems that the pocket size is practical an easy to use in a flash for a preliminary assessment. For a major one, you have to sit in front of the professional lenses and tell the doctor which version of what he is showing you works best. It takes a lot of time. Hence the quick pocket version that started off the appointment just so the doctor could see what was initially wrong.

My sight had indeed changed and I was growing more nearsighted. I was given a new prescription to take to the optician. Two weeks later I was wearing the new pair. I was ecstatic as I exclaimed, “I can see clearly now!” Something as basic as upgraded lenses can make such a big difference in your life. I also enjoyed selecting a more attractive pair that suited my face and enhanced my features. I had the old glasses so long that I had completely forgotten about this important facet of fitting eyeglasses. If you look like a schoolmarm, you have not made a good choice. If you look like Marion, the librarian, you have aged yourself by years. If you look modern, you may have hit the right mark. Glasses are very much in vogue and there is no stigma to wearing them. Plus, contacts are uncomfortable and expensive.

Sleep is blissful. It is special in spite of the fact that we do it every night, like clockwork. It is a permanent, perennial part of everyone’s life. We know this because if it is disrupted, we feel less than our best. We can feel down right bad. Thus, along with diet and nutrition, enough sleep is a prerequisite for mental and physical good health. Even little naps now and then are very restorative.

It is a normal body function to fall and stay asleep. Illness, anxiety, depression, achiness, and other ailments will suppress it. They say that you can’t die from lack of sleep, but anyone who doesn’t get a regular eight hours, knows this might not be true. Even people in extreme pain will fall asleep at least for some time. It is important to find out the right duration for your needs and to stick to it. For some, however, regularity is a gift and not an assumption.

Our minds can control our sleep patterns even though they are physical in nature. That’s why getting tips for a restful sleep are so important. They can make the difference between success and failure: insomnia or sleep. Some of these are obvious such as dimming the lights, not eating before retiring, not texting and emailing right before bed using a brightly-lit screen, and not relying on medication. Sooner or later they take their toll and you are addicted.

Other tips are less well known. I know, for example, that people don’t pay attention to their mattresses and pillows. They make do with what they have fearing a big impending expenditure. They virtually never toss them out. The news here is to wake up and face the music. An old bed that sags and stays indented will mar your otherwise peaceful night. You may find that tossing and turning becomes your norm.

To combat bed fatigue, I recommend a buying a pregnancy pillow like these to cuddle in to while you sleep. It is like being wrapped in a cloud. If you select the right softness or hardness, this will be the ultimate finish. You don’t have to spend a bundle, if that is what is holding you back. On most every major holiday, and even minor ones, there is a sale. Once you adjust to sleeping with a pregnancy pillow, even if you’re not pregnant, you will wonder why you waited so long.

A new mattress is sort of a treat since buying a new one does not come around often. You have to start thinking about sleep in a practical way if you feel less than fully rested. You can follow all the tips and tricks in the book, but if you are short-changing yourself on the mattress front, you are bound for more disappointment. There are many manufacturers and it is a big subject for another blog. Suffice it to know that there are modern materials like memory foam that are begging for your attention. There is Tempur-Pedic, Sleep Number, Sealy, Serta, Sterns and Foster, all with a good reputation and shelf life. My final tip today is to check out the many guides on line to help select the best one.