A few days ago I watched Navigating the Heart on Netflix. It was far from one of the better movies I’ve ever seen, but there was a line in it that I appreciated it. The basic premise of the movie is that a snotty, spoiled city-woman who is a journalist and workaholic comes to interview a fisherman who enjoys the land and does hard physical labor every day. And then they fall in love. But only after they are forced to get naked together because their ship is sinking and they need to stay warm.
Before they fall in love, when they don’t like each other at all, the woman mentions that she has trouble sleeping and the man says, “that’s because you’ve never worked an honest day in your life.” He’s saying that if she worked physically harder she’d be tired at the end of the day and sleep well.
I think it’s true. It’s not the case that jobs without physical labor aren’t honest jobs, but physical exertion makes you sleep better. Since I’ve gotten older I don’t always sleep well. Yet on days when I shovel for three hours I sleep like a log–nothing could wake me. It’s wonderful! I wake up feeling really refreshed, albeit sore. When I was in high school I worked on a construction crew one summer. While I didn’t have trouble sleeping at the time, I remember that I slept really well that summer.
Exercise is supposed to help you sleep too. I don’t find that doing my typical hour of exercise helps me sleep. It isn’t physically exerting enough, I guess.