"Methought I heard a voice cry "Sleep no more!
Macbeth does murder sleep," the innocent sleep, (2.2.33)
Sleep that knits up the ravell'd sleave of care,
The death of each day's life, sore labour's bath,
Balm of hurt minds, great nature's second course, (2.2.36)
Chief nourisher in life's feast,--"

--From "Macbeth -- Act 2 Scene 2" by William Shakespeare

Macbeth utters these lines as he ruminates with Lady Macbeth, his wife; upon the murderous deeds he has just completed, namely killing King Duncan in his sleep, therefore effectively removing the most difficult obstacle to his own ascendancy to the throne. In these few lines William Shakespeare, the author of Macbeth; paints a picture of brutality and at the same time reinforces the idea of sleep as innocence incarnate, the very essence of it. One of the few things we keep from our childhood, it is a moment where, as Macbeth so murderously illustrated, we are at our most vulnerable.

Just a moment of rest at the twilight of the day, yet also a gateway into sublimity and the unconscious mind, we rarely can sleep well if around someone we don't trust or like. But being in the presence of a trusted or loved one, we can instantly drift, without hesitation or fear. Macbeth knows this, as he fears that by betraying the trust of sleep, he has actually 'murdered' sleep for himself, sleep that is precious and the "Chief nourisher in life's feast,".

In these lines and the scene before, Macbeth has not only murdered another human being, and not only sleep, but trust and innocence as well, the qualities of sleep. We all sleep in our beds and under the roofs of our houses so soundly, because we trust these places and that warmth that is trust envelopes us as sleep. Like angels coming and sprinkling glittering jewels of sleep on our persons. If one day I were to lose sleep over something I have done, like Macbeth, who will "Sleep no more!", I will surely know that I have lost something inside of me.

The fear, during childhood, of monsters and demons, that haunt us, just before we fade away, pulling us back to the waking world, returns as guilt and sorrow and other psyche-polluting creatures, in our adulthood, and then we begin to treasure how immeasureably beautiful the simple act of resting our heads and laying down our bodies truly is. Metallica sings of these childhood fears, in "Enter Sandman" where James Hetfield, the lead singer admonishes the sleepy protagonist to "Say your prayers, little one," an appropriate piece of advice.

Tonight before I sleep, I will say a prayer, I think, of gratitude for my lively sleep.