From Lila by Marilynne Robinson:
“What?” he said. The worrying had worn him out. He gave a sermon once about the disciples sleeping at Gethsemane because they were weary with grief. Sleep is such a mercy, he said. It was a mercy even then.
“I’ve just never had the care of a child.”
“We’ll be ﬁne.” He nestled against her. That sound of settling into the sheets and the covers has to be one of the best things in the world. Sleep is a mercy. You can feel it coming on, like being swept up in something. She could see the light in the room with her eyes closed, and she could smell the snow on the air drifting in. You had to trust sleep when it came or it would just leave you there, waiting.
“He has not yet learned that the day begins with sleep!” said the woman, turning to her husband. “Tell him he must rest before he can do anything!”
“…It was a glorious resurrection-morning. The night had been spent in preparing it!”
George MacDonald (Lilith)
Sleeplessness and the incapacity for leisure are really related to one another in a special sense, and a man at leisure is not unlike a man asleep. …Or as the Book of Job says, “God giveth songs in the night” (Job xxxv, 10). Moreover, it has always been a pious belief that God sends good gifts and blessings in sleep. …It is in these silent and receptive moments that the soul of man is sometimes visisted by an awareness of what holds the world together … only for a moment perhaps, and the lightning vision of his intuition has to be recaptured and rediscovered in hard work. (41-42)
From Leisure: the Basis of Culture by Josef Pieper (1952).
And I am reminded of this poem by Czeslaw Milosz:
I looked out the window at dawn and saw a young apple tree
translucent in brightness.
And when I looked out at dawn once again, an apple tree laden with
fruit stood there.
Many years had probably gone by but I remember nothing of what
happened in my sleep.