So, then… (to borrow an awesome intro) I’ve had the darndest problem these past few days.
I can’t get to sleep.
I figured the first night that it was probably to do with having been on holiday and topped up with extra rest. Or having screwed up my sleeping patterns at the weekend by over-indulging in ‘Mericans and staying up all night Saturday and sleeping til 5pm Sunday (silver linings). But no. Because Sunday night I tried really hard, and went to bed at the right time and just…lay there. For hours.
Yet Monday was alright and I didn’t need my nap in the van at lunchtime (as has been my wont to do) and I went out for a nice 7.8 mile run (no cramps – yay!) and figured that I was all set for as good a night’s sleep as ever I was likely to get. And because I was writing, I kindasortamighta stayed up a bit beyond the time when I normally try to turn in, just to make extra-specially sure that I’d sleep.
So when I went to bed at [not saying’o’clock]a.m., I was pretty grouchy to find that once again, I was laying there in the dark with absolutely NO inclination to sleep.
I heard the church bells strike the quarter. And the half. And I rolled over angrily and huffed the covers around and snarked with Husby (who was up, sick (awwwwh)) about how ridiculous the situation was.
Today after 3 and a half hours of sleep, I fully expected to be shattered, but I was perky and lively and completely functional. I had a great day, needed no lunchtime nap, and in fact it wasn’t until I got home and had sat writing for a while that my noggin slipped into a daze and then a doze and I forgot to set an alarm. Which resulted in Husby and I probably qualifying for the World Speed Shopping Championships after I woke up 20 minutes before the store closed and we rushed off and completed our weekly shop in 11 minutes (travel time not included). If only I could channel that energy somehow!
|Me and poor, sick Husby on our way to the shops. For real.|
Insomnia is difficulty getting to sleep or staying asleep for long enough to feel refreshed the next morning, even though you’ve had enough opportunity to sleep – NHS Choices
I can already see I don’t quite fit the bill, because in spite of the difficulty in getting to sleep both nights, I woke up refreshed (ish, or sufficiently so) in the mornings. And then there’s the slightly more snaggly bit (and the bit which gets me backlash from family) “enough opportunity to sleep” – the part I rarely provide myself with.
As a baby (according to legend) I had colic every night. For hours. And stayed up. My poor, traumatised parents once even put me in the car, late at night, and drove me (still screaming) several cities over to visit WonderAunty. I was placed into her arms and immediately shut up and fell asleep. How I wasn’t left on someone else’s doorstep on the way home, I shall never know…
The precedent was set, though and through my childhood I used every trick in the book to stay up late (usually to read), occasionally to the point of pretending to be sick (and being smart enough to occasionally pour a cup of water loudly into the toilet, then flush it, to sound authentic) so that I could stay up in the bathroom with a pile of Beano and Dandy comics until one or the other parent dragged themselves out of bed in the small hours to insist I return to my room.
Through my teens and twenties, I sucked at getting to bed at a sensible hour, often working on 4 or 5 hours a night, usually supplementing with naps. A pattern I still follow, and whatever the doctors say about sleep debt or the millions of brain cells I’m losing or the increased risk of whatever the trendy condition du jour is, it means I get the best of both worlds – I can function through the day and fun through the night, with relatively little time wasted in unconsciousness.
But never before have I struggled to get to sleep. And that’s disconcerting. Because it’s bad enough to go to bed and feel like I might be missing out on something good without the added insult of being awake to notice.
I hope it stops soon.
And on that note, I’m off to bed. Late.