I like sleeping.
I mean, I guess we all do, but I really like it. I love sinking into fresh sheets, all crisp and smelling glorious. I love curling into a ball under a heavy duvet when it’s cold out. I love the wonderful lethargy when it’s been a long day and your bed welcomes you just as you are, stiff and weary and a touch on the grumpy side.
There’s no judgement with beds, is there?
I’m not much of a one for sleep-ins, or even lie-ins (the Little Furry Muse makes sure of the first, and the need for repeated cups of tea takes care of the second even if I have nothing pressing to do), but I do love a good night’s sleep.
Unfortunately, I’m not very good at it. I can have the best intentions of getting to bed on time – and sometimes even do – but then there are books. Or runaway thoughts. Or the sudden realisation that I haven’t taken the bins out/taken the washing out of the machine/locked the cat door/fed the sourdough (this is a new and interesting addition).
And, at the moment, I’m definitely having a run of being even worse at it than usual.
To be clear, I don’t have insomnia. I’ve had a couple of bouts of it over the years, including one memorable time in Florida when it got to the point that I was so exhausted I was scared to cross the road on my own. I was fairly convinced I’d either just stop and fall asleep in the middle of the crossing, or would cross at the wrong time and be squished by a giant SUV (there were a lot of those). That was hideous, and felt like it lasted forever, and I was very nearly convinced I’d never, ever sleep properly again.
If you suffer from insomnia, I’m so sorry. I can’t even imagine dealing with that long-term.
What I currently have, in my run of bad nights, is a weird disregard for the actual hour and an overactive head. This means that even if I do go to bed at a decent time my body is utterly convinced it’s not ready to sleep. So I’ll read until I’m sure I’ll fall asleep the instant I put the book down, but instead find myself lying there three hours later wondering what sort of furry caterpillars can be found in rock gardens in Turkey.
No, I don’t know why, either. I wasn’t reading about rock gardens or Turkey. Or caterpillars, really, but I was reading Gerald Durrell, so that might be the wildlife connection.
This late-to-sleep-ness is usually compounded by the Little Furry Muse summoning me to fetch her breakfast at anywhere between 5 and 6 a.m., but this morning I woke up at 4 and instantly became fixated on the fact that I’d run out of garlic and was going to have to brave the shops if I wanted to cook anything worth eating this weekend.
No, I cannot cook without garlic. Don’t be ridiculous.
And, look. I’ll be shattered by this afternoon, but I did get to have my revenge by waking the Little Furry Muse.
Not as satisfying as I’d hoped, though.
Anyhow, this being a positive sort of blog and my wonky sleeping patterns not looking like going away any time soon, I decided to list all the good things about not sleeping.
Bear with me. I’m tired and this may or may not make sense.
Things to love about not sleeping:
1. Early mornings are awesome. Okay, I know not everyone will agree with me on this, but there’s something wonderful about being up before anyone else, while the curtains are still drawn all down the street and the day hasn’t decided what it’s going to be yet. There’s magic in a day so untouched and unseen by anyone other than the birds, the sheep, and you.
2. Early workouts mean you can take your time about them and actually do a proper stretch after a run or HIIT workout, rather than waving your hands at your toes then wandering off. Or you can actually do a full meditation after yoga rather than staring at the ceiling for half a minute then jumping up and switching the video off.
Wait – what d’you mean, other people stretch properly and do the meditation anyway?
3. Knowing you won’t sleep means not bothering to put your book down at a decent time, because you may as well just read until you drop it on your face. Or watch that extra episode on Netflix and then read. Why not, right?
4. All shopping can be done by 9 a.m., because you can be at the shop when it opens and so avoid the crowds that gather when sensible people have had time to get up and have breakfast. You can bumble around in a sleepy daze buying six unknown spices, an enormous wedge of cheese (in my defence, it was discounted) and nothing that was actually on your list, and be home again before anyone has a chance to breathe on you.
5. The cat really likes company at weird hours of the night. I mean, she probably gets lonely when I’m wasting all that time sleeping. And having a hot chocolate at one in the morning is wonderfully indulgent. I like it.
6. Anything can be blog post material. I mean, anything.
Look, if it makes sense to me at two in the morning, I’m sure it’ll … well. Okay. I’ll try to think of something better for next week.
So, you know, I think I can put up with it until my body (and head) decide it’s time to sleep properly again. Plus I occasionally write really weird stories when I’m not sleeping, which can be entertaining. For me, at least.
Now tell me, lovely people – do you ever have trouble sleeping? Do you embrace it? How do you tackle it if not? Let me know below!