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Sleepless in SS9
Readers, I've been suffering from insomnia. Well, it's been a weird one. I've been able to GET to sleep, but then my neighbours go to bed directly above us and they have the creakiest floorboards known to mankind. They love to open and close drawers at gone eleven thirty, gone midnight, gone 1am... this wakes me. I put in earplugs and have broken sleep and then BING! 3am rolls around and I'm brightly wide awake - the kind of awake where I think: should I just get up? I don't, and then finally get off to sleep around 5, sometimes later (earlier?) and then blink awake at 7am and haul myself out of bed like a sack of very tired potatoes.
My mind will be racing. Anything is fair game. I think about the books I'm reading, the TV shows I'm watching. I have a million fantasy conversations, including one with the upstairs neighbours asking them what their fetish is with drawers, and can they please stop? I think about something that happened at school that still makes me wince. I think about all the times I could have replied to things with better sentences. I think about my to-do list at work. I think about the emails in my inbox I'm supposed to deal with but gloss over like they'll just go away. I think about the book I'm writing: what my characters might like for dinner. I plan whole scenes. I write essays in my head then don't want to lose them, so the Notes section of my phone is packed with weird bullet points stabbed in the dark while squinting at my phone despite it being on its lowest light setting.
Not sleeping properly makes you feel strange. Sounds are dulled the next day, you're overwrought with emotions you didn't know you had, everything feels foggy. It's like you're hungover but you didn't have the fun of the night before. And I don't even have caffeine, so I can't glug a thousand cups of coffee the next day!
Anyway, after a week or three of bad sleep, the weekend arrived like a grateful hug and on Sunday, I could repair. I stayed in bed all morning, reading the papers, powering through a book, drinking coffee and eating avocado on toast like an absolute cliché. I got up and did yoga. I went into the garden to show my wife what I'd bought at the garden centre and we potted up plants, she sowed seeds, we breathed in all the lovely life that is happening outside. We went for a walk to Chalkwell and back, looking at the beautiful views. The estuary shone like a diamond. We went home and cooked a roast dinner comprised purely of our veg box from Sarah Green's Organics (if you don't get these, you should!) and we went to bed at - get this - half past 8. Half 8! Bedtime of dreams!
Sometimes insomnia episodes come at a time when you need sleep the most, and sometimes, you need to listen to your mind and wind down. If it means some enforced downtime and a baby's bedtime hour, go for it if you can. Tomorrow's you will thank you. Even if the neighbours start on the drawers at midnight again...
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