Saturday, 23 October 2010

8 hours

So, I'm typing this from bed. And that's not like 'tea and toast, lights on, music blaring' bed. Nah, it's more like 'lights off, kind of touch typing, music whispering, go to bed soon as i'm done' bed.  I'm as shocked as anyone to find myself here, in bed, with the prospect of not just up to but at least eight hours of sleep ahead of me!  I'm not sure that my heart can take the excitement.  I've not kept a diary for years, so can't actually remember the last time I slept that long, but it sure as heck wasn't any time in the near past (that I can recall, anyways, and that really is a significant factor).

I guess there's a number of reasons my body finally beat me into submission.  The past few weeks (months, years, life) have consisted of consistent lack of sleep.  Hell, I'm so bad at getting my sleep, if someone were to try sleep deprivation as a form of torture on me, all they'd get is excessive giggling, and a wildly fluctuating emotional state.  They'd definitely get no answers, though would be unlikely to believe the truth that I just couldn't remember anything!  But more on my pathologically horrendous memory another time. Let's focus on the (lack of) sleep thing for now.

I don't remember ever getting that much sleep on a regular basis.  Or at least, I don't recall ever making a habit of getting to bed on time.  I'm nocturnal - generally I hate having to be asleep any time before 3am, and even beyond.  Maybe this is why I spent so much time at Uni - freedom to be as night-loving as I wanted to be, and no-one yelling for me to get up in the morning.  Well, for the most part anyways -  Financial Accounting Lectures in my first year were 9.15 on a Monday morning - the most painful start to the week that I can ever imagine.  Anyone who showed up late had to go to the front of the class and recite the definition for depreciation. 'Depreciation is the reduction in value of an item due to time, obsolescence and blah!'.  Don't let the fact that I no longer remember it fool you - I had that definition down pat back then!

So anyways, going to bed has never been my strongest point.  It just feels like there are way too many interesting things to do rather than be asleep.  I have masses of pictures that I took at uni that are time-marked about 2am, poems written around that time, and diary entries that scrawl on for pages, with loads of references like 'tonight (well technically, last night)' - never great to be a pedant writing a diary about the past day once it'd gone midnight.

Problem is, with the whole 9-5 thing, being nocturnal doesn't really work so well.  In fact, I'd say it maybe doesn't work at all.  And yet I persist - despite good intentions, there always seems to be something urgent to start or continue at just gone midnight.  Plus, that's when I finally get my time - whe the rest of the house is asleep and I can finally do things without the hassle of calls and distractions.   The result of all this, though, is basically constant fatigue, and quite probably a number of other less obvious side effects too.  I reckon my atrocious memory is linked to the lack of sleep, as are my oft-occurring word finding difficulties, frequent ADD symptoms, tendency towards tangents, and general difficulty living in the world that doesn't exist inside my own head...

So yes, reasons for finally succumbing to my bed early(ish) for once (I realise now I've been writing this so long, I'll no longer be getting the 8 hours - I knew it was too good to last!) - the fall-asleep-in-your-manager's-face kind of tiredness really has got to stop.  I could feel myself actually not being able to focus anymore, and the difficulties of holding a normal conversation..!  Also, I've just found that the past few weeks, averaging 4 hours a night, I've become incredibly emotionally labile - any kind of minor level stress became a catastrophe, and for a few weeks I lived in a world of impending doom and tragedy.  Luckily I survived and lived to tell the tale.  But I think it was just one dip too many for my mind and body.  I attempted earlier nights this week, and Monday and Tuesday succeeded.  But then 'going out' got into the equation and a good night's sleep just comepletely jumped ship.  So tonight I'm hauling it back in, and hoping I haven't left it too long...

NB - I've started dosing as I draw this to a close - always a sign that sleep is impatient to get a look in!


  1. I love your rambles... sweet dreams...

  2. ha ha ha ha - just realised i wrote 'dosing' instead of 'dozing' - i really was mostly asleep when i wrote this.

    lil - thank you - if i could remember my dreams, i'm sure they would have been pretty similar to my waking life (or at least, the bits of my waking life that go on in my head)

  3. Insomnia affects us all in one way or another; slight changes in mood, eating habits and workload can wire us into a scrambled mess for weeks. Think Ed Norton from Fight Club. You gotta make routines, the body loves challenges but to increase its health and ability, rather than tiring it - the body loves structure.

    You remind me of every person I've spoken to who incidentally is going through the same thing.
    It's 4.30 and I too am wide awake. Subhokhair.

    Don't start a Fight Club.

  4. Z - my problem is it's not insomnia - I just get rooted in what I'm doing and don't go to bed. If I went to bed at 9pm, I'd go to sleep.

    I do like the fight club idea...could be the natural follow on from my muay thai classes... If I started one, would you join? Be my Project Mayhem deputy?

    ps - go to bed!