Sunday, 20 February 2011

Sleepless in S.....

Well does it really matter where one is sleepless?
The fact of being awake (again) when most of the world is asleep is a constant factor in the lives of we insomniacs, not a cause for hand-wringing, nor yet a reason for celebration.  Just a tiresome, boring way of life.
This time I blame it on my innocent neighbours.  They are off on holiday, leaving for the airport in the wee small hours - not soundlessly.  But, in fact, I was already awake anticipating their departure.
This is another thing we do, we night owls.  It is not enough to be unable to sleep, or to be woken by odd noises.  There is also the 'soon be time for this or that' factor to be woven into our crazy time-scale.
When my late husband and I worked (in London) we had to leave at 6.00am which necessitated getting up at about 4.30am to allow time to feed cats, make sandwiches for lunch, have breakfast, put a load of washing on etc.  This in turn led to waking before the alarm clock went off in case it failed!!!!
The permanent state of anxiety engendered by the fear of being late in turn led to earlier and earlier waking until, by the time we retired we were both so paranoid that more than 4 hours sleep a night seemed like a criminal waste of time.
Even three or four years into retirement we, I in particular, were consumed with guilt if we 'overslept' and woke at some 'half way through the day' time, like, 7.30am or so.
Now, 18 months after John,s death, it is slowly dawning on me that it doesn't matter a jot what time I wake or get up.  Routines are self-imposed, not written into the constitution and if I fail to turn up somewhere I 'ought' to be, no-one is going to care even if they notice.
None of this however, makes it any easier to actually go to sleep in the first place, the big difference is that it has no impact on anyone but me these days.
We are told we need a certain amount of sleep to enable the body to repair damage and for the brain to function efficiently.  Since my body seems able to cope well without much and sometimes, any, sleep and my brain was never much to write home about in the first place, I guess I'll manage.
Lots of words, not much content, but then it is 3.15am!

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