Insomnia strikes again. Waking at 3 am rather than my usual 4 am seems spiteful and futile. One can conceivably get up at 4 but 3 is just bloody ridiculous.
I turn over and try to go back to sleep, my mind racing as I groggily scrunch up pillows and gently elbow my husband to turn over. Despite my usual protestations, it is not his snoring that keeps me awake. Well, it is. Is there anything more bloody annoying than lying there listening to the love of your life snore his way through the wee hours while you plan various tortures for them as you crave sleep? But even with him silent, sleep escapes me.
I fumble, still sleep-blind, to put on a talking-book or the radio. Something boring, but not really boring as that will just annoy me awake. Not something too interesting either, – my mind suddenly lurches into action at the mere mention of ancient civilizations on In Our Time.
Discussing what we listen to while falling asleep, my son claims a really boring YouTube channel where some bloke is talking about electronics and valves, does the trick for him.
‘I feel a bit bad for him,’ my son confides, ‘this bloke has made all this content and it is perfectly boring enough to fall asleep to.’
It’s a difficult accolade to carry,- the ability to create words dull enough to lull someone back to sleep. Apps deliberately designed to do so, with famous people reading you a bedtime story, do nothing for me. Their voices, all faux lullaby sotto, fail to soothe my whirling brain in quite the same way as an episode of Radio 4’s Great Lives. (Not that Great Lives is boring – it is a curse to click on an episode about some random you’ve never heard of only to discover they are fascinating, and you’d love to have invited them around for tea.)
I am still awake.
I’ve listened to In Our Time about Jane Austen’s Persuasion, the volume just loud enough to hear, – not too loud so that it wakes you up, not too quiet that your ears are straining. This was a poor choice, obviously very interesting. I did drift off towards the end, but a BBC advert with a loud jingle woke me from drifting dreams
I tried Great Lives, but someone’s voice was annoying. My current talking book is way too interesting, and my mind wanders with all the possibilities offered by map reading and finding one’s way. Maybe there should be a map to find sleep.
Why is it that I cannot sleep? Bloody Menopause again!
I give up trying and scroll social media, finding friends, equally frustrated at their lack of slumber, posting memes and sleep-deprived rants.
After an hour I simply get up. There is a moment when you know that you are awake, when you know that sleep has deserted you and is not going to return, that you must simply give in. With nothing gained lying there raging at the lack of REMs, I pad downstairs in search of tea.
The darkness of an insomniac night has a cold isolating quality. Too early to put the heating on and not wanting the rumble of the boiler and the click click click of the radiators to wake anyone else. Annoyingly my husband could sleep through a nuclear explosion, bless him, still I forgo heating so as not to disturb, instead sipping warm tea from beneath the covers as I type this.
I am sooo tired. I could lie down here and close my eyes for just a minute…but then I wonder if dinosaurs saw in colour, now that we know they had feathers and plumage? Or how exactly is it that nuclear fusion works? Or maybe I lost my bank cards down the back of the washing machine? My mind clicks into overdrive, and I am awake once again.