This week I once again had a very unwelcome guest in my bed.
She (because I am convinced this ‘person’ is female for some unfathomable reason) is an occasional visitor and is one that always leaves her mark and makes the whole bedroom experience very distressing.
Her name is insomnia.
And she’s a pain.
This unwanted lady has been a visitor to my bedchamber for many years and tends to come unexpectedly and without warning and usually sticks around for a couple of weeks.
So, three times in the last week she has dominated my night-times and left me feeling completely shattered the morning after. And, frankly, I no longer know what to do about her.
Take Monday night.
I went to bed at my usual time, read a few pages of my favoured book (Robert Harris’s latest novel on the Roman empire) and then I closed my eyes at about midnight expecting to sail into the land of nod until I was woken by Radio Five Live at 6.45 the following morning.
But insomnia had other ideas.
For the next 3-4 hours (the last time I checked the dreaded alarm clock said 3.42), she left my mind in a total state of turmoil which meant that in the battle for night-time supremacy (which she had instigated) she was victorious
Although my mind wasn’t particularly active, when you are alone with your thoughts in the middle of the night you notice everything. The normal melodic humming of my heating system suddenly sounded as loud as if Motorhead were playing in my living room and the slightest sound of a distant car sounded like a Formula One race.
Everything was amplified, everything was exaggerated and everything combined to leave me more awake at 2.30am than I usually expect to be at 2.30pm.
So, like everyone who suffers from insomnia I tried all the usual ‘cures’. I got up, wandered around, read some more of Mr Harris, popped a DVD on at 2am (an old Seinfeld which was very funny but sadly didn’t leave me very sleepy), had a quick drink, changed my position in the bed dozens of times and even resorted to the totally pointless activity of counting sheep. The latter is the singular most ridiculous way of getting to sleep I can imagine but, hey, it works for others so I was busy counting them cotton-picking lambs at 3am.
But all to no avail.
Eventually I must have drifted off (and again I have no reason why – perhaps even Mrs Insomnia had got bored) and the day after I felt as if I had been out at an all-night party. Without any of the benefits of having been at an all-night party.
So if you have any ideas of how you can help me to defeat this bed hopping irritant, I would greatly welcome them here or at the usual address or at firstname.lastname@example.org. I have also set myself a new year target of trying to ‘Tweet’ more (you can find me at @samholliday) so pop in and say hi – but preferably not at about 2.30am. After all at that time I am usually watching Seinfeld and dreaming (or rather not dreaming) of sleep, glorious, sleep.