Good AM to you. I cannot bring myself to call it morning at something past 4am.
Don’t get me wrong, I’ve always been a morning person. At 5 – 6 am I open my eyes and I’m wide-awake. This is usually followed by some sense of excitement and expectation, especially in the summer when I wake up to daylight. But this is London so I take what I can get.Nowadays these awakenings are accompanied with all manner of pains and stiffness (tick-tock, tick-tock) but we keep smiling because life is bigger than pain.
In recent years, I have periods of waking up at 3 am. Do I call this nighttime? I know it is technically ‘morning’. Is this insomnia? Am I now an insomniac? *Reads up on insomnia* I am now an insomniac. I cannot get my head around that. I refuse to accept that label. I suppose it wouldn’t be such a big deal if I didn’t have this caricature image of insomniacs hunched over their world domination projects while, at intervals, trying not to fall over the bags under their eyes as they twitch n pace the short length of their candle-lit confines. Not good.
In these periods, I would try all sorts of things – deep breathing, light reading, praying, emptying my mind, kicking sheep (they don’t go easily over the fence, you know) – to try to get back to sleep. Anything but Television. Sometimes these activities help. I would eventually sleep but then I would wake up 30 minutes later (because I have to – it’s real daytime now and life goes on) and feel even more tired.
So a lovely lady, Nadia, told me about how she would just get on with her day whenever bereft of sleep. 2am? Sure, that’s a great time to do laundry (if you’re in a detached house or the ground floor, I suppose).
Well I’ve decided to approach my sleep issues with that sort of positive pragmatism (And hope that this doesn’t make it worse). Maybe as I get through my unforgiving ‘To Do’ list, I can free space in the back of my mind and that will facilitate better sleep. Today I had a cup of coffee at 0315 hours, just to ward off any possibilities of a rogue wave of fatigue swooping in. Yeah – that’s so bring it on.
If Lady Thatcher can get by on 3 hours of sleep, surely I can manage 4 or 5. So here we are. It’s 4.36 now. 3 articles and one blog into the day. Looking forward to a swim in about 3 hours. Let’s see how I get on.
But I still refuse to be called an insomniac. We are 3’oclock people, darling.
[Q. What do you do when you can’t sleep and have a full day ahead of you?]