Tag Archives: sleeplessness

No Post Today

As the readership of my modest blog (it’s the blog that’s modest, not me, I’m brilliant) grows slowly larger, more and more of my friends and my family have discovered and are reading it. This is great, but has one disadvantage. I’m less likely to vent about the mental issues (I typed “metal issues” there by mistake, which if I’d not noticed it would have given the impression that my pacemaker was beginning to rust) that occasionally plague me if I know that it’s going to be read by people who think I’m a calm, cheerful ray of sunshine, a slightly less annoying version of Pollyanna.

I can’t write, for example, about the reasons why my posts are appearing at the moment less frequently than Halley’s Comet. I can’t use the excuse that it’s because I’m depressed again, more so than I have been for a couple of years now. I can’t write that I am massively stressed about work, even though there is nothing going on there to be massively stressed about.

I can’t write that all of this is affecting my sleep again, that I wake at ludicrous times and lie for hours thinking about work, about things that I can’t exactly fix while in bed at three o’clock in the morning and many of which don’t really need fixing anyway.

I can’t write that I woke on Saturday at three am and lay there until five, fell asleep for a while and then got up at seven-thirty. I can’t write that yesterday – Sunday – morning I woke at four and lay there until I eventually got up at six. Yes, six o’clock on a Sunday morning, a time that I had previously believed to be mythical, like the Wonder Years, Sheffield Wednesday and the Age of Aquarius.

I can’t write that I am writing this on the six o’clock train (the buses haven’t even started running yet) because I got up at five this morning.

When it comes to my sleep pattern you could set your clock by me at the moment, if by that you mean that you could get your clock set by me, since I’m always awake to do it for you.

And I can’t write that I am tired, so, so tired, so, so exhausted. I take out my computer each morning and evening on the bus, write about ten words of blather and then put it away again, defeated by the fact that I can’t remember how to spell cat, let alone write about one (the fact that I don’t have a cat is, of course, another drawback in this particular example).

I can’t write about the fact that I can’t write.

So I won’t.

Wide Awake

If you finish a post with the sentence “things are pretty bad when even spammers think you write crap” and then don’t publish anything for five days it makes you look just a little bit thin-skinned.

My absence has not been due to negative reviews, but to negative sleep.

The eleven day Christmas break has messed with my sleep patterns, and has left me with just two. In one of them I fall asleep at nine, wake at midnight and lie awake for the rest of the night. In the other I don’t fall asleep until two and then wake at five. The mathematics of each pattern is the same – for the past week I have been surviving on three hours sleep per night.

Surviving is a relative term. I have been surviving in the same way that zombies do – not eating brains, of course, but lurching slowly about and having unruly hair.

In such circumstances writing anything even remotely funny is difficult. Writing one’s own name is difficult.

On the bus home yesterday I turned on my laptop, then decided that I just couldn’t be bothered. I had to wait for it to finish starting up, of course, before I could close it down, the guy sitting beside me must have thought that I was trying a variant on “have you tried turning it off and turning it back on again”.

Having spent yesterday at work with the attention span of a goldfish and the inner rage of a goldfish (wouldn’t you be pissed off at being stuck in a small round bowl?) I set about changing things. I sat reading until 9.30 last night, swore to myself that no matter what I would not get up until my alarm clock (brief interlude – thank God I read this post back, the last word originally said something else) went off, and I managed to sleep for eight hours. I did wake on several occasions, but only for a couple of seconds, and that’s as close as I ever get to a full night’s sleep anyway.
So I’m back. It’s 7.15 as I write this on the bus and I feel rested and content. I have no ideas for posts for the rest of the week, but I promise I will think of something.

Otherwise I’m just going to start copying and pasting my spam comments.

In The Wee Small Hours Of The Morning

I didn’t write a post on Thursday 24th, but I’m counting this one. It will appear as having been posted on Friday 25th, but it’s 1am and as far as I’m concerned that’s still Thursday, Friday begins when my alarm goes off.

This tale really starts on Wednesday, whenever that was. We had a visit from one of those Compliance Officer types that Red Tape (cousin of Red Adair) likes to send along to bother you just when you’re really busy and there are only 21 working days left this year. It was obvious within five minutes to him that we were compliant but he had his little boxes to tick and copies of things to collect, so I spent three hours finding, photocopying and fuming and the second he left I got a really blinding headache. The light hurt, the noise hurt, I spent an hour in front of my computer doing absolutely nothing, so in the end I went home.

I went to bed at six in the evening and slept like a stone. I woke at 4am but I’d had 10 hours sleep so that was no problem. At least not until last night this evening Thursday, when I got home feeling exhausted and so went to bed at nine.

And woke up at midnight.

I’ve been awake for over an hour now, which is why I’m up writing this, and I’m hoping that I’ll be able to go back to sleep afterwards. Because our Christmas Party is on Friday night (ie, either tonight or tomorrow night depending on what time you call this) and I probably won’t home until about 2 am, so if I don’t go back to sleep I’m looking at a 25-hour day.

And yes, it is ridiculous to have a Christmas Party on November 25th. On the bright side, it’s in the room in the Guinness Storehouse where they poured the pint specially for the Queen when she came to visit last summer, so since I’m off drink at the moment she and I will have refused to drink Guinness in the same room as each other, so I’m thinking of her as a kindred spirit.

Google tells me that, having got up five hours ahead of schedule I an now in the same Time Zone as Uzbekistan, so “Good Morning”, or “Hayirli Tong”, to all my Uzbek readers.

You have to hand it to me. I’m the only person who ever got jet-lag in the comfort of their own home.

Good Golly Miss Molly

First of all, sorry about yesterday. I got dejected about something, and when I get like that I dig myself a little hole of sadness. Most people would sit there for a little while, then climb out and brush themselves off. I get out by digging my way right through to the other side of the world.
So don’t feel sorry for me, this was not a depressive episode, this was a silly man in a bad mood.

And now to this morning. My psychiatrist looked me straight in the eye. “Have you ever had Molly Paxon?” he asked.

This was taking his level of questioning up a notch. Has he espoused Freudianism? Was he just being nosy? Were we going to swap stories? Was he offering to set me up on a date?

Anyway, I haven’t, I’m sure I’d have remembered.

“No,” I said, slightly more wistfully than I’d intended.

It turns out that he was talking about something called Molipaxin, the latest drug that I am to add to the table of tablets that fight on my behalf against the problems of the world (it’s no wonder I’m thin, there’s no room in my stomach for food). This one is to try to cure my sleep problem, where I have no problem in going to sleep each night but wake about every forty minutes or so for a few seconds, every single night. As a result I am permanently mentally exhausted, and we feel that this does not help my derealisation.

He checked to make sure it wouldn’t clash with any of my other meds and then turned back to me. “There is only one known side-effect,” he said, “and it only affects one man in ten thousand. You may end up with a permanent erection.”

Molly sounds like quite a girl.

And Once More the Dawning

This morning I woke at four (only people my age will get the post title, by the way).

I stayed awake until my normal 6.25 getting-up time, feeling sorry for myself because I’d only had five hours sleep.

At first I spent a while mentally planning all the things I’ve to try and get done at work over the next four weeks. I looked at the clock after this period of mild panic and it was twenty past four. I also looked at the clock at 4.40, 5.22, 6.01, 6.06 and 6.15, in other words more and more often as getting-up time neared.

During this two and a half hour period while I was wide awake, the following things also happened:

  • I went to a funeral in a church which my dad and I had to get to my running between the fast-moving cars on a dual-carraigeway and then crossing a field. My mother (who died in 1987) was there, I hugged her, and thought how tired she looked.
  • I cycled a bicycle through the narrow streets in the centre of Rome, and when I got to one which had been re-paved and had a barrier across it, I picked up the bicycle, carried it over the barrier and carried on. A man shouted “you’re not allowed cycle here!” and I replied “I’m not cycling”.
  • “Major Chumley-Harris (yes, I know it’s spelt ‘Cholmondeley’) was a straight talker, he always referred to England as England, and had never once used the phrase ‘Old Blighty‘” This sentence came unbidden into my head.
  • A young Chinese hero bravely attacked an evil Ninja warrior. Both of them were armed, not with sticks, but with brooms, and they had one of those kung-fu-type fights .  The warrior was winning until he managed to jam his broom along the length of the young man’s back, and caught his two arms along the other one. The two brooms therefore formed a type of crucifix, the young hero erupted in blazing light and emerged as a god.
  • I thought of a story, and even of one joke that I can use in it (wow, that’s one more than usual, Tinman), but unfortunately it will only make sense if I post it at Christmas.

In short, perhaps I wasn’t awake for the entire two and half hours.

I don’t feel so sorry for myself now, but I am beginning to suspect that I’m not on strong enough meds.

Ordered Disorder

Among the numerous mental health issues afflicting me at the moment is my disturbed sleep. I go to sleep more or less straight away, but wake many times during the night and finally wake and stay awake really early. This is not because I’m one of those people who doesn’t need a lot of sleep because if it was I wouldn’t keep falling asleep while watching football and wouldn’t feel so feckin’ tired all the time.

I usually sleep facing my alarm clock, so when I do wake I know what time it is, and last night I woke at midnight, one minute to one, one minute to two, three o’clock, one minute past four, five o’clock and two minutes past six.

Even my sleep disorder is becoming anal. I’m waking more or less every hour, on the hour, like a human Big Ben.

So I’m not just cuckoo. I’m a cuckoo clock.

Golden Slumbers

Since I have started to sleep a bit better, I have noticed a strange habit that I have developed (normally people will sit up and pay attention when a blogger announces they are about to reveal a strange bedroom habit, but then most bloggers aren’t my age. Remembering to leave out my surgical truss for the morning is about as strange as my bedroom habits get these days (that’s not true, by the way, I’m just trying to be funny (yeah, well, we’ve told you before, don’t try that (shit, how many close-brackets do I need now to get out of this sentence in one grammatical piece?)))), (think that’s right).

When I turn over in my sleep, I always turn to my right.

If I am lying on my left, this is of course quite simple, and indeed blindingly obvious. However, if I am lying on my right, and wish to face the other way, I will still turn to my right, dipping my right shoulder and dragging my sleepy face across the pillow and then finding some way of squeezing my left shoulder under me so I can emerge triumphantly (though too asleep to feel smug) facing in the desired direction.

This would be harmless enough if it weren’t for the fact that turning all night in the one direction causes my body to act like the key on a sardine tin, with the duvet playing the role of the lid. I end up effectively mummifying myself, tightly wrapped in a tog-cocoon, while unfortunately leaving Mrs Tin cold, in every possible meaning of that sentence.

I don’t know how to explain it. Perhaps in a previous life I was a chicken on a rotisserie. Or a pig on a spit (which would account for my dislike of apple-tart).

Anyway (oh God), what strange bedroom habits do you have?