Let sleeping dogs lie.

sleepinIn this case, despite the picture, as Sally Albright said in “When Harry met Sally”: I am the dog.

Every year I forget until it comes on me again; my Summer affliction: insomnia.  Bah!  In Winter I have no problem sleeping as long as my feet are warm, but in Summer the warmth of the house snaps me out of dreams at 2am to ponder life and the Universe at large.  And believe me, I am not one of those people who can operate on 4 hours sleep; 4 hours sleep makes Mama a cranky girl at about 3pm and yet I have personally deemed Nanna-naps as being a decadent thing that I feel too guilty to have…like champagne at 11am.  Personal note to self: Get over that, quick!

My husband doesn’t need much sleep and I don’t know how he functions as well as he does.  Mind you, his lack of sleep could largely be blamed on me, because for some reason he is terribly aware of when I’m not alseep.  I don’t know why.  I’m quiet as a mouse, honestly.  Poor bugger.

As soon as I wake up I go into panic mode:
“No, no, you’re not awake; you’re just turning over.  Now, turn over and go back to sleep.  That’s it.  And back to sleep.  Back to sleep.  Sleepy thoughts.  Sleeeeepy thoughts.  I must move the garden furniture around so the horse can eat the grass and then it will look like it’s been mowed.  What? NO!  Don’t think coherent thoughts!  No coherent thoughts, because you are about to go to sleep!”

And then it happens:
“I wonder what time it is?”

And that is the death knell of sleep and all things sleepywise, my friends.  What.  Is.  The.  Time.
My capability to do math in my head grows superpowers as I deduct the hours, minutes and seconds I have been awake and ponder the amount of hours, minutes and seconds of reasonable sleep I can hope to gain if I can get to sleep now.  Or now.  Or now.  Or…….nnnnnow.

My brain halves start to quibble then with varying results, and the fact that I don’t know which is the left and which is the right brained arguments is totally because I’m so damned tired I can’t remember which is which.
“Get up and write, I’ve got a great idea,”
“No way!  The last thing you want is to overstimulate yourself – then you’ll never get back to sleep!”
“You could just write for, like, half an hour,”
“As if – you know if you get up and write, you’ll be stuffed, there’ll be no sleep and you’ll never recover it tomorrow,”
“Yeah, but the last time you did it it was really good!”
“But what if it isn’t tonight – then you’ll have wasted all that time when you could have been sleeping!”
“But what if you waste this time not sleeping and not writing something really cool?”

What if I did?  The thought makes me break out in a cold sweat.

I have in fact gotten up and written before in my insomniac rage – and 9 times out of 10 it has been writing that I’ve been really really pleased about.  But I love sleep.  And forcing myself out of that horizontal position to find my glasses and a pen and notepad, and having a wee while the computer boots up – all of those things thought about whilst in the horizontal position amount to all the worst bits of planning a road trip in peak hour traffic.

Getting up when you have insomnia feels like you are giving up the fight.  Unfortunately I’m so stubborn, I mostly refuse to give up.  But when I look at my schedule for this year, and try to figure out where I can try to trap time into writing, it seems to me my insomnia may be my best option…at least until I have to return to work in February. 

So, for the rest of this month, let’s assume I’m making the most of it.  And try not to phone or drop by in the afternoon.  I may be having my Nanna-nap.

13 thoughts on “Let sleeping dogs lie.

  1. I like your positive take on it Mr Bach, and your words are appropriately beautiful…my left brain agrees completely with you…or is it my right brain? Anyway, the spirit is willing but the flesh is just SO tired! 🙂

  2. I agree with Mr Bach, that if you’re awake anyway you may as well use the time wisely.
    I remember reading once that the belief children once had in brownies (helpful household sprites) was because they would wake up and find their boots polished, et cetera, and their parents swore they hadn’t done these things. And they hadn’t; it was the grandparents who, needing less sleep than the younger folk, had risen early and quietly done the extra chores.
    There may, then, be honest justification in “Nanna naps”, after all. So if you’re keeping Nanna hours, you should be entitled to some 2 pm downtime.

  3. Lavenderbay I need some of those brownies around here…I don’t wanna be one!!

    It’s always a magic number isn’t it Jeanie? Like 4.32 or 1.23? That’s what my mind does before it gets to the list!

    Thanks for the commiserations Sarah, at least I know I’ll have company from now on somewhere in the world.

    What’s that like for you Randy? Crazy and cold? Does it drive you bonkers or are you adjusted?

  4. I write the most amazing things – in my head – at 3.33 most mornings. If I get up and type it I won’t go back to sleep. If I don’t get up and type it, I *can* get back to sleep but never attain the excellence of what I thought I had, when writing the prose from memory. Ahh which one is worse?!

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