My husband is killing me. Torturing me in fact. I was very fortunate (or so I thought) that, when I was younger, I could survive on next to no sleep. A couple of hours and I could recharge to ‘fresh as a daisy.’ Back then sleep was for the weak when there was a whole day to be had! Believe it or not I actually thrived on it (or the lack of it). My parents didn’t agree with ‘wasting days’ and were advocates of ‘early rising.’ As a teenager I didn’t wallow in my pit like most. It wasn’t that I wasn’t allowed to, or even particularly encouraged against it – but I guess my parents’ behaviour was ingrained. ‘Throughers’ weren’t unheard of and 4 to 5 hours was the norm.Save for the odd early night I too would be up making the most of my day whilst the majority of my peers preferred doing the whole ‘teenage’ thing and would surface after noon. I got SO much done, exercise, school work, reading, chores – leaving far more time for the good stuff; socialising, dancing, drinking and boys! During the uni years I’d visit friends and after a full-on ‘sesh,’ I would still be up with the lark. Even a hangover wouldn’t hamper me, in fact back then they were a rarity, despite my ability to ‘sink it’ with the best of ’em. I’d get up and do ridiculous things; early morning yoga sessions, writing letters to people (as we used pen and paper back then) or more commonly transforming whoever’s residence I’d stayed in into order and infinite tidiness. Yes, believe it or not, back then I was verging on OCD, at least where tidiness and order were concerned. Then I had children. My children. With the appearance of my first born came a whole load of sleepless nights and a whole load of worry. So, even when dog tired beyond comprehension, sleep wasn’t easily achieved. I’d lie awake willing sleep and worrying for worries sake. During those early years, many weeks/months were spent in and out of hospital (it became our second home) and, anyone who has had the misfortune will I’m sure concur, sleep in hospital, especially on a children’s ward, really isn’t an option. Sleep when your baby sleeps they all told me (it even said it in parenting books) … but when my baby was sleeping I was checking him at regular intervals to see that he was still breathing and/or wasn’t having a seizure. It perhaps eased a little as time passed, became more of a shared responsibility and some of our more major worries were dissipated and then …. … Along came numbers 2 and 3 – the lively little blighters. As number 1 settled into a routine nothing changed a great deal, as their nocturnal activities left a lot to be desired. I’m not entirely sure WHAT they survived on, back then, still aren’t as it happens, but I have deduced that it certainly isn’t sleep. I’m not sure that they ever did the whole ‘afternoon nap’ thing – but I was generally blessed with a few hours solid during the night (from both of them although not necessarily together) – when I could tend to No 1 or 2 or 3, catch up with chores, or just lay dormant and listen to the otherwise sleeping world. Yes, Nos 1 and 2 appear to be powered by Duracell and their on/off switches are hidden beyond discovery. Ironically, I married a snorer. An unsociable one at that. A night owl – who needs 8 hours, who is grumpy if disturbed of his rationing and whose body-clock is not to be toyed with. Yet, as business predicts, often up and off with the lark he’d surface at unreasonable hours and wake the household – and with No1’s irregular sleeping patterns as they are – chances were the nights he was away I’d be up with him anyway, So here I am, nearing my twilight years, despairing of my lack of ‘Beauty Sleep’ (says a lot) and my nights are plagued by both Mr Snore and his 10 million decibel army and my early rising first born. Sleeping under the eaves with an ear open to the world I’m entertained by the nocturnal goings on around the neighbourhood. The revelling of the younger community, the shift workers and the local wildlife. Like many, we’ve just enjoyed/endured a 7-week long summer holiday and whilst most families have languished a little on those lie-ins – which I dare say I’ve indulged in on occasion merely to play catch up! Did I mention that my husband is of the snoring fraternity? Speaking of Mr Snore we/I really have tried almost everything to cure his – I’ve bought him snore strips and snore rings, pillow mists and sleep-inducing bathing balms – but to no avail. My wits end on this subject has been pretty much reached – but I am most definitely open to suggestion. There may even be a prize for saving my tortured soul.
I bought myself many a book to while away those misspent hours. With so much ‘awake’ time is it any wonder that I devour books – literally in my sleep! Recently I came to acquire a rather intriguing, cult and quirky little book. This particular book by the fabulously witty and design-driven American store Knock Knock http://knockknockstuff.com/what-is-knock-knock/
is a joyous thing. in part, chiding my consciousness, but it gives meaning to the same with humour, urging my resourcefulness and contemplation. This tiny tome sits at my bedside in an attractive manner – just waiting for me to indulge it further.
Night time, I find, is a great time for writing. Two author friends of mine, the not so late, but very great AJ Taft of multi-novel fame http://www.amazon.co.uk/A-J-Taft/e/B008GRT0IC and the very lovely Mr James Nash author, poet and my mentor if you will, http://www.amazon.co.uk/James-Nash/e/B003UTZWAG/ref=sr_tc_2_0?qid=1441433818&sr=1-2-ent who both urged me to start writing on rising. Even just a few nonsensical scribbles to start my day. There IS indeed method in their madness and whilst some of my most incomprehensible and illegible claptrap is often written during my enforced insomnia – I’ve also benefited from a few golden nuggets too. Oh and as the return to school routine looms ever nearer and I find myself this very morning indulging in one of my very last ‘catch up’ sessions, my husband’s alarm goes at 5.30 am. (We have a triathlete in our midst). His alarm being the one that he only responds to when I awaken him in respond to it!! Where he excels at the art of snoring – he fails epically at rising undetected. He doesn’t do stealth. Where quiet is concerned and we have a little pug staying with us … so by the time he’s done his ablutions and got himself ready to leave, I lay there contemplating an hours unadulterated sleep. Unlike me Nos 2 and 3 are in fact sleeping undisturbed, No 1 is in respite and therefore is out of the equation … but no, as I dare to shut my eyes and wish for Mr Sandman did I mention we have another baby in our household at present … meet Mr Edgar Pug.
An otherwise wonderfully trained and beautiful sleeper who has settled into his boarding house rather splendidly, once roused at 6.00 am believed it’s now time for his day to start – cue the snuffling, the barking, the scratching! A perfect time for me to give in. Choose life over sleep and productivity over recharging. A perfect time for ….blogging – about SLEEP!