{16/01/2012}   Some not particularly useful thoughts on sleep

I was just sitting quietly thinking about what to write when I heard a strange noise. Turns out it was my cat, Izzy, snoring. Which is what’s got me thinking about sleep.

Last night, had I slept between going to bed and my alarm at 6.40am, I would’ve had enough sleep. But of course, I didn’t. I heard an alarm outside going off about 2.15am and failed to see where it came from. Being awake, I figured that must mean I needed a wee so I got out of my warm bed into the cold unheated air. Izzy was then excited to have company so I gave her a long stroke. Then went back to bed and only slept on and off until about 6.35, by which time I was clock watching and felt it would be better to just switch off the alarm and get up earlier. So cruel.

Part of the reason I probably didn’t sleep properly was also that I was using a new alarm clock, I was catching my first commuter train since late November and I was going to a job I didn’t know in the court environment that I have not wanted to go back to since I largely got out of it six years ago. So probably lack of sleep caused by stress and worry. But why is it that most nights I wake early and don’t get back to sleep properly, merely dozing if I’m lucky? I don’t usually have a problem falling asleep, it’s the staying asleep part that eludes me. I have always known that light is a big trigger for me. I have always dealt badly with really late nights because I get woken by the light a mere few hours later, and as for the days when I would occasionally not get home until the daylight hours, well that would not be pretty for days to come!

Something that both amazes me and infuriates me is that we all seem to follow a usual sleep pattern. I have a friend who has the same kind of sleep problem as me, namely that he too can get to sleep fine, just can’t maintain it past 5-6 am as a general rule. I know people who can just shut their eyes and fall asleep. I also know quite a few people who seem able to just sleep and sleep (this includes my cat, in fact any cat) and to whom it is not worth communicating with for the first few hours of their being awake. Or until they’ve had either a tea or a coffee. I do get tired during the day. As last night was particularly lacking in quality sleep, I was exceptionally tired at around 2pm today. Usually, I am kind of fine. But every now and then I wake and feel I’ve had a really deep, uninterrupted sleep and I feel truly joyful when I then get up, even if it’s before about 7am.

Maybe we do all need a certain amount of sleep, everyone being different. Maybe we all need to endeavour to de-stress more before going to bed. Maybe we should all invest in simple to use, reliable alarm clocks. Maybe sometimes we just don’t need as much sleep as we think. And as for parents of new born and not so new born babies … that is truly challenging!


Damn, I thought I did a reasonable job of communicating this morning when I met you at the station at some unearthly hour, only having consumed one coffee! I think the odd sleep pattern thing can be partly stress-related; stuff whirling around the mind….

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