Insomnia

of late I’ve slept like a baby. By which I mean, soundly and well. As opposed to waking every few hours and wetting myself. So maybe not like a baby at all. If you think about these commonly held sayings then you realise they’re mostly nonsense.

Past week hasn’t been quite so good. I suppose I blame the night shifts. I hadn’t done nights in 9 months and was out off practice for the changeover into the nocturnal schedule. Use I stay up really late the night before my nights watching DVDs and drinking coffee, and usually that does the trick.

But it’s been nearly a week since I finished the nights and I’m still a bit topsy-turvy (another commonly used term that I have no idea about…) and falling asleep during the day. I made it to lunch today and then vegged out (any thoughts?) on the sofa and dozed off to the best of Massive Attack (such great sleepy music). Even then sleep wouldn’t come, just a slightly lower level of consciousness and some funny day dreams about helicopters. All it did was make me more tired than I began with.

As I lay in bed tonight I went through my ritual. Lie on my back, lie on my right side, lie on my left side, lie on my front, turn the pillow over so it’s a bit better fluffed up, rearrange the sheets so they’re nice and square and then lay on my back again and repeated the process. As a last resort I run a prayer list through my head but it gets lost somewhere and I end up repeating the rolling round the bed process.

So that’s stage 1 insomnia. Stage 2 involves getting up and ensuring all bodily functions are in working order. Sometimes a quick pee is all I need to knock me off to the land of nod (I imagine I’m going to have prostate issues as an old man, or even a not so old one). If not that then generally a quick feed might sort it out. The feed usually involves a) some chocolate b) some cashew nuts c) some grapefruit juice (straight from the carton I might add) and if I’m desperate d) a glass of milk.

Stage 2 done I’m now on to stage 3 – playing Amazing Pilots songs on the guitar in my boxers. On occasion this turns into attempting to write a song and then I just give up on sleeping altogether.

Stage 4 is run through the BBC NI RSS (a lot of acronyms there sorry) feed and catch up on news from home. Top story this morning – cattle die in suspect farm fire.

Stage 5 is pretty extreme and involves a walk out past the estuary over to westshore trying not to look like I’m about to break into someone’s car. It may be added that I’m no longer just in the boxers at this stage. The walk can be quite nice as you can sit on the beach and listen to the waves and I once saw what looked like a penguin (but may have been a rat, it was dark) and a hedgehog (definitely a hedge hog though it may have been dead as it didin’t move too much) so it’s quite an experience really.

Stage 6 is pretty final and involves writing this blog. But it’s a guaranteed success cause I assure you that if you’re reading this and make it to stage 6 then you’re probably bored half to sleep with it. I know I am…

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May 2007
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