Below is a copy of the first post on my first blog that I feel holds resonance with anyone who burns that precious midnight oil.
…Who sleeps well? I mean really well? I know I don’t.
In fact I honestly can’t remember the last time I had more than four or five hours of solid, uninterrupted slumber. You know the kind that you wake from in a daze, heavy and sluggish from lying still for too long in the same position. The eyes that take an age to focus and the invisible blanket that you can’t shake off even after you throw back the covers and haul your heavy frame over to the side of the bed. That is the wake up I crave. The satisfied awakening that always brings a slow reward; the reward of a clear head and a spring in your stride for the whole day ahead. That is the morning I have been chasing for years. I long for that satisfaction; the knowledge that those hours of deep sleep and rest have recharged and refuelled my mind and the worn out body that I drag through each day.
The reality is somewhat different. I sleep, restlessly, lightly, erratically, occasionally, reluctantly, and sometimes frantically, but never soundly. Why? No really, why? There should be solutions, there should be answers but the truth is that now my sleep has become habitual. Babies and toddlers form sleep patterns very quickly, sometimes patterns that are difficult to break, I have done so over a prolonged period and forged a rather tumultuous relationship with my nights. I don’t worry about this, I embrace the fact that the night is a beast, a phantom to be fought, to be conquered, or at least tamed and understood.
Perhaps I kid myself but there are benefits to this insomnia, forget about health and sanity, they are luxuries for the modern hamster. I find the hours I should be sleeping are a surprising arena for the creative juices to run riot. There is a different kind of quiet that can be found in the ‘wee small’ hours of the morning. The night hangs close to you and you are engulfed in a depth of silence that is constantly interrupted during the day. Try listening to the quiet at two o’clock in the morning, it will reward you with a new perspective, one that you would normally snore through and turn the other shoulder at. Perhaps the knowledge that most people near you are fast asleep at that very moment when you feel most alive fuels the appetite for more time. I am most alive, most creative, most productive when the rest of the world sleeps.
So bring on the witching hour, turn off the lights and rest thy weary head. I’ll crank up the music and write you a sonnet to keep you deep in dreamland while I create my own. We’ll exist like shadows, poles apart only metres away. You do your thing, I’ll do mine and once in a while we’ll swap, and what a shock it will be for both.
Tell me, who sleeps well, do you? I know I don’t, but now I know why I wouldn’t change that for the world. To sleep, or not to sleep? That is the question.
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