Consciousness: that annoying time between naps

26 Jul

Sometimes, in the deep of the night when England is sleeping, I am awake. I’ve talked about my lack of ability to sleep before, something that annoys me as I endeavour to be good at everything I try my hand at. Sleeping is not something I can practice at, something that I can get better at doing, and regularly defeats me.

I start off with good intention. I tell the girls that I’m off to bed at a good time. I shower and do all the pre bed rituals, and then I slide in between the soft sheets and nestle down ready for it to wash over me like soft waves on the shore when Mother Nature is happy. I have already ensured that there are no annoying little LED lights glowing from the hair dryer or the TV standby, little lines of colour to perforate my slumber, and I have ensured that the pillows are organised in a fashion that will aid my sleep. Like soldiers at the changing of the guard, they fall into line and catch my head, ready for dreams to come dancing.
They don’t.
I lay there, I toss, I turn, and I get worked up. How come everyone else is happily weaving their dreams, breathing shallow and eyes closed? Why can’t the mistress of calm visit me and whisper her words into my ear? Why won’t my mind settle and my body switch off ready for the rejuvenation that sleep brings?

I get up. I get a glass of water. I might even take something (like night nurse) to make me a little drowsy. Sometimes nothing works. I read a little, eyes drooping and lashes touching lashes. Triumph! Sleep is on its way! The light goes off, and my body becomes alert again.

And last night was one of those nights. If I had been filmed and fast forwarded you would have seen my insomnia dancing with me like lovers to a slow song, moving me from left side to right side, rearranging the pillows, sleeping under the duvet, on the duvet with a blanket to cool down, head at the top of the bed, head at the bottom of the bed. And you would have seen the colour change, from inky black through soft light until I drifted off, as the sun began its slow incline from its hiding place across the world, giving light to my morning. Sounds peaceful? It was, for the half an hour I slept before my alarm perforated the silence of the morning. The front door slammed as my housemate went off to work and my working day began again with the vigour of a sluggish old aged pensioner making their way across the house on a zimmer frame.
See you soon sleep, I can’t cope without you.


27 Responses to “Consciousness: that annoying time between naps”

  1. imonthebandwagon July 26, 2011 at 8:33 am #

    Ha its alright Tink, we have all been there. Great post though!

    Sorry it’s taken a while to get in touch, im still getting back to england mode

    • tinkerbelle86 July 26, 2011 at 8:52 am #

      i wish i was struggling to get back on England mode. Where have you been? if you could take me with you next time that would be great. I fold up quite small and am good at making tea and cheese sarnies. haha!

      • imonthebandwagon July 26, 2011 at 9:05 am #

        Haha not so much tea and sarnies, but if you are any good at mixing drinks you are pretty much on board. We went to Greece for two weeks for a bit of a break, it was a bit mad, I think i need a holiday just to get over that!

        • tinkerbelle86 July 26, 2011 at 9:50 am #

          im there. i can mix drinks, and if not you guys can just drink it neat. glad you’re back! 🙂

  2. Vix @ LittleMissEverything July 26, 2011 at 10:17 am #

    I love the pics! I often struggle to sleep well on a Sunday night so annoying and often when I’m more tired I sleep less and I have no chance of weekend lie-ins anymore, my body is too used to alarm time sigh! So I feel your pain chick!

  3. egills July 26, 2011 at 10:33 am #

    I feel your pain, my problem is I fall asleep and my body decides it’s time to get up at stupid o’clock and then once awake I can’t get back to sleep!

  4. Ann July 26, 2011 at 1:23 pm #

    I’ve had nights like that…I hate when it happens. Not only is your night ruined – it ruins your day, too! I hope you’re able to sneak in a nap…

  5. comingeast July 26, 2011 at 2:30 pm #

    The pictures added so much. The past two nights I haven’t been able to sleep either. That happens every once in awhile and it’s maddening, so I know how you feel. For me, I think it’s age. I tell myself to just get up and read, but I hate to disturb my husband, even though he says he wouldn’t mind. No rest for the weary. Nice writing, Tink.

  6. prenin July 26, 2011 at 2:33 pm #

    I have similar problems sleeping, then I sleep too long because of the damned pills!

    There’s no easy answer I’m afraid. (sigh!)

    Thursday I have to shop so I have to get up early and make sure I’m good and ready before I go.

    Hoo Boy…

    Love and hugs!


  7. David Fleming July 26, 2011 at 3:22 pm #

    Ah I used to have the exact same problem but found that a couple of things really helped and can’t reccomend them enough!

    1) Valerian root: herbal tablets available in health food shops, I normally find that by taking a couple before bed I start to feel drowsy after about half an hour. Maybe there is a certain amount of placebo going on but they definitely make a difference

    2) Go to bed listening to talk radio (not music radio) or podcasts at low volume: I find having something to listen to really clears my mind and helps me drift off. Having it at low volume, only just audible forces you to keep still and concentrate in order to hear it, again working to clear the mind and help get to sleep.

    3) Don’t worry about it. Easier said than done I know but once you start worrying that you can’t get to sleep you make yourself less likely to. I have this problem If I am due to be up early for an important day – I might need to be up at 7am and if it gets to 1am I start to worry that If I don’t get enough sleep then I’m going to be barely functioning tomorrow. Then its gets to 2am and I start to panic that I’m not asleep, knwoing that I have to get to sleep ASAP. Then finally I get to asleep at about 4am. I guess whats happening is that when you start getting stressed the body starts releasing adrenaline and wakes you up.

  8. pawsitivelife July 26, 2011 at 4:13 pm #

    Im trying to introduce siestas at work…its not working. I need afternoon naps…because Im like 3 years old. Thankfully I never have trouble falling asleep but i have very sensitive hearing so the sound of a fauced dripping acorss the house will wake me.

  9. Zane Cassidy July 26, 2011 at 4:30 pm #

    I can relate Tink. For years I would lay awake in bed, my mind humming. Then one day it just wasn’t as bad anymore. Not sure what did it (new job, getting older, new city, meditation, etc…) but now I sleep like a baby. Here’s to hoping the same for you.

    • tinkerbelle86 August 3, 2011 at 9:20 pm #

      Zane i think you cracked it. i need to move to a new city!

  10. sarahs83 July 26, 2011 at 6:15 pm #

    Sounds like every Sunday night for me. Are you worried about something that is due to happen the next day?

    • tinkerbelle86 July 26, 2011 at 8:32 pm #

      no, was a monday night here in the UK … maybe its because i hate tuesdays!

  11. Rach @ This Italian Family July 26, 2011 at 6:27 pm #

    First of all, that last shot is unbelievably precious. That must’ve been Oreo as a puppy. 😉

    Sorry about the trouble with sleeping. Several years ago, I dealt with insomnia for a couple of years while working through some pretty horrible memories. It was no fun at all. Hopefully this too shall pass for you 🙂

  12. Brenda July 26, 2011 at 7:43 pm #

    Perfect photos.. I am almost always dead to the world once my head hits the pillow because I try to shut out the world. If I have a full head then forget it because I am up counting the stars. Music is good for me when I am reach this point. I plug in my IPOD and it usually works.. Thanks for visiting grrlguide, btw.

  13. Rickster July 26, 2011 at 8:07 pm #

    Ahh, I have a hard time sleeping at night too my friend. Insomnia hits us all at some point. It seems like after everything you try, nothing works. And when you want to figure out how in the world you fell asleep last night, you can’t remember. Don’t worry though, I find that sleep comes and goes. Try exercising more during the day, or exposing yourself to more sunlight. Then when it’s night time, your body will know to sleep. =)

  14. Leah July 26, 2011 at 10:24 pm #

    Not sleeping is the worst! I’ve had nights like that. I wish I had some advice. I actually had to use a sleep aid for a while because I had nighttime anxiety. I do make sure I read every night because if I don’t, then I can’t fall asleep. I hate the feeling of laying there thinking everyone is asleep but you. And the next day is torture.

  15. Margaret Reyes Dempsey July 26, 2011 at 11:09 pm #

    I had one of those nights last night. In the states, there’s a supplement called melatonin that is supposed to be very good, but I’m not sure that it’s allowed to be sold in England. Not sure why that is.

    Loved the pictures, by the way.

  16. E.C. July 26, 2011 at 11:34 pm #

    I am more familiar with insomnia than I am sleep. I feel for you Tinkerbelle, it’s tiresome to deal with no sleep or lack of sleep. I wonder sometimes if perhaps, I was born on the wrong side of the world and if I was to ever go to Australia, would my sleep be in synch there with the normal population. 😉

  17. sophia July 27, 2011 at 1:47 am #

    I’ve been blessed with sleeping genes. I can sleep anywhere, anytime…which sometimes is not a good thing because I can doze off while speeding down the highway.

    Hm…do you have a lot in mind? Perhaps a bit of meditation or breathing exercises or stretching to clear the mind before you tuck in?

  18. Team Oyeniyi July 27, 2011 at 12:07 pm #

    I had nights like that during my battle. I am one that cannot function without a minimum of 7 hours sleep – preferably 8. Sleep hygiene is the latest, it seems. Yes, all the rituals. TV and computer screens prevent sleep, so I am told and the other day I heard about some glasses you can get that negate the effects of these screens. No blogging before bed!

  19. anne July 28, 2011 at 2:57 am #

    I find an Excederin PM (or two) really helps me, because I also have suffered with being wide awake as everyone around me sleeps… after awhile I think it reset my body because I can now fall asleep without it, altho it does still take me awhile.
    I hope you find an answer- sleep is sooo necessary!!

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