This morning I forced myself out of bed at precisely (given the limits of Timex) 11:40, and my brain was fogged to San Francisco Bay levels, though without any of the scenery. This wasn't particularly unusual, though the interrupted dream something involving having to sneak into a high-rise to take a shower, the usual bathroom being occupied by a writer I know, and then threading back through a little, but incredibly busy, store that apparently sold fruits, vegetables, and old 1960 console stereos was decidedly on the weird side. (The store, I suspect, was my variation on Ponyville's Quills & Sofas store, from which Davenport sells, well, quills and sofas. At no point has Davenport referred to himself as Sofa King.) Still, 11:40, by stereotype, is the time to rise for indolent socialites, and while I can match anyone for indolence on any given weekend, there's no chance that I'm up there among the Beautiful People.
This is by way of saying that I seem to have two diverging sleep patterns, and while there is some overlap in terms of alertness level at any given moment, the time frames are wholly out of sync with one another. Weekdays work days I roll out bright and early. I seldom if ever have any trouble with this: I don't sleep through the alarm and cleverly, this clock is designed to be difficult to shut off and I don't yawn during my high-speed commute. (Most of the year it's before sunrise, and traffic is light to moderate at best.) In fact, I can do a passable approximation of flat-out until about 9:30 or 10 before assuming Pre-Zombie status. I have another draggy period at around 3 pm, and yet another around dinnertime; except in the case of late basketball games, I generally start shutting down around 11:30, read for about fifteen minutes, and then nod off.
No such luck on the weekends. Friday night I get to stay up an hour later, because, hey, I'm a big boy now; but do I fall asleep at a quarter to one? Hardly ever. The first hour or two is almost entirely devoted to positioning and repositioning. The issues requiring all this finagling vary somewhat, but of late they've been slightly swollen feet, taking a good long while to come back down, and the left shoulder, some of the components therein I suspect to have been damaged one day while I was swinging copy-paper boxes with a trifle too much élan. It seldom if ever hurts during the day: only when I try to sleep. So maybe I'm exhausted at last by 3 am; add eight hours, and here I am half-awake, waiting for the noon siren to blow the dust out of my head.
It gets worse Saturday night, exacerbated by my unfortunate tendency to come up with neat new projects at 10:30 or so when I should be winding down. Last Sunday I was still up when the newspaper hit the driveway. (I duly went out and fetched it, on the dubious premise that the walk up and down the drive is a good 60 feet or so would wear me out just a little.) I did, however, roll out of bed at, um, 11:40. The upside to this: I'm sufficiently frazzled that actually falling asleep Sunday night isn't all that difficult, though the moment I start worrying about getting enough sleep is precisely the moment I stop getting enough sleep.
Some of this, I suppose, is purely physiological in origin: I am now officially Old, and we Old People allegedly require more effort to get to sleep than we did when we weren't so Old. But I do know how I react to insomnia, and it's not pretty. The only saving grace in this is that I've slept alone for the last two decades, meaning that only one person in this household has had to endure this onslaught of The Sleep That Isn't.
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Copyright © 2014 by Charles G. Hill