A night as a (temporary) insomniac…
Last night I simply could not sleep. I was extremely and unequivocably tired, and yet I could not sleep. After almost three hours of tossing, huffing and turning in bed, picture me at about 1.30am, curled up on the couch with my LED Book Light (nifty little thing), a blanket and a World Book Night copy of The Spy Who Came in from the Cold, by John Le Carré.
2.00am The book is not doing the trick. I’m not finding it gripping, nor is it frustratingly putting me to sleep.
2.15am I move onto my half finished Pocket Crossword book. I learn a new word: ‘mither’ (to nag), and then find I’m getting wound up because I can’t work out 3 Down, the title to the song from The Thomas Crown Affair, ‘The W——– of Your Mind’. I put the crossword down.
2.51am. I text a friend in the States for some company who commiserates with my predicament. Ironically, her two-year-old son is apparently wailing in the next room because he doesn’t want to sleep. Ah, to be two again… I’d at least get a bed time story. As it happens, my friend is in the middle of working on a feature about quilts and shares the interesting fact that supposedly a lotus flower pattern on a quilt induces somnolence. I do not currently have a lotus flower patterned quilt in my possession. I now feel tired and irritated that I do not own said quilt.
3.30am. I realise I have little over one hour left before the sun comes up. My friend suggests I resign myself to a sleepless night and go for an invigorating run at dawn whilst the streets are empty. A romantic idea, but in the dark gloom of my living room I’m conjuring up visons of psychos waiting patiently for the next naive insomniac to make her move. Plan B is to get up and do something constructive – sort out bills, colour code my bookshelf, write a novel… I think about our bestselling author Rachel Caine who used to write her books from 5.00am onwards before heading to her high-pressured day job. I’m actually contemplating this copy-cat scenario as a serious possibilty… that’s how deliriously sleep-deprived I actually am. No doubt it would end up being a crime novel – I can hear my other half’s peaceful breathing in the next room and catch myself having murderous thoughts.
3.35am Receive another text. My friend’s son is apparently still wailing, which means my friend is in a different yet arguably equally hitting-your-head-against-the-wall situation as me. I decide I will send her the controversial yet bestselling parenting book, Go the F**K to Sleep. Except now I’ve thought of this, the title hangs in my head, taunting me relentlessly and I want to shout back: ‘I’m effing trying!!!’
I’ll have you know that eventually, at around 4.00am, I finally did get to sleep. Coincidentally, just after my other half apparently got woken up by a screaming Wimbledon fox. I didn’t tell him that it was probably me…
Chiara Priorelli, Publicity and Online Marketing Manager