I did drift off to sleep, but at 2.44 am I woke up. Usually it takes but a short few minutes to fall back to sleep again, but there was something about the quality of this waking up that caused me to think I wasn't going to get back to sleep again for a couple of hours. I was already starting to get annoyed about how tired I was going to feel throughout the day ahead as a result. This quickly resulted in a sense of dread that I was going to spend ages lying awake, and dread turned to a sense of certainty. I conjured with the idea of getting up.
I got up. Got myself a glass of water, and switched the computer on. Just the very fact of getting out of bed and doing something changed my state of mind from annoyance and irritability to something a little gentler, albeit weary.
The soft lighting of the living room was soothing though, as was the glass of water. The large flatscreen computer monitor soon proved to be very absorbing as I began to watch old episodes of Dr Who, those episodes very specifically being ones in which Jon Pertwee was the Doctor, and in which he was pitted against the Daleks. I was able to actually recall some of the hide-behind-the-settee sense of fear and excitement I used to get on seeing the Daleks. The impact of their appearance seemed magnified by the unearthly hour, the quietness of the surroundings and my state of consciousness: whilst I was awake, it still felt as though there was a link running to my subconscious, with all its capacity to heighten the imagination.
The fish in the tank against the wall looked, in the blurry soft focus of the hour, more like a lava lamp - washes of colour slowly undulating, morphing and swirling around in the background, again to very soothing effect. Having said that, my attention was still very much on Pertwee's adventures pitting his wits against the Daleks in
Finally, I decided it was time for me to go back to bed and to try and get some sleep - over an hour, closer maybe to two, had passed, and if I was going to function at all during the day ahead then I should at least try and salvage the remainder of the night for 2 or 3 hours more sleep.
Seemingly in no time at all, I woke up and it was time to get up and get ready for work. I did feel tired, but not as crushingly so as I might have expected. I wearily plodded to the bathroom, and as I switched the light on in the living room, it suddenly came back to me. I didn't actually get up and watch Dr Who in the early hours - stupid me, for although I had lain awake for a few short minutes, I'd only dreamed that I couldn't sleep, and thus had dreamed the whole thing about getting up, getting a glass of water and watching the Daleks.
There is, after all, no fishtank in my living room. Nor do I own four Siamese cats either, who for some reason had all been trying to block my way when I rose from my seat to get another glass of water (I omitted to mention this in the above narrative, so as not to sacrifice a certain amount of plausibility).
So although not mind-numbingly tired, I was still far more tired than I ought to be, thanks to my sleep being punctuated by dreams in which I couldn't sleep, and in which I got up to pass the time away.
It's as daft (but as true) as something a friend of mine said, when I told him he should try and relax.
I don't like relaxing: it makes me tense.