Tuesday, 20 January 2009

No sleep til I wake up

Last night was one of those nights, I was shattered, but when I went to bed I couldn't fully switch off my brain. Just general thoughts going round and round, a few things nagging at me, nothing significant in itself.

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 the abandoned quarry they always used for filming the barren landscape of an alien planet.

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.

13 comments:

nmj said...

Trews, You are funny! And here was me thinking: I had no idea Trews had fish....

... Lava lamps might be soothing if they weren't so, well, annoying.

trousers said...

nmj, I should also mention that I don't have a large flatscreen monitor either, though it's rather less crucial to point that out.

Yes, unlike in the wee small hours, I can appreciate that it's funny now...

I quite like lava lamps, but I can't ever imagine owning one for some reason.

Janette Jones said...

Oh god, you mentioned the 'D' word, now I won't be able to sleep tonight!

Jennyta said...

It's amazing how much you do sleep when you are convinced that you have lain awake for hours. That experience was really weird, though.

Reading the Signs said...

Trousers, this is wonderful. For I too was up in the small hours last night and switched on the computer because it was soothing to walk into the screen of otherwhere. And wonderful to think that one can watch old episodes of Doctor Who (who is, in my opinion, Number One). Next time I wake in the small hours I will do the same, I fancy catching up on a bit of Tom Baker. Thank you.

trousers said...

Hi Janette, there are several D words here: dream and dread...but would it be Daleks that might be the one in question? If that's the case (and apologies if its not) then just remember the Doctor always wins in the end :)

Hi Jennyta, I seem to remember I posted one of my more bizarre sleep-related moments on a comment on your blog once - but yes, I'm glad to have been asleep when I thought I was awake, though it was very vivid and, since I was dreaming, I suppose I'd no reason to think I was anything other than awake. This could get confusing...

Fire Byrd said...

Well your lucky only dreaming it, I DO get up far too often to be on the computer in the middle of the night. As I do know I won't sleep unless I do something different when I wake up.
xx

trousers said...

Oh hello and thank you signs, you crept in there, right under my nose. And yes, it is wonderful that one can do these things - though it occurs to me that should I actually - in real life, awake - look up old Pertwee/Baker vs Dalek episodes, it might seem utterly surreal given what I've described.

In fact the prospect of a fishtank appearing in the corner, and four friendly-but-sinister Persian cats barring my way, serves as a bit of a disincentive right now - that would truly mess me up.

trousers said...

Fire Byrd, I can only sympathise. I'm completely rubbish without a decent night's sleep, most nights at least. x

Mei Del said...

that was quite funny i thought also, like nmj hmm you have fish ...

and i nearly went back to reread your post after your first mention of siamese cats, one perhaps, but 4 and all barring your way too!

i know someone who dreamt they went to the bathroom in the night only to wake up to find they had just peed in the bed. i dunno why i thought to share that with you ...

wish you better sleep in the future

Leigh said...

Oh, this sounds like perfection: having some pure-chilling time, but without having to pay for it with real hours.

trousers said...

Hi mei, yes the cats were funny and cute, but ever so slightly sinister...

That sounds terrible about your friend's dream - I'm sure I dreamed it the other way round once, that I'd peed myself, but when I woke up I was thankful that it was only a dream.

leigh, I wish I could have seen it from that angle, it was less perfect than it might sound!

DJ Kirkby said...

Oh! I didn't expect that ending! Though I did wonder how getting up would help you sleep...