This is a blog* about sleep.
It’s become obvious that I really, really don’t get enough. I mean, nobody gets enough, obviously. But I’m a bit shocked at how much of a difference it seems to make to me. A few weeks ago I thought I’d try getting up at seven every day – as opposed to eight or, quite often, nine. I was supposed to go to bed at eleven every night. This, predictably, didn’t happen. As usual I was up till 1am every day smoking and watching terrible US sitcoms (these are things I only do after 11pm). I was getting six hours’ sleep a night. Plenty of people I know live on this – most I know can make do quite happily on it.
I was a fucking wreck. I swear. I couldn’t focus at all at work, on anything. I seemed to spend the whole day either getting a drink, having a piss, or popping onto the internet to just quickly look at something for four hours. In the evening, I just sort of stared gormlessly at the TV. I couldn’t even make conversation, my mind just kept drifting. And I just wanted to eat shit all the time. This is particularly problematic, given that I’m supposed to be losing nearly five stone at some point in my ever-passing life.
Then after a week, having got some nasty run-down-cold-thing, I slept for about ten hours. And the next day at work I was shocked – literally stunned – how much better I felt. I could work. I could think. I could talk. I could concentrate on one thing for more than, I don’t know, 30 seconds. And I actually quite fancied eating real food. Salad, even. Not because it’s good for me or anything like that. But because i just fancied real food. Just like that. amazing. especially amazing given that I never want real food.
So this is when I realised: I actually have basically been tired for the last ten years, at least. And if I want to sort out my eating, my productivity, and all the other crap I complain about all the time, I need to fix this first. I need to get eight hours’ sleep a night, barring increasingly rare parties.
But how? Obviously, go to bed earlier. But the problem is: when the time to come to bed comes, I nevr, ever, feel tired. Maybe I am tired, but I don’t bloody feel it. I have literally found myself lying in bed, fiddling with my mobile, thinking, “I’m not tired. Why aren’t I tired?” then just fallen asleep seconds later.
Obviously the answer to this is, well, obvious: just be in bed at midnight (I’ve reverted, chastened, to 8am) every day, without fail, including weekends unless I’m actually out socialising (I’ve always believed that if it’s the weekend, you’re legally obliged to stay up to at least 2am watching shit on the TV, just because you can). But at 11pm, when I start thinking about going to bed, I’m gripped by this panic. The day can’t be over already, I think. What about all the made-up tasks I’m worrting about not having done? In the morning I’ll have to go to work! I’d quite like to put that off as long as possible, please.
This is basically where I’m up to. I’ll just have to try to keep forcing myself to go to bed early. Why don’t you, my largely imaginary readers, leave me lovely encouraging comments?
* Now, I say “blog”. Obviously, this isn’t a blog about sleep. It’s a blog post about sleep. The blog itself is, of course, about more than that. A blog just about sleep sounds fairly boring, although, glory be to the internet, such a thing exists. I’m using the word “blog” to refer to a blog post. You know, like when myspace tell you to “post a new blog”. This is, obviously, retarded and wrong. So why the hell am I doing it? Good question. “This is a blog post about sleep” just didn’t have the same ring to it.