My Failure to Grasp the Art of Sleeping

Posted: 03/01/2011 in The Calculator
Tags: , , , , , ,

I have a real problem with sleeping. I don’t have a problem with sleep itself but sleeping I find hard to do. I fail to grasp the simple art of sleeping. It’s not even an art. It should be natural. However, the more I try to go to sleep the longer I stay awake. I have to fall asleep. I have to reach that point where my body literally gives in and I pass out.

This is such a problem is because I can be awake for a long time before I fall asleep. Days sometimes. A good pattern for me is grabbing around four hours sleep every thirty-six hours. That’s just a pattern though. I don’t usually have any pattern at all. Sometimes I can sleep for twelve to fourteen hours without much interruption but then I won’t be sleeping again for a long time after that.

The issue I have with trying to go to sleep like a normal person is I find it really boring. All that happens when I lie down is my mind goes into frenzied activity and every single part of me wants to get up again. The more I try to settle, the more agitated I get. I have to sit up and do something. I have to. I’ll start reading or writing or watching or playing and before I realise it the night has passed and I’m still not in the slightest bit tired.

Eventually, after many, many, many hours awake, I’ll gradually find myself drifting off. When that begins to happen, I have fifteen to thirty minutes to get myself into bed and off to sleep. If for any reason I miss that window of opportunity – for example, I’m about to eat my tea – then more often than not I’m not going to feel tired enough to sleep again for at least another twelve hours.

This has pretty much been me for the last three years. It’s really not healthy and it’s been hugely disruptive to my whole life. I don’t know what to do about it. I’ve been to see doctors and they’ve given me leaflets full of advice I’d already been given my mouth and I’ve tried my best to follow that advice but nothing’s worked. I have a compulsion to stay awake. I’m addicted to seeing as much of every day as possible. Simply lying down, closing my eyes and falling asleep just isn’t an option.

I think the biggest contributing factor is that I sleep alone. I don’t like sleeping alone. Sleeping alone isn’t very nice. Being alone isn’t very nice. In my case it very much equates to loneliness. There’s a gap I need to fill and I fill it by reading books or watching television or playing video games or writing down my often misanthropic thoughts on unimportant blogs. It’s okay though. These things keep me happy. At least I think they do. They certainly keep me going.

It’s definitely true in my case that sleeping beside someone is much easier than sleeping alone. When I’m sleeping beside someone then I’m not feeling that urge to get up and do something because lying next to that person feels like something.  Be it love, sex or just good company, sharing your night with someone consumes all your thoughts and you’re immersed in the experience. And sleeping beside each other or in each other’s arms is a part of that experience.  You might be reaching for the sick bucket but I’m particularly ashamed to say it’s true.

I’m not going to be sleeping beside anyone anytime soon (not with any regularity anyway) so I’m pretty much stuck in my current state. I could turn to alcohol every night but that would be properly pathetic. Even more pathetic than admitting I’m lonely and unable to sleep on a blog I want people to read.


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