I'm having one of my not sleeping terribly well times. I keep waking up at 4.35am, feeling bored and going over lists in my head.
Annoyingly I've just had a period of good sleeping; whole glorious nights of deep slumber, waking bright-eyed and bushy-tailed at about 6am. I say annoyingly because that phase seems to be over and I'm back to tugging fretfully at the duvet, trying to get comfortable and longing to fall into the comforting arms of oblivion.
Some of it is worry. Things that seem small irritations during the day can assume giant proportions in the middle of the night, only to dissipate with the beep of the alarm clock.
Experts talk of sleep hygiene. Go to bed at the same time every night and get up at the same time every day. The latter is easy, I'm usually up and about by 6.30am having been gently awoken by my sunrise wake-up light. Going to bed at a set time is difficult with a husband who works shifts and doesn't get home until after midnight. Sometimes I can go to sleep before he comes home; sometimes I can't.
The flip side of late shifts is the earlies and it's difficult to fall back asleep when you've been awoken at 5.30am by a symphony of alarms accompanied by angry percussion from your nearest and dearest. He also has the habit of going back to sleep or forgetting to set either of his two alarms the night before. Both of these put me on red alert. I've saved him from being late for work on more than a couple of occasions now.
This leads me to the next problem; the clock in my head. It knows Brian needs to wake up at 5.30 for an early shift, so it wakes me up at 5.25am just to make sure he does.
I can shock myself back into sleeping by making myself stay up until 3am. This breaks the cycle, especially if my brain has set its internal alarm to 4.35am which it has this week. Why 4.35am? Who knows. It used to be 3.03am. Exactly. Every. Single. Night. But shock tactics are tiring and not conducive to a happy time the day after.
Not sleeping at night can turn into sleeping during the day. I have a lull at about 4pm which can turn into sleeping at 4pm if I'm not careful. I once woke up in the armchair, tucked in with a blanket and cushions. My children, preferring sleeping mummy to grumpy tired mummy, had taken the law into their own hands.
Hmm. So it will be Horlicks last thing. A wee dram is a good thing too but the cupboard is bare of such treats at the moment (austerity cuts!) Then off to bed at a sensible time with Radio 4 and a Book at Bedtime. If I see 4.35am again I may be a little cross with it.