Maybe it’s stress, maybe you had too much caffeine or sugar, or maybe you just watched The Bourne Trilogy and got yourself all riled up and wanted to start scaling windows and beating the living shite out of enemies both foreign AND domestic, who knows?? All that matters is that now, you can’t sleep.
You go to your bed, you lie down, savouring that lovely little head-niche you’ve carved out on your trusty pillow night after night. And you settle in and await that lovely ‘faraway’ feeling that kicks in minutes before you drift off into the lovely Land of Nod. And…nothing. Your eyelids are on springs, not a hope of them shutting. Your brain has been rooting around your inner iPod, and found the ‘Sleep Is For The Weak’ playlist and has started to play ‘Smack My Bitch Up’. Your gaze keeps darting to the red LED display of your retro alarm clock which you thought was so cool when you bought it, but now it just sits there and shows you every single minute you’re losing of sweet precious delerium.
So you try to relax, but Mother Nature is a bit of a bitch sometimes, and what does relaxation take? Time. More time when you could be sleeping. Isn’t it wonderful? You’d get up and go on a killing spree fuelled by the unfairness of it all, but you’re too damn tired. You lie there, annoyed because you can’t sleep, which in turn keeps you awake longer, thus you’re lying there like an unused lemon at a tequila party, looking at your stupid alarm clock, trying to work out how many hours of sleep you’ll get if you fall asleep right…now. Nope, you’re still awake. So you have to do the maths again.
Then comes the bargaining. If I don’t shower tomorrow morning, I’ll have an extra half hour in bed. Nobody needs to be standing that close to me anyway. I’ll bring my toothbrush and toothpaste to work, saving an extra five to ten minutes, depending on how attentive you are to your dental hygiene. You know it’s bad when you start contemplating putting your work clothes on and sleeping in them to gain precious snooze time, just like you did when you were in school as a nipper, and neither logic nor sleep-sweat entered into your mental equations. You laugh, but you know it’s true. You’ve all done it, don’t judge me…
After a while, you’re still lying there, having tossed and turned so much the quilt is now upside-down and it’s all bunched up inside the cover..I know there’s a few of my friends reading this who have hairs on the back of their neck standing up right now, and want to go home and check their duvet is in its proper position… <cue evil laugh>.
You try the ‘one foot in, one foot out’ method, so you’re not too hot or too cold. You’ve got it all sorted, now you just play the waiting game. Then you remember you saw a spider scuttle under the bed earlier, and they obviously sense your fear, and you know they’ll somehow crawl onto your big toe and burrow their way under your nail and lay baby spider eggs and you’ll be known forever as Crazy Spider-Foot Lady…so the foot goes back in under the duvet. If childhood logic has taught us anything, it’s that spiders don’t do bedding. Let me dream, all right?
Eventually morning comes and you wake up. Yup, somehow in the midst of all that craziness you fell asleep. More than likely your brain just gave up and shut down. Who wouldn’t after all that hard work? Bargaining, mentally lowering personal hygiene standards, inventing species of spider that can crawl under toenails but not duvets, DJ’ing a mental Drum n’ Bass set that went unappreciated by you, its owner, and doing the kind of maths that would have been at home in the script of ‘Good Will Hunting’ just to maximise the amount of sleep you could get.
So up you get and you look at the clock and realise that all that fussing and fighting took approximately twenty minutes. So in essence, you got a full nights’ sleep. You head on in to work or college, all showered and freshly clothed, teeth sparkling, clear-headed and you greet your colleagues with the inevitable:
“Don’t TALK to me, didn’t get a wink of sleep all night. Where’s the coffee??”
Any wonder your brain gave up?