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Being awake when everyone else is asleep is called insomnia.

It’s just a different cycle. Some nights I get five hours, which seems to work ok, if you add an hour of lazy reading one end, and lazy breakfast eating the other, seven hours rest in bed is within the normal range I’m sure. Sometimes this is three hours. Sometimes two, three hour chunks, with a cup of tea in the middle (don’t go on at me about caffeine, in personal tests this makes absolutely no difference at all). It seems to me, looking at things such as middle of the night facebook activity, I’m not alone. There is an argument that looking at these shiny devices doesn’t help. The shiny device hasn’t woken me up, the shiny device provides quiet, contained, productive activity during periods of wakefulness, so I don’t wake others.

Among artists and musicians I know, this state of being is so common you might as well call it normal. For many, the lifestyle led is so haphazard that sleep is welcomed when it comes, and other things done when it doesn’t. We go with the flow it seems. We occasionally have afternoon naps.

Being asleep when everyone else is awake is called lazy.

Others can try to be helpful: I’ve been told by certain people not to have an afternoon nap, as I won’t sleep at night. (I’m not three years old.) I’ve been told don’t drink tea or coffee, don’t eat cheese, eat my main meal during the day, do yoga, go for a walk, have a bath, count backwards from 100, breathe properly…. Everyone has a solution to my problem.

Apparently my reluctance to do all these things means I’m just being silly. I bring it on myself. It’s attention seeking. Actually, it’s the opposite of that. I don’t want a cure. I’m not asking for advice. I don’t want to medicalise this. Sometimes I’m tired. So are other people. Most of the time I’m fine, most of the time other people are, sometimes they are tired and irritable. I don’t tell them their breathing is all wrong. I wish I’d never said anything, but while I was in a proper job “not sleeping very much” was an issue.

I am a lucky “insomniac” in that I now don’t have to be up and alert at 06:45 every weekday. I can follow my natural pattern for the most part. That works for me. I’m less tired when I can do what I need. Less tired when I shake off the need to conform to a societal norm.

So I have decided it should become a mission to find another word for insomnia. I don’t have a sleep problem. Actually I do ok now I’ve stopped worrying about it. I look at the clock now… It’s 05:40. I got up at 04:25. I’ve had a cup of tea, listened to a recording from yesterday and written some notes. And I’ve written this. I fed the cat and let her out. She doesn’t have a problem with that. I may read a little afterwards, then possibly go back to bed for a couple of hours. I wake at 04:25 refreshed, I shall wake again at 08:45 refreshed too I expect.

Sleep well, dear reader, whatever the time is!


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