The Middle of The Night

Photo: Pixabay

For years and years I was a poor sleeper. It became a bit of an obsession. I’d latch on to any weird and wonderful idea that might help me grab a few extra minutes of kip. But they were largely ineffective. I’d wake for a few hours in the middle of the night. I’d drag myself out of bed after the alarm had rung. Staying perky in the daytime got increasingly harder too. Sometimes I’d be overcome with crippling fatigue in the middle of the day. Driving safely home on a long commute became a bit of a worry.

Thankfully things have improved over the last few months. Okay I bought a nice new mattress at the beginning of the year. Perhaps the increased comfort has gone some way towards helping. But I put my new habit of sleeping like a log down to two main factors. Firstly I’ve already mentioned that HRT has played its part. God bless my extra oestrogen. But more importantly, since giving up work, I’ve got less to worry about. I am absolutely convinced that chronic stress is the main reason why lots of people have insomnia. Because of its intensity all those ‘cures’ such as lavender under the pillow and a bedroom that is totally blacked out aren’t going to cut the mustard. They are just sticking plasters at best.

But over the last few weeks I’ve been waking again in the early morning. This hot weather has been the culprit. The temperature itself is a player but also I’m sleeping with the windows open. Noises from the street outside in the early hours disturb me. There’s the pissed people and the bugger on the motorbike who thinks that the straight run of our street is the ideal place to do a time trial at 2am. The good thing is my wakefulness doesn’t bother me anymore. I’ll use the quiet time in the middle of the night to read, write, puzzle and meditate.

Most of the time I drift off again at around about five. Then I wake for a second time between seven and eight. In the old days that would have made me late for my commute. But now there’s no work to go to it’s not an issue. And if I’m a bit dozy during the day I’ll have an afternoon snooze. It’s bliss when it happens but isn’t a daily occurrence. It doesn’t need to be.

This flexibility around time is the thing that I most value about my emerging retirement lifestyle. No little part time job with set hours for me! What if I fancy a lie down during the working day? So I’ll stick with my plans for self employment where I can be flexible. I don’t want any regular commitments where I’m in a set place week in week out that disturb the new status quo. Except that is, for the catch up down the pub most Sunday afternoons with a group of very lovely friends. ‘Same time, same place next week’. we say. It isn’t set in stone but has become a bit of a routine. Now that’s worth missing my siesta for!

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  1. Not sleeping well is the worst for me. My day is thrown off kilter. I suppose this working from home has helped me be able to get that extra 2nd sleep as my commute is 30 seconds.

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