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Insomniac! I must Sleep!
Member Name: pert_abacus
Advantages: Supermarkets are very quiet in the middle of the night
Disadvantages: There's only so much 'live roulette on ITV' that a sane person can watch
As Leonard Cohen famously said: The last refuge of the insomniac is a sense of superiority to the sleeping world.
Not wishing to disagree with the celebrated Canadian singer-songwriter (or at least, not again after what happened the last time - see my 2008 review 'Canadian prison songs or Don't diss Len when there's Mounties around') but at this precise second I don't feel superior to any of the people happily snoring in their beds whilst I sit red-eyed, mind racing, in front of my p.c in my cold office desperately trying different tactics to get my brain to switch off all the while wondering and wondering why it won't realise that it's nearly 2 am and I need to get up for work in 3 and a half hours time and then I start thinking of that quote from Winnie The Pooh that I had on my pillow case as a child, the one that says 'I'm Pooh, said Pooh, I'm Tigger said Tigger. Well Tigger said Pooh it's the middle of the night which is a very good time for going to sleep'
And then as I type that I realise that I've wandered off topic and consider deleting the line and the one above it about the french lubricant and the water-melon before deciding to leave them in becuase this is a review about insomnia and this is how you begin to think once you've in that zone, when you haven't slept in days and your thought process is all hyper and you wonder why you can't type fast enough to keep up wityh your thoughts and that leads to typos and again you're off topic and and and your brain just WILL NOT SHUT UP!
So no, I don't feel superior to the sleeping world Mr Cohen and one of those reasons is that because I made the mistake of checking your wikipedia entry to see if it was indeed you who said that about insomniacs (& why that quote popped into my tired little head I haven't the first clue) but yes it was Mr Cohen and thanks to reading that blasted wikipedia entry I know have Hallelujah running through my head again and again and no, not the Jeff Buckley version that I could probably stomach but Alexandra F'in X-Factor kareoke singer version and it's enough to make me want to scream but instead I will sit here quietly typing random drivel and grinding my teeth waiting for something else to penetrate my conciousness enough to dislodge her terrible terrible voice so as not to disturb my sleeping wife or kids.
I've had varying degrees of insomnia for several years, they say that men have their best ideas when suffering from insomnia, to see if that's true why not read some of my other reviews all of which have been written during periods in which my pillow and I were but inhabitants of the same house, rarely meeting and certainly not on first name terms and (without wanting to spoil the ending) you'll find out that either it isn't true or it's a bloody miracle that I function when I am getting sleep.
If you're still reading this waffle thus far I owe you 2 apologies.
1) This review is a mess and I apologise if the fluctuating style, tone and random pontification is somewhat confusing. In my defence I haven't slept in days and it's over 5 years since I got what many would consider a good nights sleep.
2) I've stated at least twice that I don't superior to the sleeping world and that is, at least in part, a lie as I've just realised that somewhere out there sleeping soundly lie millions of people who actually voted for David Cameron (how they sleep soundly is a mystery to me but right now how anyone sleeps soundly is a mystery to me or esle I'd be doing it too) and also I've never watched Dancing on Ice or Celebrity Big Brother, and never once have I bought a Kinder Egg and expected to be suprised...
So, why can't I sleep?
Is it hormonal? Is it too much caffeine? Too much exercise, not enough exercise? Stress? ....
It could be that I've trained myslef to have broken sleep patterns - as a teenager I rarely got to bed before about Wednesday, at uni I completed all my best assignments and essays by pulling night-shifts (in fact all of my assignments and essays), through out my 20's I don't think I ever turned in before 2 am and throughout much of my 30's I've had babies, sleep monitors, apnae alarms, medicines to administer to prevent me from getting proper shut eye. Yet tonight I have none of those disturbances but I'm here typing trash into thi swebsite.
And it's a website I don't think I've visited more than a couple of times in the last year or so, so it's hardly a burning desire to share my thoughts with fellow dooyooers that's keeping me awake (no offence).
It's true that I consume upwards of 8 pints of coffee a day but normally (kids, alarms, meds etc allowing) by now I can be falling asleep in a chair, a book or the footie having distracted my racing brain long enough to start to shut it down.
Some people, generally Dr types and their ilk, associate some forms of insomnia with mental illness. Those of you who have read some of my other reviews will obviously dismiss that theory when it comes to this particular antiquated counting tools sleep problems.
I'm now confused and you're probably a little bored but I'm not sure what to do with this review now. I mean am I supposed to rate Insomnia as an experience? 5 stars cos it's dead good or 2 stars cos it was entertaining the first time but 354th time round it got a bit repetitive?
I can't offer any substantial advice as the only guaranteed way for me to fall asleep these days is to really want to see Match of the Day (having somehow managed to avoid finding out the scores, scorers, incidences in advance), manage to get the kids off to sleep before the show starts, have managed to locate a stray can of Carling or bottle of Bud in the fridge, sat down in a comfy chair, kicked off my shoes and opened the beer . In that situation & only in that situation I can guarantee that I'll get a good 5 hours sleep and wake up cold with an undrunk (& miraculously unspilt) beer next to me having missed MOTD.
That I can guarantee but I can hardly recommend that as a potentail cure. After all MOTD is only on the telly twice a week and is missing from the schedules across the summer plus I can not, nay, will not recommend such a shameful waste of lager.
So what do you do if you're suffering from a bout of insomnia (not sure if bout of insomnia is the correct terminology but referring to it as a bastard of insmonia might offend)? There's herbal rememdy's you can try, there's getting drunk to knock yourself out (although not guaranteed to give you the best sleep), reading, watching telly, self hypnosis, exercise, sex, watching something on telly with subtitles whilst having very energetic sex and drinking (if you want to try a combination) and all kinds of other ways BUT none of them actually work, or at least not all of the time.
Insomnia is one of those 'funny' afflictions. It can make your life an absolute nightmare yet tell your friends & colleagues that you're not sleeping and you can expect some light hearted banter and comments such as 'ooh I know what you mean, I'm terrible if I don't get my regular 8 hours'. If you've got a cold or your legs fallen off you can expect sympathy but not if it's insomnia cos there's kind of an underlying assumption that you're doing it to yourself (as with mental illness, depression etc) so the sympathy or empathy isn't quite as forthcoming as it would be if you'd accidently failed to eat and drink healthily and thus left yourself wide open to cathcing a virus.
The review such as it is has wandered so far off topic that I can't really think how to end it so I'll just say this.
If you're suffering from insomnia you have my greatest sympathy, it can be a real bastard to get through. If it's recurring over a long time see your doctor and if you're after sympathy from your colleagues when you stumble into work best chop one of your legs off.
For those of you who haven't suffered from insomnia and want to know what it feels like grow up.
Summary: Sleep Depravation plus Random Thoughts divided by stray typos = this review