Sleep is good for you. Sleep is necessary.
Without sleep you stop to function and eventually you die.
Sleep deprivation is a preferred means of torture by those who go in for that sort of thing. However, I am not talking about torture inflicted by others here, but the torture of involuntary sleep deprivation, the torture of insomnia.
Day is over, you’re home from work and, if you are lucky, you have had a pleasant evening. You’ve done the million and one chores that belong in the realm of daylight, your evening has been spent doing a few more, but let’s assume you’ve had a spare moment for the kids, a book, a favourite TV programme, your blog, a chat with a friend. It’s getting late, you are yawning, time for bed.
All is quiet, your bed is comfortable, you’ve had your cocoa, it’s time to turn out the light. Bliss!
Thirty minutes later there’s a band playing snippets of advertising jingles in your brain. Every humiliating conversation you’ve ever had with your boss/ex-partner/
her with the flash car down the road/the ticket collector when you couldn’t find your season ticket/the waiter in the posh restaurant/ that show-off at dinner with friends the other day who knew every word of the latest theatrical adaptation when you thought you could get by with having read the programme notes when you introduced the subject/ is replayed in your head.
Now, at one o’clock, two o’clock, two-thirty, three in the morning, you have that brilliant repartee at your fingertips; you have the perfect, witty, throw-away answer to fling in the face of these nobodies, these hopeless morons, who are not fit to lick your boots.
Now you are firing on all cylinders. Your blog pops into your head; you can’t believe how many fantastic and fascinating ideas for blogposts you have; you start composing them, they are easy, effortless works of art to astound every blogging-buddy you’ve ever had. There is no doubt about it, you will be a Blogger Of Note within days.
And why stop there. Your creative urges are at their peak around three-thirty in the morning; you can barely process these urges fast enough to accommodate their inventiveness and sheer intellectual brilliance. Before long, you have a short story, the synopsis for a novel, in your head. And the jingles play on in-between.
Unfortunately, you have also grown several unnecessary, extra limbs by this time, all of them causing you great discomfort. St Vitus’ dance has got hold of your legs, your shoulders ache with tension, that damned headache is back and there’s a ton of grit sitting behind your eyelids.
You’ve been up and down, have drunk enough water to float a battle ship and now, in desperation, you stumble to the bathroom to take a couple of paracetamol.
Why on earth didn’t you think of that earlier, but no, you had to finish grinding those morons into the dust, you had to complete the second draft of that wonderful post in your head.
The next thing you know is the shrill screech of the alarm going off at seven. You drag yourself out of bed, what there is left in your head of the night’s furious literary efforts makes damn-all sense in the grey light of morning. You feel exhausted; the only thing that keeps you going during the day is the thought of a nice early night tonight.
None of that ever happens to me.