The older I get, the weirder I seem to be getting. Hard to believe, I know, but true. Take my sleep patterns for example. I can’t remember the last time I experienced an uninterrupted night’s sleep. No matter how tired I am, at some point during the hours of darkness my mental alarm clock will go off, wakening me at some ungodly hour. I will then toss and turn before invariably slipping into a deep slumber, just before the real alarm clock brings me rudely back to the land of the living.
It’s not much better, either, at the other end, the going to sleep end. Used to be I could sit up all night, watching movies and the like. Nowadays, I’m lucky if I see beyond 10 pm. I spend roughly 67.478% of an average day in my pyjamas and from 9pm onwards feel my eyes getting heavy as the lure of sleep becomes too much and I succumb to it, stumbling up the wooden hill to Bedfordshire.
Which brings me to the point of this post. My inability to read more than ten pages of a book at night time without nodding off. It’s the same sad ritual every night. Often, bedtime is the only time I get to indulge in my passion for the written word. It’s my downtime, where I get to temporarily escape the rigours of the real world into lands of dragons, magic and the occasional angry orc.
I’m currently reading ‘The Priory of the Orange Tree,’ by Samantha Shannon. It’s a sprawling, epic fantasy novel which has been receiving rave reviews. Right up my literary alley. All 800 plus pages of it. Every evening I look forward to disappearing into the story, and every evening I find myself dozing off within a few minutes of opening it. The book isn’t the problem. It’s brilliant. The problem is Sleepy Stephen. Not quite so brilliant.
At this rate, I will be drawing a pension by the time I finish. Ms. Shannon will have probably penned the sequel and I’ll be forced to leap straight into it, leaving the growing queue on ‘to be read’ novels on my Kindle accumulating dust….or whatever e-books do these days. This does not bode well for my bucket list target of reading ‘Lord of the Rings’ in a year. I’ll be lucky if I get out of the Shire by Christmas.
Last night, however, was a huge step in the right direction. Fionnuala was exhausted after a long day being Super Mummy so said she was going to bed early. I jumped at the opportunity. This was my chance to make serious inroads at the Orange Priory. Would Ead save Queen Sabran from the evil clutches of the Nameless One? There was only one way to find out. Quick, get reading you fool, before the Sleep Fairy arrives and sprinkles you with her pixie dust or whatever it is she does.
10, 20, 30 pages passed without a yawn, stifled or otherwise. The story ebbed and flowed, as I devoured the pages. By 40, I could sense my eyelids drooping but soldiered on, determined to reach my predetermined target of 50 pages. 40, 45, nearly there. Zzzzzzz…..wake up you idiot. Finally I reached the summit, barely able to set my Kindle on the bedside table before collapsing in an unconscious heap. I slept the sleep of the victorious. Until I woke up at 4:50 a.m. again. Some things never change.
It’s funny how the activities we love the most are often the hardest to squeeze into our increasingly packed schedules. But we must continue to strive for our downtime at regular intervals during this hectic rollercoaster ride we call life. I hope you enjoyed this post and managed to read it from start to finish without falling sleep. And if you did, don’t worry. I forgive you.
When do you read?
At what time do you feel your eyes getting heavy?
How many hours sleep do you need every night?