Planning out the morning

With apologies to anyone who struggles with real sleeping difficulties, I am not sleeping well. Relatively speaking. I am a sleep obsessive and a bit of a zealot. I firmly believe, and a wealth of current books and articles suggest that I am not wrong, that if I sleep well I am much healthier. Both in mind and body. I have never subscribed to the heroic boasting of how little sleep I have had. I sleep well at night for seven hours and can nap like a pro. The offspring have semi-seriously enquired whether I have sleep on my CV, it certainly seems to be a skill.

Recently my sleep has not been as good, I am trying all sorts. The room is as dark as I can make it. I don’t eat before bed, I make sure I eat healthily in the day, I exercise in the daytime, but not too close to bed. Except yoga – and that helps I think. I don’t drink caffeine after noon. I don’t drink alcohol every day – a glass of wine definitely disrupts sleep.

Despite all this effort I can’t stop waking up in the night, I don’t wake up for long and can generally drop back off. I have no idea what time it is happening, as I have turned off all clocks in the light reduction effort. I suspect that part of the issue is that my days vary a lot, I work in different locations, using different modes of transport and with different teams. I tend to wake up feeling bit anxious trying to work out what I am doing today.

In an attempt to offset this feeling of confusion, I have written down a timetable for this morning and read it in detail last night again before settling down. It certainly helped me drop off much more quickly when I woke up in the night and I woke up keen to get the day started, knowing that the slot between 6 and 6:45 involved coffee and blogging. My sleep may not be perfect, but at least I am getting a blog written. I still woke up though, so maybe that is now a habit which will take a while to wear off.

And I am intending a good catch-up nap at the weekend. I am totally aware that anyone with a proper sleep problem is rolling their eyes at this blog – my heart bleeds for you and the real pain you feel.


My husband has long suffered my intolerance of something called a “rut”.  This is my fear of getting stuck in my beloved routines and fossilizing therein.  This is possibly a reasonable anxiety, research tends to show that experiencing new things, having challenges and spending time with a variety of people all help to keep us healthy.

However, I may have an extreme version of this need to not get stuck in a rut.  I fervently hope I am getting less extreme as I age, but I may not be the one to ascertain the verity of this fact.   It used to be the case that if we went to the same restaurant twice I would bleat loudly about how boring life is and that we were ‘stuck in a rut’.  As I say, long-suffering.

This week though, reminds me of the energy that get from variety.  There are lots of new things, mixed up with the routine.  The week so far has seen working in three different locations.  But the same coffee ritual each morning to ground me.

I have had one church meeting of the CAFOD group, one Scouts meeting.  As a family we have been out to a dessert restaurant late one evening after my work trip to London (Pirlo’s– if you’re in Birmingham, go visit!) and also a pub lunch on Monday in between work meetings.

I visited Walsall New Art Galleryat lunch time yesterday for a short curator’s talk on the visiting Holbein, which I love. Seriously love that painting.

We saw the NTLive showing of Nick Hytner’s production of Julius Caesar at the Electric Cinema.  Thanks to everyone who strongly recommended I go to see that, it was brilliant.

The rest of the week contains my cousin’s wedding – I cannot wait, I love weddings and love hanging out with family; Nashville In Concert (my love of that TV show possibly deserves analysis in its own blog) and the potential for a lazy day of reading and catching up on what is sadly the final season of the aforementioned Nashville.

Ruts be gone.