Insomnia has its perks. I love being awake when everyone else is asleep – there’s a different energy in the air. Perhaps it’s the shadows of so many unfettered dreams floating around that give the hours after midnight their magical quality.
I used to get so angry with myself when I woke in the middle of the night – especially knowing that I had to be up again so soon. But I’ve always thought a day broken into two sleep times would be perfect for me – and now scientists believe that it’s the way we’re meant to sleep. Historically, our ancestors woke after around four hours of sleep, stayed awake for about two hours and then went back to sleep again. They got their six to eight hours sleep; just not all in one go. That middle wakening period was used for deep thinking and lovemaking. That’s a perfect combination of consciousness and sensuality – we should all do that.
It’s a much more creative time – my four hours of sleep have quieted my mind, filed all the nonsensical thoughts away. My dreams have given me a vision of what my emotions really are and I feel more grounded.
And peanut butter on toast never tastes as good as it does at 2am.
Even though I still need to wake up at a decent hour and get myself to work, I find I work better when I’m tired. I guess tiredness relaxes our defences a bit so stress can’t sneak up on us like it usually does. Your body operates on a different level. I’m on deadline at the moment, so being tired is fantastic for me – I work harder, more solidly and find my concentration is at its peak. When I’m alert, I get too easily distracted by my thoughts.
I used to love going out for the whole night and driving home as the sun was coming up. I’m not much of a morning person and seeing the sunrise from the other side has always been more appealing than having to wake up for it.
So, if you’re an insomniac – don’t strain against it. Embrace the fact that you’ve tapped in to the old way of being and use your time like our ancestors did. Think deeply, breathe deeply and if you can, make love deeply.