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time enough not to sleep

I have a strange relationship with time and, by direct implication, sleep. I am not a tremendously busy person and I am pretty sure I do not use the time I have as efficiently or effectively as I could but I do seem to run out of it on a fairly regular basis. I have things to do, even if it isn’t very much at all. I need more time, there simply isn’t enough of it. I need time for writing, for reading, for running and cycling and wandering and wondering and everything else. I do not have enough of it.

I could give up work, or reduce hours, but that isn’t really on the cards. So I cut back on my sleep, the result a heady mix of insomnia and stubbornness, until weeks into a cycle of a nightly four hours worth of sleep I crack and crash for a solid 10-12 hours. Don’t get me wrong, there are times I do enjoy sleeping, and the moment just prior to falling asleep my inner me does a little back-flip of joy. Every moment up until that point is one of resistance, bloodymindedness and too much wakefulness.

As you may already know I very much love the middle of the night; I love the relative quiet of 1am, of sitting at my kitchen table reading, writing, talking and tweeting until the first hint of dawn. I love staying up all night, hitting that wall where you are on the cusp of going to bed or just staying up until the following evening. I love taking the left-hand path and watching the sky break as light sweeps into the day. I love walking the streets when most others slumber, just me and myself and the darkness of a nightly solitude.

And that is the point, there are two different drivers here, a need for more time, and a love of that mysterious, mythical period between dusk and dawn, and they are two reasons that compliment each other beautifully. I think that, if I could, I would have the need to sleep removed. I could happily exist in the moment, living and observing the eternal transition of day into night, night into day, living its rhythms as my own.

The Napoleon of Notting Hill

the lake district