My love-hate affair with sleep is usually a topic of bar room discussion. It’s true that I roam the halls until the last light goes off and then I go chasing fireflies. And when I do end up in bed, I lay staring at the ceiling till some absurd dream takes control and I wake up with a fist in my mouth to stop me from screaming. To say my dreams are vivid is an understatement and mum always blamed my excessive movie watching for this … ailment.
But all my life I’ve hated going to bed. When I was younger, I used to pretend to sleep walk out of my room into where the adults sat sharing stories into the night. And there amid those voices and drunken laughter, I would fall asleep. I love falling asleep.
Going to bed means that I would get tangled up in all sorts of rituals. The logistics of going to bed sometimes stifles me. I mean, think about it. Falling asleep, on the other hand, just happens. It’s not planned or pre-meditated. It’s spontaneous to say the least even if it means you suddenly jolt awake cause the sun is in your eye or the TV is playing a Wham song on Vh1 Classic.
When that happens, I try to find my way to bed where the fresh memory of sleep will help you melt into bed straight away, to curl up into the warmth of your bed and your quilt on a cold, cold morning. Instantly you’ll fall back into deep slumber and the dreams? They get pleasant.
Going to bed gives me performance anxiety. It means I have to stay awake and confront thoughts that I’ve given the slip to all day. It means I have to battle that final moment of consciousness, that moment just before you want to reach out to your phone and text message that someone you didn’t have the guts to say anything to in the daylight. The moment bordering when you are most vulnerable. It’s probably obvious that I’m not a fan.
Try it. Falling asleep vs. Going to bed. What would you pick?
Disclaimer: My fixation with sleep probably has got to with me not getting so much of it!