I’ve never been a great sleeper. Even when my mood is relatively “good”, sleep is not something that comes naturally easily to me. When, as is currently the case, my mood is at the lower end of its cycle, sleep becomes rare indeed.
At the moment everything is out of kilter. During the working week, I can consider myself fortunate if I manage more than a couple of hours of unbroken sleep during the course of a night, and I seldom manage more than a total of four or five hours. The quality of the sleep I manage to get is generally pretty poor.
By the time the weekend rolls round, I am pretty much running on empty. It’s not unheard of for me to spend an entire weekend curled up on the sofa. This, of course, is counter-productive. Most sleep discipline theories say that I should keep the same routine at the weekends as I do during the week; getting up at the same time, and going to bed at the same time. My mind knows this. All my body knows is that it is exhausted.
It is a mental and emotional exhaustion as much as it is a physical one. We are, after all, the sum of our parts and the parts can never be fully divorced from each other. Knowing this to be the case, however, does not make it any easier to live with.
Sleep and mood are inextricably linked. Lack of sleep contributes to a lowering of mood, and low mood can make it harder to sleep. All too often this can become a self-perpetuating vicious circle that takes an increasing toll on both body and soul.
Relaxation, meditation, mindfulness can, and do alleviate some of the worst aspects of sleeplessness, but there is no actual substitute for a proper, restorative, regenerative sleep. The body and mind both need this as part of the healing process, even if simply to recover from the wear and tear of daily living.
And yet, here I am at 1am in the morning, writing this entry when really I should be asleep.
This isn’t going to be one of my more restful nights.