You’ve had a busy day so it should be easy to go to sleep. A good dinner has left you relaxed. You get comfortable and your eyelids feel heavy. Voices become murmurs in the background, pleasant music lulls you into blissful sleep.
Yes, the easiest place to fall asleep is in the dark womblike embrace of the theatre, concert hall or cinema. Only a sharp dig in the ribs will disturb your deep slumber.
At home in bed you are wide awake and alert. Writers are not the only people to suffer from insomnia, they are just the most likely to ignore the advice of sleep gurus.
No coffee after two o’clock in the afternoon.
No food after 5.30pm.
Turn off all screens by 8pm. – In winter it will be dark by then and your body clock will be telling you to go to bed.
Writers often eat late because they are too busy writing to get to the kitchen and cook. They then take a nice strong cup of coffee to their computer to catch up with social media, where everyone else in the world has either just got up or is enjoying a relaxing afternoon. Your brain is more alert than it has been all day, you feel a blog buzz coming on; you can do it; you schedule tomorrow’s blog and finish the last chapter of your novel.
You look up from the computer and realise everyone else in the house is fast asleep and creep around hoping no one catches you up. But you are a writer and a grown up, you’re allowed to stay up late…
At 4.55am you are awake again and daren’t even think how long or short you have been asleep. You read your Kindle to relax, good thing the sleep guru can’t see you. Sleep eludes you for a simple scientific reason, your brain won’t stop working. It will not stop working till you are at work or in the shop trying to remember what was on the shopping list you left behind.
And the next time you get a good sleep? When you sit down to watch your favourite television programme.
Are you a somniac or an insomniac?