There are many things you can do when you wake up in the middle of the night. You can lie there and try to get back to sleep. Sometimes that works, but not, as was the case with me just now, when there is a little person next to you who has just had a nightmare and keeps throwing her arms in your general direction while she sleeps.Or, as is also the case with me tonight, there are a million things going around in your head such as how to finish the novel, what to eat for dinner, where is above-mentioned little person’s science test and how best to deal with an extremely pesky work situation.
My friend Carla’s view on sleep is that if it doesn’t come naturally, you take drugs. I once took a sleeping pill. It was when my father was staying with us one Christmas. The next day I was like the walking dead.
“Why are you being even more stupid than usual?” he asked me. I told him about the pill. He flew into a rage such as I have never seen before. “Sleeping pills are for the mediocre,” he yelled. “You are a writer. If you can’t sleep, get up and write.”
So after an hour and a half of trying to get back to sleep I have decided to do just that. There is a novel to finish and an article to write.
And even if it doesn’t help my own insomnia, it may help someone else’s.
Copyright: Helena Frith Powell 2012