D4D

Life, the Universe, and Something Else.

Archive for the category “Insomnia”

Heated

As I wrote about the other day – and as just about anyone in the UK already knows – this week has included the warmest June day in at least forty years, with Wednesday hitting 34.5°C (94°F) . As always, I know that people in other countries will be pissing themselves laughing at the way we’re unable to cope with temperatures at extremes (or at least what the UK sees as extremes)  but that’s because for us they are extremes – and as such, we simply don’t have the infrastructure to cope with them.

We get hot periods during the summer, but we’ve not been this hot since 1976.  So we don’t bother with air-conditioning in houses, or anything to deal with things like train rails expanding, tarmac melting etc. – because it only happens for small occasional periods, instead of months every year.   It’s the same in Winter, if we end up with serious (for us) snow or freezing conditions – they don’t happen often, so we don’t invest in snowploughs, or underground systems like places that have deep snow for weeks and months on end.

Personally, I don’t mind warm (and even hot) days – but I hate hot nights.  The other part of this week’s heat has been that there’s little to no breeze, so it’s been stifling and claggy at night, which makes it (for me) massively unpleasant. Indeed, on Wednesday night I even ended up giving up and going to sleep out in the garden instead, which helped a bit – although also resulted in interrupted sleep because of the cats.

In that context, it’s all made for what feels like a really long week…

Reduced Insomnia

During the week in Cornwall, I slept better than I have in absolutely years – to the tune of about 2 hours more sleep per night. It’s the first time since I started recording my sleep times with the Fitbit that I’ve had more than four hours in a night – and it happened all week.

So, it looks like the possible cure (or at least improvement) in my insomnia is :

  • Move to Cornwall (or somewhere with equally remote areas)
  • Walk at least six miles a day
  • Sleep in a house miles from anywhere, in absolute pitch-black darkness and silence.

At the moment, none of that is massively feasible. But in the future, it may well be. I need to look at how things work, what I do and what I want to do, and how to get to where that kind of plan might be possible.

So, that’ll be fun.

Home From The Holiday

So, after a week in Cornwall, I’m back in the land of the living.  It’s been a good week away, with a lot done, and a lot of thinking out of the way. (Still more to go on that score, but it’s been good)

I’ve driven over a thousand miles in the last seven days, visited a bundle of places, had a great time, and even managed to build up some sleep.  (That’s one of the things that needs some thought for the future, but it’ll take a while)

A rough itinerary of the last week is :

  • Saturday 24th Sept – Head down to Oxford to meet the friend I was going with, then down to Truro. A four-hour drive door-to-door from Oxford (about 5½ from home). Having made good time, an exploration of Truro city (and their Cornwall food festival)
  • Sunday – visiting the Eden Project. First time I’d been there, and found it thoroughly interesting. Well recommended
  • Monday – visiting Newquay. Another place I really liked.
  • Tuesday – down to The Chocolate Factory, a craft-based place with a whole range of different things, including (unsurprisingly) a chocolatier, but also galleries, glass maker, jewellers etc. Then on to St Ives for an explore (including seeing a seal in the harbour) and then back to Helston to meet up with other friends.
  • Wednesday – Lost Gardens of Heligan.  I’ve been here before (about ten years ago, admittedly) and it’s grown and improved significantly since. Again, thoroughly enjoyable, and a lot of walking
  • Thursday – St Mawes and Falmouth – two more places I’d never been before, we went down to St Mawes, and got the ferry over to Falmouth. It’s somewhere I’ll go back to, and want to explore more, although it was full of bell-ends on the actual day, but I suspect being a bit more out-of-season, or earlier in the day, and it’ll be better.  St Mawes is lovely, a much smaller place, but somewhere I could happily stay for a proper visit
  • Friday – Wheal Martyn China Clay museum, which was interesting. I didn’t know the history of china clay in Cornwall, so it made for an interesting morning. Followed up by a visit to St Austell (frankly, never again – it’s like the retirement village of The Damned) and then a much better visit to Charlestown, which is really pleasant and attractive – another place I could happily stay longer.
  • Saturday (today) – Driving home, again via Oxford. Another good run, four hours door-to-door to Oxford, and then onwards to home.

As well as driving that 1,000 miles, we’ve walked about 40 miles all told, visited a bundle of places, and had a good time.

I’ve got a bundle of stuff lined up now for the next three months, as well as a load of stuff to think about for the future. Next year’s looking interesting already.

Reintegrating

By the time my contract comes to its (current) end date, I’ll have been ‘working from home’ for nine months, with only one day a week in the office.  It’s fair to say I’m getting pretty used to that kind of state of affairs, where I don’t have to deal with loads of idiot colleagues all day every working day.

So I’m already wondering what’ll happen when it comes to The Next Job, which will – pretty much certainly – involve being back on-site five days a week.   It’s going to be interesting, for sure.

It’s fair to say that I’ve already become very used to working on my own schedule and workload, and it suits me nicely. Even better, I don’t also have to hear the inane banter and chatter of other people, particularly about things I’ve no interest in – soap operas, X-factor, Big Brother and the like – or fuckwitted opinions with no basis in anything like reality.  I’ve become more acclimated to peaceful offices where I can have a radio on if I want (or not) and that’s about it.  I’m less stressed because of it, and generally less ratty. (And if I could then sort out my sleep patterns, all would be rosy in the world)

In short, it turns out to have suited my personality quite well.

As a result, I may end up focusing more on further jobs where ‘working from home’ is the primary – but there’s no guarantee that they’ll happen, or come up in a timely manner.  As always with my stuff, I’ll take whatever gets offered first, and work from there.

In honesty, I can’t say I’m looking forward to any return to full-on office-based work, but it’s something I’ll face up to as and when it happens.

Sleeping Places

Following on from the insomnia attacks of late, I’ve also been thinking a lot about the things that do work for me when it comes to sleep.

Because I’ve also been doing a lot of travelling and visiting, it’s given me a wide range of reference points, which always makes things more interesting.

One oddity I have noticed is that I seem to sleep better on sofas than I do in bed.  It’s strange, but true.  I’ve also had a few occasions of coming home in the afternoon and getting a nap on my own sofa, but that’s more for catch-ups when they’re absolutely needed, rather than becoming a routine.

It’s been true for a long time though – certainly right back to the Norfolk house, where I’d sleep on the sofa-bed when we had bad weather and I had to take Hound in to the smaller bedroom to stop her being an arse.  When I think about it, it’s also applied a lot of times over the years, when going to see friends and so on, and preferring to crash on sofas rather than spare beds.

As a result, I’m doing a lot of thinking about whether I change my bedroom and bed, investing instead in a decent sofa-bed.  It’s food for thought at the moment, but not going to be a change I make quickly. After all, if I make the change and don’t sleep any better, then it’s been a loss/waste of a bed and so on.

It may be that I leave it until I move house again – which is something that’s on the agenda, but not any time imminently. That’ll definitely be to a bigger place – hell, it’d be a challenge to find anywhere smaller – so I can look at it seriously at that point.

I’ll think about it more – there’s other factors in that kind of decision-  but we’ll see where things go, I think.

 

Insomniac

While life’s been busy over the last few months, it’s also been a rotten period for my insomnia.

Well, the insomnia’s been doing really well – it’s just that what’s good for insomnia is (by definition) fucking bollocks for my sleep. So I’m knackered, and have been for a fair while now.

Obviously it varies – and to a degree I’m used to rotten sleep – but it’s been pretty cruddy of late, even by my own standards.  I’m used to – and pretty much fine with – around 4 hours a night, and can even get by for a while on 3 a night.  But recently I’ve been lucky to get two.

This, from last night, is the best night I’ve had in ages…

SleepTimes

Frankly, that’s just messed up.

The thing is, no matter what goes on, nothing changes it significantly. I can go to bed early, I can go to bed late. I can drink coffee and diet coke, or I can cut out caffeine – either from sometime during the day, or completely. Eating early, eating late. Reading, not reading. Temperature, clothing, bedding (i.e. on the quilt or under it) – i’ve tried changing all of those things.

And none of it affects whether I sleep badly or not. When it was really bad a while back, I cut out caffeine totally for a couple of weeks. Even by the end of that period, I was sleeping even worse than usual.

All told, it’s just a pain in the bits. I’m hoping it’ll settle a bit more now, but well, we’ll see.

Perfect Timing

On a totally different note, why is it that batteries in smoke alarms and CO2 detectors *always* need replacing at 4am?

Bastard bloody things.

Still, at least I now know – not that I had any doubt, and I certainly didn’t need any proof – that I can’t sleep through a CO2 alarm.

(And of course yes, I can now – because I pulled the dead/dying batteries out of the fucking thing)

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