Thursday, 3 May 2007

Sleepless in Nunhead

I couldn’t sleep last night. And in fact, didn’t. I’m not sure why I’ve suddenly developed insomnia. I’m usually asleep the minute my body realises it’s horizontal. Not so last night which is strange. I’d had my usual cup of camomile tea whilst watching the first half of the football and, by the time the closing credits of City Lights (don't you just love Robson Green?) appeared, I was up those stairs like a rocket. I’d been feeling tired all day, those little niggles of snooziness that sneak up on you: a succession of yawns whilst making dinner, the five minute “almost doze” in front of Coronation Street. David now recognises these signs – it means he’s taking the dogs out. So there I was, PJs on, squeaky clean from hurried shower (using special Sweet Dreams shower gel) and snuggling down under the duvet just as David entered the boudoir. A five minute smooch and then lights out.

And nothing. It was 10.30pm and David was snoring away like a stuck pig. I was wide awake and staring at the ceiling. Every sound was magnified. I could hear the dogs moving around downstairs (they’ve taken to moving their beds to wherever they fancy sleeping of a night – most mornings I go downstairs to find them all in heap in the utility room), I could hear Mac’s gentle snores as if he was in the same room as us. Jane and Bill Opposite were having a row. I couldn’t hear exact words but I could sense it was Row Factor 5. Somebody was relentlessly bibbing their car horn whilst listening to loud reggae music. Why wasn’t I asleep by now?

11pm Was I worried about anything? Lydia leaving? – not really, we’ve promised to meet up once a week at Sainsburys, can’t wait for the coffee bar to open again. Amelia arriving? – nope, can cope with that, will be helping Lydia move and David’s in charge of her this time.
11.30pm and still awake. Wide awake. I turn over and face David who is lying flat on his back, left arm across his chest, right arm by his side snoring blissfully. It was quite a gentle snore, not enough to wake me up (if I was asleep) but loud enough. His nose twitches when he’s asleep, never noticed that before.
12.20am Am nearly in tears at lack of sleep. Why aren’t I asleep by now? I decide to get up.
12.24am Mac fast asleep entwined in his duvet. I tried to straighten it out but he clutched onto it in his sleep and a determined look crossed his face as if he was fighting with demons in his sleep. I do feel pretty demonic actually.
12.45am Cup of tea, jaffa cakes and a flick through the Sky channels. If I was into soft porn, Starskey and Hutch, obscure comedians bellowing on and on about tampons, repeats of football matches or 24/7 news I’d be set for life. I flick through the music channels but only depressed myself by realising that the only songs I knew were ones sung by Atomic Kitten, Celine Dion, Whitney Houston, Madonna and Ricky Martin. Junior Dog joined me on the sofa for a cuddle but was put off by Celine wittering about her heart going on and on. Eventually found a film called Open Water which scared the life out of me and put me off going on boat trips ever.
2.20am Have just realised that have been downstairs for two hours and David hasn’t come to find me. He’s probably still sleeping peacefully (so jealous) but even so. Seriously consider going up to wake him up. All three dogs have trooped in to the living room and are all trying to get on the sofa with me. Watch the rest of the film from underneath them. Glad of their company actually, quite scary. As is the content of late night viewing. I’ve mentioned the surplus of soft porn and Starskey and Hutch already. Now add to that endless South Park episodes, Tom Selleck as Magnum strutting about the screen baring his hairy chest and lots of adverts for premium rate numbers where lads and lasses sit around giggling into phones or texting complete strangers in the vain hope of a meaningful one night stand. All very depressing. But still not tired.
3am Back up to the bedroom after going to the loo and sticking my head round Mac’s door. My beloved child is now upside down in bed, his feet resting on his pillow. Similarly, David diagonal across the bed and immovable. I tried to roll his upper body but not strong enough. I grabbed hold of his legs but he panicked, kicked out but didn’t wake up. I called him a very rude word and made do with whatever mattress I had. All this is not a good prelude to me getting off to sleep I chunter as I cling for grim death to the edge of the mattress. Still slightly tearful in the dark.
3.50am Funny what you think about in the wee small hours. Panic gripped me about half an hour ago: the last time I had this level of insomnia was about a week before I found out I was baking a little bun in my oven. It was pretty similar to tonight except for the fact that I was in Devon in a hotel room with my husband of two years doing pretty much what he’s doing now, snoring his head off. I then spent 15 minutes mentally going through my diary, keeping an eye out for all those little red P’s. I then got a tingling sensation in my left arm. Heart attack was my immediate thought, especially as it moved up my arm and into my shoulder. As I was just lying there (nothing else to do after all) waiting for the crushing chest pain, David threw himself over to his side of the bed and grumbled something in his sleep. I then twigged that pins and needles due to the fact that I was lying on my arm because I didn’t have enough mattress to stop me falling to the floor.
4.20am the bloody birds have started tweeting. There’s one that lives in the tree directly outside the house who can mimic a telephone ringing and the beep-beep of a car alarm being set. It does it relentlessly on a loop. Feel, for the first time, like killing a poor defenceless creature.
4.45am one of the dogs are having a dream, I can hear yelping and growling. Suspect it’s Middle Dog by the tone. Senior Dog snaps and gives a warning muffled bark. All goes quiet. Boredom setting in now. Past the tearful stage, heading for Anger Central.
5am the central heating system kicks in. It’s very noisy. I’ve not noticed it that noisy before. Of course, I’m not usually wide awake at 5am. Gurgles, thumps, thwacks and hissing. Am convinced the boiler is about to come off the wall. Head to bathroom to check it out, feeling quite virtuous about protecting my family and indeed The Avenue from a boiler explosion.
5.05am nothing wrong with boiler as far as I could see. The normal lights are flashing and suspect that the big “fault” light would be flashing if there was indeed a fault. Go to the loo.
5.25am A yawn. A big one that nearly dislocates my jaw. Where the hell did that come from? Not that I’m surprised. Have been awake for nearly 23 hours. Have another mini panic about possible impending pregnancy but mind keeps wandering to girls names. Scarlett or maybe Daisy?
6am David’s alarm goes off. He swipes out an arm in the general direction and grunts something unintelligible. He turns over and peers at me. “Morning baby” he murmurs and pulls me over for a cuddle. Not really in the mood but think that it might just soothe me into sleep. Just relaxing into his chest when he gets up.
6.15am He’s so noisy in the bathroom! I’m not that noisy, surely! What the hell is he doing in there? Can hear him clanking bottles in the shower and the radio! He’s singing along now. His deodorant spray is so loud! How is Mac sleeping through this?
6.30am he’s now downstairs making his breakfast. I’ve heard the back door open for the dogs. I should get up but don’t want to. I should be asleep!
7am He’s back and getting clothes out of drawers and wardrobes. I’m usually just waking up at this point. Every morning, without fail, I wake up fully as he falls to the bed after trying to put a sock on while standing up. The hangers clank as he pulls his suit jacket off one. The runners on his pants drawer needs oiling or something.
7.10am can’t breathe for the usual fug of aftershave, usually so comforting as I re-enter the world from the Land of Nod. Today it’s just irritating. “Hello darling” he whispers as he sits next to me and strokes the hair from my face. “Hello” I say grumpily and thrash about a bit under the duvet. 20 minutes before I have to get up. Usually, this 20 minutes is spent dozing and re-waking blissfully. This morning, I want to rip someone’s head off. “I don’t know why” he continues as he straightens his tie “but I couldn’t sleep last night. Ah well, have a good day.” he goes on, kissing my forehead and creeping out the door. Resist the urge to throw something at him.
3.09pm have got at least three hours before David is home. Mac and I have set up camp on the sofa with duvets, pillows and three dogs. So tired my eyelashes ache. Mac "exhausted after nursery mummy". Sweet dreams x


mutterings and meanderings said...

Oh no, insomnia is such a pain.. I am a frequent sufferer. The more I try to sleep, the more I worry about sleeping in when I eventually do get to sleep, the worse it is.

Curiously, though, I have many of my best ideas when I can't sleep (though they don't always seem so bright in the cold light of day)

Drunk Mummy said...

Its the snoring that really gets me - its like an unintentional taunting: "Hey, listen to me, I'm asleep!" you hear the in-breath, then can't help but wait for the out-breath - so maddening!

Nunhead Mum of One said...

Yes! I laid there just waiting for the out breath. Sometimes it was a while coming and that panicked me! How could I sleep when my beloved isn't breathing!

Gwen said...

Hello NMOO

I'm new to your blog but am enjoying it immensely. I had a sleepless night last night as well, whereapon I concocted a story for the children of a friend (as I have no children myself.) It involved castles and princesses. This morning, after about half a hours sleep, it didn't seem as good as it did at 5am this morning.

Nunhead Mum of One said...

Thank you Gwen and welcome! I'll have to do that, concoct a story. Mind you, once I do that I'd want to start giving the characters some background and storylines and that would render me wide awake! I slept last night, on and off but am still very tired.

Gwen said...

Actually it sounds like your story would have been better than mine if you had thought up character backgrounds and storylines. I'll have to think of that next time.

All about me

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Nunhead, London, United Kingdom
I'm a mum of one, wife of one and owner to several dogs, a variety of breeds and sizes. I live in the up and coming area (or so they say) of Nunhead and have mad neighbours, strange friends and certifiable relatives. I shop locally, although I do defect to Sainsburys once a week - shoot me now local shopkeepers.