S is for... Sleep
S is for... Sleep
Written some time around midnight last night. Finished this evening.
It’s late, I can’t easily sleep. Probably still buzzing from Wolves beating Tottenham. Or it could be because of Trace’s snoring. Eeeep. We both snore, we’re human, I snore like an absolute beast at times. You ever snore and wake yourself up? I have, it’s ridiculous. Part of the truth is, I’ve got the S’s going on in my head. A barrage of ideas is flooding my brain, and well the easiest way to solve it is to just write about it, I figure.
But sleep is one of those crazy things that we have to do. Thankfully a lot of us manage to line it up with nighttime. Because there is a lot less to do at nighttime. I never said daytime was better, just more to choice and opportunity in the daytime. I’ve had many a wicked late night. I’ve also had many a shit late night. But....this is about sleep, stay with the program. But yeah we have to do it, because well...as far as I know if you didn’t...you’d die. That’s messed up.
When I was a kid I remember really struggling to sleep at times. Especially when I was sent to bed early. Like, it’s still light outside, there’s no way - literally NO WAY I’m getting to sleep. Just an excuse for the patents to bin you off to your room. But what I did end up doing a lot was listening to fairy tales on cassette tapes. I used to love it. That would chill me right out and I'd soon fall to sleep.
One thing that will always make me smile. I went to Silverstone one year to watch the British Grand Prix. I’m sat in the back of my Dad’s car with my brother. We had driven there on the Saturday and were going to sleep the night in the car. Then wake up in the morning and go to the race. Trouble is, I’m sat in the back of my Dad’s car; I’m going to say Astra. He’s had a bunch of different cars. Anyway, I fidget at the best of times. I cannot possibly sleep in the back of this car. My knees are doing that 'need to be popped' thing. We are in the middle of this random car park, but it isn’t properly dark because there are other cars and lamps about. My brother is getting seriously pissed at me. Eventually he’s had enough and says something like
What are you doing? Go to sleep.
I’m like, I can’t.
He goes, Just close your eyes and stare at the back of your eyelids. Bam! And that ladies and gentlemen is the Davy guide of how to get to sleep. That’s it. Simple. Shut your eyes. Shut the fuck up. Stop fidgeting. Stare at the back of your eyelids and off to the land of nod you go. I eventually got to sleep. Was just a bit of a slog.
I spent a lot of my years listening to music to go to bed. But a point came where I’d wrapped myself up in headphones enough that I didn’t want to choke myself in my sleep - probably would never happen, but you know, wouldn’t want it to happen either. Plus I guess I figured, kind of want to overcome this whole need a sleeping aid thing. Sometimes, I’d be so tired or wasted that I’d just fall asleep anyway.
But when everything is ‘going good’, you are fit and healthy,and nothing but your mind is keeping you awake it can be a right pain in the arse.
So now, I tend to focus on my breathing. Focus on relaxing body and trying to be as calm as possible. Let the mind go wherever it fucking wants to. I’ll catch up with it in the morning.
I do have the ability to sleep pretty much anywhere. So long as no one tries to mess with me, obviously. I’ve had years of practising sleeping whilst going up and down the M5 in the car. Talking of which, as I got older and learnt how to drive, I did once nearly fall asleep behind the wheel. That shit me up. It’s fucking terrifying. Simply put, don’t be a stupid fuck. If you are tired and driving, find somewhere safe to pull-up, and go to sleep. It’s really not worth it. Don’t try and be a fucking hero and keep going. It’s not just about you, it’s about everyone that has to deal with your shit if you smash into something or someone else after you nod off. No one wants any part of that on their conscience because you made a shitty decision.
How much sleep does a human need?
How long is a piece of string? I say there is no special exact number. The most common thing you'll find is that all resources say 8 hours. Basically, I say you’ve gotta go off feeling. But sometimes there’s more to how you are feeling rather than just, I need some sleep and I can’t be arsed to get out of bed. That's when you don't need sleep. That's when you need to get your shit together and figure shit out. That very much requires you to be awake. That said, sometimes, it's necessary to 'sleep on it.'
I'll end on this. There are loads of little things contributing to how well you sleep. One thing that I found really important later in life was how many pillows I had. I often have two pillows on my bed - a firm one and a soft one. Sometimes I'd get a really stiff neck. This one time, I was speaking to a friend of mine from work who specialised in health and fitness and we got to the bottom of it. H suggested I try one pillow. It sounds obvious, but sometimes you need the obvious things pointing out to you before you really take them on board. There you are.
Sleep tight. Punch the bed bugs in there stupid faces!
Who doesn't love a good quote?
"You feel good if you've done hard work. You sleep better. You get stuck in your head if you have too much time to think." - Ryan Gosling
Songs to listen to now:
Insomnia - Faithless
Where did you sleep last night? - Nirvana
No sleep till Brooklyn
Daysleeper - R.E.M.
The Lion Sleeps Tonight - The Tokens
Sleep Now in the Fire - Rage Against The Machine