As I type this, it’s 6:30am, and I’ve been awake since 4. I didn’t wake up of my own accord; Ernie is sick and requires eye drops every 4 hours, so at 4am, it was time… but then I couldn’t get back to sleep. You know that feeling, when you’re lying in bed and your brain just tells you that you’re definitely awake no matter how tired you feel? That was me. When I was younger, falling asleep was no problem; I could be up until 4am at a club or working on something or in some deep, awkward romantic tryst and as soon as I’d get to bed, I’d be asleep. Now, though, I lie there all too often, all too awake.
I remember, when I was a kid, the tricks I’d try to play on myself to induce sleep. I’d try to remember the opening scroll from Star Wars – I used to be able to do that in its entirety, worryingly – or count from 100 backwards, imagining each number was a lower rung on a ladder towards sleeping. Neither work anymore, sadly; the noise in my brain overpowers it all. And so, I lie here hours before the sunrise, cuddling a sick dog and reading Marvel Comics: The Untold Story on my Kindle, wishing that I could close my eyes and open them hours later.