Curse Sir Walter Raleigh

How quickly things change, and how these strange coronavirus times make you think that they’ve never been anything other than they currently are…! It was just a six weeks or so ago that I wrote about sleeping late and remembering my dreams for the first time in ages, and now… well, let’s just say that I’ve finally climbed on board the “COVID is fucking up my sleep cycle” bandwagon, just a month or two too late, and when the rest of the world has moved on.

Story of my life, as a late adopter. I still haven’t seen all of Twin Peaks: The Return, can you believe that?

When it comes to the disruption of sleep, I’m somewhat lucky, I guess. Not for me a particularly nightmare-ridden existence; after a brief, welcome return, my dreams have returned to living permanently in my subconscious once again judging by recent experience. No, for me, it’s all about a very unexpected shift in my sleep cycle that I’ve started calling My Ongoing Fight Against Time It’s Very Own Fucking Self. Or, to put it more clearly, I’ve developed a seeming inability to sleep past 5:30 in the morning.

I’ve been an early riser for a long time — I’m tempted to say it’s always been the case, but in reality, I might have been sleeping in back when I was a kid and I just don’t remember it. Certainly, there were times when I was in art school where I’d struggle to wake up, but those were also the days when I’d regularly stay out past 2am like the callow youth I was. For the most part, though, I’ve woken up between 6 and 7am for the better part of three decades or more now, and it’s been something I’ve gotten used to, before this current spate of displacement started.

It doesn’t matter when I go to sleep, I’ve discovered. It doesn’t matter how tired I am. I can — and, frustratingly, do — wake up before 5:30, but it’s almost impossible for me to sleep past it, now. I manage it rarely, but it feels like an effort I make after initially waking at 4 and refusing to accept it. It feels like work. There are times when I wake up all too early and think to myself, maybe it’s not that everything is so stressful right now. Maybe I just need to sleep more. And then I remember that whole pandemic thing.

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