Dream Weaver

I love sleep. I love it now in a way I could never have remotely fathomed as a child.  A good nights’ sleep is now pretty high up on my list of good things.

The only problem is that I have an annoying tendency to bouts of insomnia – and nowadays I can’t even blame these on the children.  Discounting periods of illness (or freak nightmares in which they are swimming in baked beans), they generally sleep like the proverbial log.

The only good thing about a really bad nights’ sleep, is that the next night will be better. Here’s a brief run-down of how my bad nights tend to go:

0300 HRS:  Open eyes, after realising have been tossing and turning for best part of the night (in actual fact only past 10 minutes).

Immediately screw eyes shut.  Try to envision floaty clouds and peaceful meadows, in vain attempt to block out ‘I wonder what time it is? I bet it’s 3am. Why do I always wake up at 3am?’ type thoughts.

clouds and meadows - insomniac fodder

Please note this image contains both clouds AND meadows, and was taken by someone called ‘Allan’

0315 HRS: Get up, go to toilet (keeping eyes squinty in order to trick body it is still asleep). Tuck self back in bed and snuggle luxuriously into sheets, instructing self to fall into coma-like sleep for next 4 hours.

0317 HRS:  Resist overwhelming urge to look at clock. Tell self it is in fact 7am and alarm has just gone off, in order to trick body/brain into going back to sleep.

0330 HRS:   How can bed be so bloody uncomfortable?

DO NOT look at clock. Do NOT think about time. Time is an imaginary mathematical concept which is based on the motion of matter…

…Except for people who have jobs, and children to boss around, and phone calls to make, and shopping lists to write, and washing that they need to put on first thing in the morning or everyone will run out of underwear and STOP IT!!

Stop thinking about the time and GO to SLEEP.

0344 HRS: Give in and look at clock. I knew it. Why do I always wake up at frigging 3am??

Time is an abstract concept

Time is an abstract concept (image: Milos Janata)

0350 HRS: Commence mini anxiety attack.

Throw covers off and sigh a lot, imagine downward spiral into insanity.  Wonder at possibility of actually having nervous breakdown, and how on earth family would survive while I reside in facility reminiscent of One Flew Over The Cuckoos Nest.

0400 HRS:  Remind self have had anxiety attacks in past without ever actually ending up in loony bin. Concentrate on breathing. Be mindful. Or something.

0402 HRS:  Mini anxiety attack retreats.  Feel proud of self for remaining in bed, and not alerting snoring husband to potential need for straight jacket.

Realise, however, that could not possibly be more awake.  Consider merits of Pilates session or vigorous star jumps in lounge room, in order to make use of awake time and unusual craving for exercise.  Attempt to store feeling away for morning, when such prospect is usually akin to poking finger in own eye.


Person who is not me, but could be how I looked if I did ever do pilates (image: myyogaonline)

0411 HRS:  Slip into familiar self-doubting thought pattern, and begin to ponder faults: Sedentary lifestyle, lack of financial plan, greater than ‘healthy guidelines’ alcohol consumption, failure to use legumes and quinoa enough in cooking, frequent use of sarcasm in communicating with children…

0430 HRS:  Remind self of half-decent job raising kids, running household, maintaining health professional status and fact that children don’t have scurvy.  Feel moderately better.

0435 HRS:  Hungry. Soooo hungry. Craving hot dog with mustard, sauce and cheese.

0440 HRS:  Still hungry. Now dreaming of club sandwich.  Try to channel hunger into creative meal ideas for kids involving kale.

Kale and sweet potato pie?

Hot dog with kale leaf in place of bun?

0500 HRS:  Okay, technically morning now. Hear car driving past in distance, and feel simultaneously relieved (that night is over), and sickened (at paltry amount of sleep achieved so far).

Imagine how will feel at 1500 HRS when required to be serious health professional with genuine interest in client. Hit self on forehead repeatedly. Forcibly shut eyes and attempt to conjure up existential ‘sleep window’.

sleep window

This is kind of how I imagine my elusive, existential sleep window (Image: Matthew Peterson)

0525 HRS:  Sleep window?! Where is sleep window?!?  Alarm due to go off in 1hr 35 mins and still no sleep window.

May as well just check phone..  Read blogs/check Facebook/look at photos so as to feel vaguely productive while waiting for sleep window…

0700 HRS:   What!!? Alarm going off! Shit!!

Extremely up to date with everything ever posted on Facebook, yet no sleep or creative meal plans involving superfoods.

0701 HRS:  Oooooh.  Eyes really heavy now.  Bed so warm and comfortable.

Maybe just ‘rest’ eyes for a sec while mentally preparing for the day….



6 thoughts on “Dream Weaver

  1. It’s excruciating. Spot on and awful. And then the deepest most wonderful sleep wants to happen any time after about 5.43… And by then it’s all over red rover, and for me at the moment, Hamish likes to alert me to his wakefulness (at 6.32) by crawling into our room (all monsters’ university-esque like) and scaring me half to death by jumping up right next to my face and roaring. Lord. The constant quest for sleep…

  2. And to think you used to be able to sleep any time, anywhere (and for 12 hrs + at a stretch) – that’s what motherhood will do to you. But seriously, the roaring monster-child wake-up!!? Now that’s enough to send you to an early grave Ms Shaw!

  3. My mind behaves very much the same way when I wake up in the middle of the night, oh, say, about 3:00 am. All except the cooking with kale bit. Because here’s what I do with kale: take a bunch of kale, wash it, dry it. Toss it in a bowl with a little olive oil and a little, or a lot of, grated parmesan. Bake it for 10 minutes. Very morish. All gone soon.

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