I have a strange relationship with sleep. I love sleep. But, like many beloved things, sleep is elusive. I chase it in the night only to be met with indifference. I don't suffer from nightmares (with a few exceptions). I suffer from light sleeping. Very light sleeping. Lighter than a feather on Atkins. Lighter than the depth of the plot in a Deadwood episode or a Michael Chabon novel.
The peace of my night is penetrable. Sometimes it's noises that penetrate - helicopters, slamming car doors, cat panic, dead fruit falling on a tile roof, etc. Other times it's a thought that explodes in the deeper part of my brain and must be worked through at the shallow end, before purging. Often in my wakefulness I see patterns - of numbers, Scrabble tiles, playing cards, and stray singular words - coddling, fissure, sprout, adamant.
Sometimes, the thoughts and patterns and startled state of my imagination keep me up enough that I turn to television to soothe my racing mind. In almost all cases, the 2:30AM lull/roar of the TV is better than what's in my head. Yes, even Carson fucking Daly. But especially Tivo-ed episodes of Colbert and The Office. Next thing I know it's 7:17AM and I have to get to work to begin the cycle of work/life/(little) sleep for another day.
I've listened to suggestions for solutions. Sleep in the bedroom, not the living room. Give up caffeine. Try Valerian root. Exercise. Breathe. Warm bath. Hot shower. Open windows. clsoed windows. Light. Darkness. Cats. Solitude. Many of these things help me get to sleep but none of them help keep me there.
Maybe it's age. Am I now an "older" person, one that does not need as much sleep as the "kids." That could be part of it. But if I don't need as much sleep, I definitely want more than I'm getting.
Okay that's enough bellyaching. I must be an old person. I just said "bellyaching." Goodbye. Lists will commence tomorrow.