Hard News by Russell Brown

107

How do you sleep?

I've never really been one for not sleeping. Many years ago, I had a group of friends who would deliberately stay awake for two or three days just so they'd hallucinate. You can easily forgo sleep when you're kids. Ask Lorde. But staying awake never really appealed to me.

On the other hand, at the height of the P epidemic, I did have a couple of grown-up friends who didn't sleep for a week. I certainly wouldn't recommend that and neither, I am sure, would they, now that they've long since ceased behaving like fuckin' idiots.

Basically, I've had my share of late nights and bright lights -- and my share's that large one right there, thanks -- but I have generally liked to get a little kip in. And when I say "little", I mean that I very rarely sleep in -- 9am is a late one for me. I am a morning person. Even if I were capable of sleeping off a big night by skipping the morning altogether, the waste of a perfectly good day would prey on my mind.

But as I age, my ability to get a sound night's sleep seems to be going the way of my ability to read the telephone directory (or, for that matter, the screen of my phone itself) without spectacles. It always seems to be 4.30am that I find myself peering bleakly at the LED display on my bedside clock, in the expectation that my sleep will be fractured and frustrated until I give up and get up about 6.30.

I get that sometimes it happens because I had too many glasses of wine before I went to bed, but that's not always the case. It is annoying when it happens, as it did last night. But I'm also aware that the world is full of people who can't even get in those first few hours. That must be tough.

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