Sleep Writing

As I write this, it’s 2am. I won’t post it now because well, I’m in a semi-conscious state with blurry, squinty eyes from this too-bright computer screen. Also, I’m quite possibly rambling. Sleep, let me sleep, why can’t I sleep? Sleep first, edit later.

eec8210049999346d5928d8f3f50fa39The irony is, while I’m not sleeping I thought I’d write a blog post on how I get to sleep – a system which has clearly me failed me at this point in time. Though, in truth, some of these aren’t necessarily techniques I use to get to sleep, sleep just happens to be a happy consequence.

So far, I’ve said the word ‘sleep’ nine times. Sorry. I’m tried tired. And possibly tried.

What’s your sleep routine? What do you think about? I asked my husband this once, as he was drifting off and he said, quite honestly, ‘thinking about going to sleep’. Firstly, who DOES that? Secondly, what was he REALLY thinking about? Which I pondered until I fell asleep myself. My conclusions on my husband’s inner workings I’ll keep for another blog post, but as for sleeping, my biggest, ground-breaking discovery – the more you want it, the harder it is to sleep.

[This excludes jetlag. Jetlag is a form of exhaustion and cannot be replicated by sleep deprivation alone – it’s unlike any other kind of tired. Plane hop for thirty-odd hours, that’ll do it. It also excludes instances where you want sleep but life prevents it, like staying up until 3am to finish an essay. ‘I’ll just edit this from my bed… Zzzzzzzzzz’]

What it takes to get me to sleep depends upon how I’m not sleeping. If I’m restless, tossing and turning for a couple of hours, I get up to have a glass of water and *clears throat* pee. Sorry. TMI. Sometimes this does help to break the cycle. Someone told me to think of ‘whiteness’, which is harder to imagine than it sounds. I opted to imagine a white sheet of paper, and surprisingly, sometimes this works. I’ve tried counting sheep – who started that? Don’t. I swear it keeps me awake.

Usually, I write, in my head like it’s a movie. I create scenes from my WIP and go over them, altering details and visually editing. Occasionally this can be too ‘stimulating’ to sleep and sometimes I worry about falling asleep with brilliant, irretrievable ideas. The upside is, I’m not anxious about my writing like I can be about life – it’s an escape.

Escape equals sleep.

I might give that another go.

Sweet dreams, my friends.


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