Not getting the night’s sleep I want can feel absolutely crushing. Sometimes it’s as if there’s a time slot for falling asleep, one I can almost sense but can’t quite define. If I’m into bed and ready for it, I can catch the snooze train, but if I miss it then I have to wait for the next one to come along. And it’s not a conveniently advertised timetable.
That’s where I found myself last night. Already very late to bed, all routines thrown out again by being away from home (the bright and shiny Brighton this weekend), the paltry dose of sleeping tablets taken too late, an evening full of distraction and not getting ready for bed. So when I finally did lie down I knew almost immediately that I’d missed that snooze cruise. You’ve got to try though – it’s possible there’s one of those hand-pumped train carts that you only see in old westerns – and maybe sleep can still be caught up with. I shouldn’t even try. I crawled out of bed eventually to have a quiet drink, read my book and knock back another couple of sleeping tablets. I don’t want to do a show on zero hours sleep – it’s not fun or fair on the rest of the cast. Better, I hoped, to convince my body to accept five or six hours sleep instead of nothing. I think it’s been partially successful, though I’ve risen with a sleeping tablet hangover I need to kill and a profound hunger for caffeine.
What I should have done… fucked it off and taken double to begin with, done it early and crashed out early. It’s the only night I needed to do it on, because even if I don’t sleep after the show tonight, that’s fine. But no, I hoped for something else and didn’t get it. Fucking A. I suppose that’s what I actually find crushing – not so much the lack of sleep, but of the failure to think it through, to plan for it and make the best out of it. That mash of expectation and hope with reality can be a total bastard.
Now I need to work twice as hard to rally. Not just to deal with the usual horror of being awake, and prepare for the day, but get properly ready to do our cool and fun It’s A Trap! The Improvised Star Wars Show over at the Bubble theatre in Regency Square. Plus I need to shift my resentment about not getting the sleep I wanted (basically an ingrained sulk). For fuck’s sake. It’s always achievable expectations that get you, isn’t it. Sometimes I really hate being stuck in this stupid meat suit.