I know that getting enough sleep is a vital aspect of a healthy lifestyle but since splitting from my life-partner 75 days ago my sleep has been simply awful.
A couple of recent reports on the BBC demonstrate the need for decent sleep How much can an extra hour’s sleep change you? and Sleep ‘cleans’ the brain of toxins. The first mentioning that going from six hours to seven reduces the activity of amount of certain genes:
What they discovered is that when the volunteers cut back from seven-and-a-half to six-and-a-half hours’ sleep a night, genes that are associated with processes like inflammation, immune response and response to stress became more active. The team also saw increases in the activity of genes associated with diabetes and risk of cancer. The reverse happened when the volunteers added an hour of sleep.
While I’m thinking about sleep, we also know the eight-hour sleep cycle is a modern myth and people used to have two distinct periods of sleep with about an hour or two hour gap in the middle. In an experiment where volunteers were in darkness for fourteen hours a day they got into a rhythm of sleeping four hours, being awake for two and then sleeping another four. I’d take that four hours right now regardless of the second period of sleep.
Anyway, the last 75 days my sleep has been terrible. Most nights I wake several times and will lie away my thoughts circling and looping. What if?
I’m likely sleeping four hours a night all together on a good night. A couple of hours before waking and then just a few minutes here and there. Jerking awake time and again with those thoughts of “what if?”.
I try to bring myself back to the present, the now. To give thanks for the good things in my life: my daughter’s love, my health, friends to help me bear my burden, a roof over my head and food in my belly. Regardless I keep looping back. To my love and what I destroyed though stupidity. Through trying to honour a promise to a broken woman.
Three thirty three was a time my partner used to call “the Witching Hour”, being half of six six six, the fabled number of the beast. Time and again I wake and look at the phone, its clock, and we’re just there. Again. 3:33. And of course I can’t help but think of her, and her calling it the Witching Hour.