I am an expert in sleep. I know all the theory, I’m just not very good at the practice. Even as a child, I would be tapping on my parents’ bedroom door, moaning that I was still awake.
At school, I barely slept before any of my exams. Decades on, I still often climb into bed with a sense of dread. My partner will give me a goodnight kiss and then drift off to wherever he drifts off to. I will lie there, stiff as a board and soon fuming with resentment.
Hours later, I’ll grab a duvet and a pillow and march downstairs to the sofa. ‘To sleep,’ as Hamlet said, ‘perchance to dream’? Chance would be a fine thing.
I’m an owl and can’t make myself go to bed before midnight, but it’s often more like one in the morning. I’ll be yawning when I get into my pyjamas, but by the time I’ve crawled under the duvet I’m wide awake. I’ll end up peering at my phone. Two am. Three am. Or, if I do fall asleep, I’ll be jolted awake at about 4.45. When my alarm goes off, usually at around 8.15, I feel like the living dead.