So tired of waking up tired
Why are so many of us missing out on a decent night's sleep?
I'm sorry, I'm tired and cranky today. That's because, like 40 per cent of Australians, I struggle to wake up feeling refreshed after what should be a good night's sleep. In fact, does anybody get a good night's sleep these days? Most people I talk to seem to be in the same boat as me. Does anyone really wake up in the morning all smiley and sleepy, stretching and yawning their way into the day? Or jump out the window and, without missing a beat, suddenly find themselves mid-stride in a fresh-faced jog, like that girl in the TV ad?
Sure, I know she's not for real; it's just an ad for some get-up-and-go, fire-cracker-up-the-backside breakfast cereal or yoghurt or bank loan (I'm always too tired to notice). However, when I'm dragging my butt around the place with droopy Garfield eyelids because I've only totalled four hours' sleep since April, frankly I'm not in the best frame of mind to appreciate the artistic licence of television advertising.
I'll go one step further: people who sleep well irritate me, mostly because I don't any more. Gone are the days of being restfully at one with my mattress for nine glorious, uninterrupted hours. Now it's sleep until 3am, then stare at the ceiling for 2 1/2 hours having silly conversations with myself about work and online shopping.
I know what I should be doing. I should be making my bedroom into a cave: cool, quiet and pitch black. I should be handing in my iPhone and iPad at the bedroom door and replacing them with an iMask, preferably like the one Audrey Hepburn wore - complete with cutesy tassels attached to earplugs - in Breakfast at Tiffany's. My bedroom should be a shrine to sleep and sex, which sounds great when it's slapped all over the front cover of a women's magazine - except that, like everyone else, I can't sleep, so I'm too bloody tired for sex.
I should only be using lights with low-watt bulbs in the hours before bedtime, and drinking warm milk or jasmine tea. And spending the last hour before bed in quiet contemplation, not watching episodes of Modern Family or The Voice.
I should have had my last coffee by noon, and definitely no post-dinner chocolate. Not to mention alcohol. At least, unlike 42 per cent of dog lovers, I don't allow my cuddly mongrel Paddy to share my bed. Though, to be honest, I'd let a team of huskies in between the sheets if I thought there was half a chance of 10 minutes' sleep in it for me.