The waking up in the middle of the night may come down to hormones or booze or some bugger with a dodgy car alarm. But the staying awake is all down to Feelings. During the day, you can fall out of anger with the same bewildering speed that you can fall out of love. But not in the night. In the night they bed in.
And then the morning comes (what time does morning start? Shall we agree on 5am?), shimmering as though blanketed by a heat haze. Balance is slightly off. Breakfast looks diseased. Can’t face it. The rest of the day veers gothically from bleached out to viciously Technicolour; nerves screaming, timing tragically off-kilter so that we appear either personality-disorder focussed or aggravatingly absent and doleful. We don’t belong to ourselves; the arsenic hours in the night skimmed the cream off the top of our personalities.
We injure ourselves a little more than we should; stubbing a toe here, slamming a shoulder into a door frame there. We sing odd snippets of songs – absent-mindedly – like a creepy child-ghost. We cry at adverts. We drink coffee until our nerve-endings sizzle and our fingertips throb and, wow, can we eat. In fact, we don’t so much eat as feed.
Let’s just disprove two theories once and for all. Lying down, deranged with panic about falling back to sleep, does not count as ‘resting’. And one hour before midnight does not count for two after. Six hours from 1am until 7am leaves you a little short-changed. Six hours from 10pm until 4am turns you into a Sleep Bore.