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Sharon Bill Author & Music Tutor

Time Hangs Heavy

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I have intermittent periods of sleeplessness. Insomnia is an unpredictable animal - what do you do with those hours… ?

Maybe insomnia is too strong a term. Irregular sleeping patterns is probably a more apt description. Insomnia is a sliding scale - one which I slide frantically up and down on an irregular basis. I guess that many factors contribute to this state. The most obvious contributors are usually stress and worry and no doubt we've all suffered under this burden at times. However, these aren't the usual root of my phases of wakefulness. Most often it's just that my brain won't switch off! During the small hours of the morning the house is quiet so I have time to be quiet and my brain kicks into top gear and I do my mental filing and planning ahead. The realms of possibility don't always fit into the equation and I'm inspired to reach to the stars - until morning comes and I'm too tired to start!

I wonder if it's a genetic trait? My dad has shocking sleeping habits. He also has to take tons of medication and worked late hours for decades. The old nature/nurture debate rears its ugly head once more.

I've found that fighting it and stressing is the worst thing to do. So what else do you do? I've found that the main thing is to be quiet (if you want to stay happily married - although my long suffering and loving husband has developed the knack of sleeping with various lights on and despite my nocturnal pottering.) It's also important to do stuff that isn't too inspirational - otherwise I'm too excited to sleep. I listen to lots of audio books and online podcasts. I play calming music (the joys of a digital piano) and I read. I sometimes write but this usually fires up too many neurons so I only embark upon creative writing if I know I can keep going and can sleep later that day if needed.

Alternatively, I write a blog post…