As a rule I am rarely jealous of others. I know, like I think we all do, deep down, that the often carefully crafted exterior that someone faces the world with, either in their real or virtual life, is so often quite far from the truth. We all have our highs and lows, our good and not-so-good bits, our vulnerabilities and our secrets. Someone may appear to have the perfect romantic relationship, stunning house, fascinating job, enviable figure, but sometimes it is a veneer or sometimes someone has one thing that seems to have fallen into place whilst so many other things are going rapidly down hill to a town called Rock Bottom. Jealousy is pointless and so often the person most hurt by it is the person being jealous. But that being said I am, not jealous, but certainly in awe of good sleepers.

I am fascinated, by those who rest their head upon a pillow, close their eyes and within mere moments are wafting off to the Land of Nod. How do those people then stay, snuggled in snoozy paradise for hour upon hour until their alarm gives them a nudge and they arise rested and ready for a new day? I have never been a good sleeper, even as a child. If anything at all is playing on my mind, I never lose my appetite, but I will lose slumber. I have friends who similarly suffer. I use the word suffer quite deliberately, because lying there in the dark at 3am it can feel like everyone else is snuffling softly but for the wide-awake person, it can feel horrendous. As the time ticks closer to the alarm and still sleep will not come, it can feel quite anxiety-inducing and so the vicious circle whizzes, fizzes and flies through your brain making sleep feel further and further away.

But, as this is a lifelong way of living for me and I am overwhelmingly a ‘crack on kinda woman’, I have developed ways to use this time effectively. I listen to podcasts, and have learned about biohacking, how broccoli defends itself and the many twists and turns of the Brexit negotiations whilst the street snoozes. I catch up with messages (apologies to any friends who hear a distant, dozy ping). I also think a lot. I just lay there in the dark and puzzle though story ideas, events from the day and issues facing friends, family and myself. In a twisted way, this time and opportunity has become quite precious to me. I don’t know when else in the day I’d have the time and space to just ponder, muse, consider and percolate. It is during this time that I have considered my earlier point about jealousy. None of us know what is going on behind the closed door of either someone’s home or their mind and whilst I hope you sleep well, if you can’t, use that time wisely to think, to empathise and to learn.