Lexifabricographer For when the right word just won’t do…

July 24, 2013

Think of the tender things that we were working on

Filed under: fitter/happier — Tags: — lexifab @ 4:49 pm

I haven’t been sleeping well.

By that I don’t mean what people usually mean when they say that. For the past three weeks I’ve been going out of my way to make sure that I’m getting a full night’s sleep. I’ve been trying to keep to a consistent sleep routine, going to sleep and getting up at roughly the same times each day, kids permitting. I’ve mostly cut out caffeine after lunch. I’ve almost completely lost my appetite for alcohol. I’m exercising enough. I’m not eating too much junk food and useless carbs. I mean, I’m not observing all these rules with an ecstatic fervour, but I am tightening up some lifestyle habits.

But I’m not sleeping well. The sleep, even when I have a full,unbroken night of it, isn’t working. Most days, I’m not waking up rested and refreshed, I’m waking up up sore, cranky and bleary. Most days, that feeling passes for an hour or two after I have a slug of coffee. For a narrow period during the morning, I can think straight, express myself clearly and keep my eyes open.

That window of lucidity slams closed around lunchtime, maybe as late as two in the afternoon. Lately, more and more often, it doesn’t open again. I feel hammered. Dull witted. Sleepy. If I sit down somewhere comfortable any time between about two and six pm, there’s a good chance I’ll nod off. More than once I’ve handed driving responsibilities over to someone else because I didn’t feel alert enough to be safe. The way I’ve been describing it is that it feels like eleven o’clock at night, all the time.

This hasn’t been good for writing. Most of my writing time comes at lunchtime (which is not usually more than ten or fifteen minutes) and after eight at night, when the kids are in bed. For the past month or so, I’ve turned into a zombie by eight. I can just about function if I have to do some straightforward physical household chore like (simple) cooking or washing up. Strangely, I can do the monthly tax reconciliation, probably because despite its complexity, it’s a routine task that has become ingrained. I can even read without too much difficulty, although my stamina for following words on a page is not what it should be.

I can’t write. I can’t hold a thought still long enough to form a coherent sentence. Most of the times I’ve tried, I can’t even form particularly incoherent sentences. I just can’t think of things to type.

Progress on the novel goes slowly, then. I’m not going to make my deadline for the critiquing group, it’s pretty safe to say. Even with the three weeks I still have up my sleeve I have no realistic expectation that I can pick up the pace again enough to hammer out the concluding chapters. The rest of the group will be understanding, I’m sure, but it’s disappointing all the same.

But that’s enough of the whinging. Next time I do this, I’ll talk about what I’m doing to fix myself up.


  1. hmm – are you waking up at all at night? Assuming not, are you snoring? Even if not, sleep apnea can mean your sleep quality is poor even if you don’t wake. My cousin had it so bad she couldn’t work more than 3 days a week until she got one of those positive pressure airway things to sleep with. Your symptoms sound similar.

    Assuming you aren’t doing all of this already.

    Comment by Jenny — July 24, 2013 @ 10:18 pm

  2. Sleep apnoea is a definite possibility, although it’s not one I’ve seriously considered up until now because I don’t wake up during the night (not often anyway), I don’t snore especially loudly and I don’t do that “stop breathing for several terrifying seconds” thing. But I’m doing monitored sleeping in a lab this Friday night, and that’s one of the primary things they will look for.

    Comment by lexifab — July 24, 2013 @ 11:26 pm

  3. Sounds horrible. 🙁 Good luck on Friday night.

    Comment by Dr Clam — July 25, 2013 @ 7:34 am

  4. It’s…not exactly horrible. Most of the time, the fact is that I’m just too tired to care that I can’t write. When I’m not tired, it’s frustrating, certainly. Most of my productive waking hours are spent doing my job. Utterly wasted, in other words 😉

    I’m confident it will get better. I just have to accept that it’s a real thing and deal with it, rather than continue to rely on bullish denial.

    Comment by Lexifab — July 25, 2013 @ 8:55 am

  5. FWIW, I’m happy to ghostwrite your novel for you to help you meet the deadline. Tribe of telekinetic mutant bilbies living under the disused fire station, here we come! Also 12 page conversation about viking shipbuilding techniques, the horrifying implications of which will only gradually dawn after Dazza and Wilkes (not their real names) find Aunt Phoebe’s pavlova recipe…

    Comment by Dr Clam — July 25, 2013 @ 11:47 am

  6. Very tempting… (I would be fascinated by a horror story about viking shipbuilding DO THIS PLEASE!)

    Comment by Lexifab — July 26, 2013 @ 4:34 pm

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