Sleeplessness used to be the bane of my existence. People apparently need more than four hours of quality sleep per night but somehow my aspie brain didn't seem to care.
These days, the problem is mostly "licked". I usually feel tired enough to go to bed somewhere between 11 and 12pm and I wake for work at around 5.15am. I get around 5 and a half hours sleep per night. I'm still tired but it's a good deal better than my previous average of 3-4 hours sleep.
It's the pressures of work and family that get me exhausted enough to get my 5 hours per night. I thought I was "cured" but after being on holidays this week, I know that I'm not.
I've just had three days holiday without the kids. Its the first time since they were born (9 years ago) that my wife and I have had more than one night without them. Furthermore, there was no computer, just the blackberry and no calls from work - although admittedly, I did work through a few emails.
On the first day, we arrived in the afternoon and I fell asleep almost as soon as we arrived. I don't know why I was tired - I wasn't driving. We stayed up to about midnight but slept in until almost 10am. Night 2 was considerably shorter but still appreciable.
Night 3 (last night) was abysmal. I didn't get to sleep until after 1 - and it was fitful with my mind chattering ceaselessly. I awoke several times during the night finally giving up completely at around 4.30 am.
What's strange is that when the artificial tiredness generated by work, family, scouts and general computing etc is gone, my mind can't sleep. My coffee intake is significantly reduced while on holidays but sleep still eludes me.
My brain needs to constantly churn over and arrange facts. It pulls these from my everyday life, from things I see and read and from various ideas that I come into contact with.
Strangely, last night my mind spent ages mulling over the imagery in the film "dumplings" by Fruit Chan. It's a film I've only seen once - and probably more than a year ago. It's not even an English-language film. I'd been reading a book which made a passing mention of it - and the mere mention caused me to lose most of the night's sleep.
Films are a special interest of mine. They're great to think about but sometimes I wish I could just shut my mind off and go to sleep.