Once in a long while, I wake up in the middle of the night, and completely fail to get back to sleep, either for some hours or at all. It never seems to involve having trouble getting to sleep in the first place, it's always getting back to sleep that is the problem.
So it was last night. If I can put a finger on the reason why I might not be sleeping the sleep of the just - that of the 'pure in heart' generally eluding me - it isn't so bad. If it's something work-related which is keeping me from my slumbers, I can at least make some vague mental effort at solving the problem. But if there isn't an obvious problem, all there is to do is lie there.
I thought about getting up and fiddling on the computer, but dismissed that as only likely to wake me up further. Drank some water (alcohol doesn't usually cause me not to sleep...), stared at where the wall would be if it hadn't been dark, turned over and did the same for the ceiling, the other wall, lather, rinse, repeat.
Sleeping alone during the week does at least remove one of the insomniac's irritations - the peacefully slumbering person next to you who is breathing. The breathing sounds which would normally be inaudible but, when you can't sleep, are so annoying as to cause you to consider smothering them with their own pillow JUST TO SHUT THEM UP - or perhaps that's just me.
And the birds. Damn their Dawn Chorus and any others of the Chorus family. Yes, beautiful liquid birdsong, nothing repetitive, just one of our little feathered friends singing its heart out in sheer joy of being alive, or at least to try to persuade some other chirping avian to mate with it, lay beautiful eggs and produce more noisy winged bastards to start opening their beaks at FOUR GODDAMN THIRTY.
Oh, how I wish I could go back to bed right now.