Thursday 3 July 2008

Things that go bump in the night…

On a recent trip to Istanbul, I was chatting to The Writer about sleep and her lack of it. You see, she suffers from Insomnia – or as another friend once called in Amnesia… hmmmmm!

Anyway, for The Writer it really is a big problem and the more it worries her, the worse it becomes. I, on the other hand, can sleep most places (nowhere dodgy Pa, I promise) and it never worries me about how much sleep I am getting as I know I can survive on very little.

But what did worry me slightly in our conversation was her comment that she is often awoken at night by noises and that she thought this was the only reason for waking up at night…

If this is the case, what does this mean for me?

I too, often wake in the night, look at my clock, rejoice that I still have lots more time in bed and then roll over and fall fast asleep again. But if her theory of waking to noises is right, what on earth am I hearing? And if it’s something important I have subconsciously heard… what happens if I go back to sleep and ignore it?

And another thing, does this mean I hear better in my sleep than when I am awake? In which case, perhaps I should be asleep more often. And perhaps that’s why, despite sleeping through most of my A-Level RE classes… no wait – that’s where the theory ends as I didn’t do that well in RE – but then you try describing the taste of a pineapple in relation to the existence of God.

There was a time though, when I used to hear better in my sleep and I proved it by coming top of my class at the end of term. You see, when I was about 8 years old, I used to be a big fan of story tapes. Every night, I would listen to The Secret Seven. Roald Dahl’s Revolting Rhymes, The Famous Five and various other wholesome stories and what use to amazing me was the speed at which I memorised them.

So I tried putting my exam notes on tape – and what do you know, it worked. Once in bed, I would listen to the history of the Romans, Latin verbs or French vocab, and sure enough, when the exams came along I always did well – with very little paper revision. Except in Maths – where I actually once got 5% in an exam… ho hum.

However, this revision method failed abysmally once I started losing lots of my hearing. When I was about 13, I recorded a whole collection of physics formula onto cassette and listened to it religiously in my sleep… and got 3 out of 23. Time for plan B.

There’s one noise I know I can’t hear in my flat – the fire alarm, but rather than worry about it, I am going to keep The Writer’s theory in mind and hope that if it ever does go off, I will wake up… and smell smoke and be rescued by a fireman.
There’s a pro and con to everything you see!

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