GETTING a good night's sleep is one of life's great pleasures but it hasn't been easy this year.
External factors like COVID, Donald Trump and the rise of anti-maskers have all contributed to tossing and turning.
Indeed the perception that 2020 has been a dud has risen excrementally since the first toilet paper panic began.
But let's not discount internal factors either, and it's funny what burrows into your consciousness in the wee hours of the morning, all wide-eyed and woolly.
Issues from your childhood, for example, can often take hold, looping in illogical ways, keeping us up.
That time you stuck your toe in your tricycle. Your dearly departed goldfish. Concern that Big Ted and Jemima aren't getting on.
Annoying stuff and if you can move on, sleep doctors generally recommend you do, ideally before the dawn, because as anyone who can't sleep knows, it's usually darkest then.
But preferably not onto adult issues of a similar non-sleep inducing fashion. But how often do the sleep-deprived jump from one stupid thought to the next?
All the time, right, and it's far from dream therapy, particularly for the person sleeping next to them, which is unfortunate for both because sleep is so important.
Sleep is supposed to give the mind a chance to process/repress thoughts and experiences into that semi-coherent narrative we call our "self" next morning when we allegedly "wake up", supposedly refreshed, craving extremely strong coffee.
But it's often more like a quick neurological tidy up before the cognitive in-laws call round with all that mental clutter, hastily swept under the cerebral carpet. All show and no go on the rested front.
Experts recommend getting the mythical eight hours but when you're out of sleep form, who nails that without the aid of, say, concussion?
For some adults, sleep maybe used to come easier when they were younger and perhaps still capable of dreaming.
But, ugh, don't go down that rabbit hole because for those adults, as time slides by a major thing they notice at 3.38am is time sliding by.
Experts say it's not the length of sleep that matters, but the depth. And really, cue audible eye roll here.
The only thing that gets deep when you can't sleep is the concern you may never sleep again. And by the way, audible eye roll is not an effective substitute for rapid eye movement.
Banging on about lack of sleep may well induce drowsiness in others, and I suppose we all have our sleep processes.
Sometimes getting up is key to getting down. It's amazing what remaking the bed can achieve, particularly if the person you're sleeping next to you can't be bothered.
Just don't turn the light on because some areas may not crave illumination.
Sorry about that honey.
Ultimately, Goldilocks was spot on about sleep, you've got to get things just right - but try not to overthink things.