I’ll make this quick, as the only reason I got out of bed at 8.10am (rather than peeling myself from the sheets at nearer 9am) was to write. A few hard decisions in front of the clothes rack means I don’t have long to spare before I need to leave for work.
For roughly a year, I’ve been waking up to Radio 4. At first, I enjoyed being woken by incisive debate on Today. Then I started getting annoyed by how little fresh news featured on the programme. Then I started dosing through the programme, and often had curious dreams that combined some soundbite I’d heard, with some imaginary scenario: the day Humphrey Littleton died, I was sure I’d heard that the Queen was dead. I was never sure about what I’d heard as fact and what I’d dreamed.
For the last month, I’ve had a really hard time getting out of bed. I know the change in the seasons hasn’t helped, and I think I’ve been unusually tired, but it is beginning to worry me. Last night I had a conversation about my general morning lassitude, and I couldn’t remember a time when I leapt out of bed looking forward to the day ahead. The diagnosis? That it wasn’t getting out of bed that was the problem: it was wanting to. I’d convinced myself that a sunrise simulator alarm clock (at £80 a pop) was just the thing that would change my life, but have been temporarily convinced otherwise.
This morning, I really wanted to get up ‘to write’ (which was essentially a contrived reason – the best use I could think of for an extra half hour in the morning), but I still struggled to harness the energy, focus and determination to get up. After numerous prompts, and numerous grunts in reply, I blurted, ‘do we always have to have the radio on?’. The radio was switched off, and instantly my awake button was switched on: I could think, I could talk coherently, I wanted to be conscious to experience the (near) silence.
My conclusion? That I detest an overload of information before I’m alert enough to absorb it. My solution? To wake up to an alarm (albeit with a few snoozes at first), to revel in the peace and quiet, and to start my day my way. I can listen to the headlines at 8am, after a good dose of wakefulness, when I can actually take them in. That’s the plan, anyway…