The crack of dawn

I don’t get much sleep. Four or five hours a night is tops for me. This all started in the early 1980s when I began writing my first book. I had a day job so I got up at 4 a.m. to reach my daily target of 500 words before leaving the house. Eighteen books later, even though I no longer have a day job, my circadian rhythm remains the same.

Everything I read says you need eight hours sleep a night. If I slept that long I’d be in a coma. I’ve tried many devices that people claim will help – no screens for the hour before bed, milk and cookies, lorazepam, a warm bath – nothing gets me beyond five hours.

So when I saw a notice for a sleep doctor’s speech in my neighbourhood, I signed up. Maybe there were some new techniques to learn. During the day of the event, I was unusually busy: a breakfast meeting, an interview for my current book, a lunch and a couple of other events mixed in. By the time I wended my way home, there was barely time to grab a bite before I had to skedaddle to the evening session.

In the end, I didn’t go. I was too tired. What if I fell asleep during the sleep clinic? Or was that the new trick?

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