Everyone Goes to Sleep – Except Me

Claire Pearse reports from the frontline of insomnia where the hardest battle is against boredom and time passing far too slowly.

 You would never guess it but being awake in the early hours of the morning is extremely boring. Here I sit at my messy desk in my university halls room. The curtains are shut and the only light comes from a lamp and the glare of a laptop screen. I stare blankly at a piece of paper while punk bands perform on YouTube.

Writing about my late night activity is hard – because there is no activity. After the Guildhall clock strikes midnight everyone and everything goes to asleep – except me. Instead of winding down, my mind decides to fire up. It forces me to sit hunched at this prefab table instead of being snuggled up in a warm cotton quilt.

I’ve been hunched for five hours straight, well punctuated with a few bathroom breaks due to excessive consumption of fizzy liquids. I get up and stretch my back before I resume typing.

Typing what exactly? Nothing. All I have achieved since midnight is refreshing my YouTube subscription box multiple times to see no change whatsoever and seeing that all three of my Facebook friends had gone to bed hours ago.

They say that the internet is forever growing and that not even Google knows how much content is out there. I know this because I watched a random video about mysteries science can’t explain while trying to fill my insomniac hours.

It’s as if the internet also heads to bed at midnight because no matter how much I try I cannot find anything that makes time go faster than a snail’s pace. Did you know that a snail is from a class of creatures called Gastropods? Nope? Me neither till just now thanks to another random video from my ‘Suggested’ list on YouTube.

Browsing the internet isn’t helping pass the time so I decide to be a good student and start some work. I don’t get very far. Instead, I write what you’re reading now – absolute nonsense from the start, as you’ll agree. It’s evidence that my brain has in a sense stayed awake but its main functions – thinking and imagining – have nodded off.

So yeah, being an insomniac is great, it allows you to experience a few more hours of life each day that others are oblivious too. I’m not sure if that’s a good thing or whether I’ve constructed a good ending to this story. I’ll ask my imagination when it wakes up later.


Photography by Moshe Tasky.