Tag Archives: Dreaming

How Do You Sleep?

I came across a couple of articles about sleep which made me contemplate how my sleep patterns have changed with age.

We’ve discussed sleep before:


I used to regularly sleep for eight hours a night. If I managed an extra hour, I felt fantastic and achieving ten hours turbocharged me! These days, at the age of 65, it’s more like six to seven hours of good quality sleep. I don’t feel deprived, but if I do feel drowsy during the day I’ll nap for an hour, sitting up in my chair, which invigorates me. It doesn’t often happen, perhaps four times a year.

Drowsiness can be a clue to health problems and disrupted nocturnal rest. My long-term partner suffered from sleep apnoea, which she was wholly unaware of, but when she stopped breathing, I woke instantly. She lacked energy during the day, frequently dropping off to sleep in the evening while watching television.


Image result for cat nodding off sleep gif

There are a couple of drowsiness tests mentioned in this article:


(I scored 3 in the Epworth Sleepiness Scale)

I think that because I’m so regular in my habits, it helps me to sleep. I’ve done jobs that were the enemy of sleep, such as getting up at 4.00 a.m. to be at the milk depot an hour later, to load an electric milk float and deliver 450 pints. Finishing work by 10.00 a.m., I needed to find ways to wind down before going home to sleep a few hours, waking to greet my partner at six o’clock. I was always in bed by 10.00 p.m. Milkmen soon start to look like the Walking Dead!

This job mimicked the old way of sleeping in two sessions:


Nowadays, I work from eight o’clock to 1.00 a.m., retiring to bed to read for an hour, before turning the lights out. Fortunately, I’ve never been bothered by sleeplessness—proof of having a clear conscience?—or, no conscience at all!

Those plagued with insomnia become obsessed with sleep, which probably worsens their plight. A new device tracks a person’s sleep, which an insomniac might view as helpful. To me, it’s proof of how obsessed some people are with measuring everything in the 21st-century:


Image result for respio sleep tracker

If you’re constantly monitoring yourself day and night, when do you ever relax and just enjoy being alive?

How do you sleep?

Inventing Words

I always send a message to my subconscious before going to sleep, asking my grey cells about what to write next, or how to tackle a plot problem. Sometimes, my brain makes useful suggestions to me in the night, as I turn over in bed. Other times, I attempt to access nocturnal ideas in the transition state between sleep and full wakefulness.

This morning, my mischievous noddle spat out one word—Thyssingness.

Puzzled as to what the hell this archaic-sounding word could possibly mean, I roused myself and went online to check. You won’t be surprised to learn that it doesn’t exist, though there’s a Thyssing Industrial Supplies in Victoria, Australia.

I think that my brain’s thesaurus got scrambled, but there have been plenty of authors who invented words that have since entered the English language. Charles Dickens coined dozens of words, such as the creeps, devil-may-care and flummox.

William Shakespeare: supposedly invented 1,700 words, including advertising, torture and summit.

Children’s authors have free rein to play with language. Lewis Carroll and Doctor Seuss invented plenty of nonsense words, as well as others that are commonly used. Dr Seuss is credited with inventing the word nerd, while Caroll thought of chortle for quietly laughing.

Science-Fiction and Fantasy authors often create whole languages for their worlds.

My Cornish Detective novels contain local expressions and words delivered in the local patois, which many readers won’t be familiar with, but they’re real words. For instance, holidaymakers who invade the county in summer, swarming around, are referred to as Emmets, which is Cornish for ants.

Have any of you invented words?