I was congratulating myself at having made it to 10pm at a friend’s 40th. It was officially ‘past my bedtime’ but I was still going strong with a glass of champagne in my hand, although I occasionally had to step out of my towering heels, confusing whoever I was standing with at the time by shrinking three inches without any explanation.
We were discussing my good luck at being able to sleep in an empty house that night – my family were away and I wouldn’t be woken by small children.
I sniffed. ‘My youngest usually wakes at 5am, but it doesn’t matter – I have been waking up at 4am for no apparent reason.’
One friend shook her head sadly, ‘I have been waking at 2am! I can’t ever get back to sleep.’
We all clucked sympathetically.
‘What do you do?’ we asked.
‘I just lie there,’ she replied.
One lady leaned forward ‘if you find you are lying there for more than half an hour, you should just get up.’
‘And do what?’ she wanted to know.
‘Anything,’ was the answer. ‘Read a book, do the dishes, anything but TV.’
It was time for my five cents.
‘Masturbate,’ I said.
I had their attention. All their eyes were on me.
‘That’s what I hear anyway,’ I quickly covered. ‘But it focuses all your attention on one thing. Your mind stops wandering, and you stop thinking about all the crap you have to do, stop worrying about things. It focuses your mind and body.’
I nodded sagely. I felt like Dr Phil.
The conversation changed quite quickly after that – it is possible that people slunk away in search of companions who weren’t chronic over-sharers like me. It’s possible people may not be able to look me in the eye on Monday.
It’s possible that now some people might get a better night’s sleep. You're welcome.
As for me, I found a ridiculously full stomach and being up to the eyeballs in champagne did the trick. And for the record – without the kids (and husband) being present I managed to sleep in to a record time of 6.45am.