Sleep

I usually do not write this kind of blog, the kind that’s personal, the kind that hits a bit too close to home. In this case, I’ll make an exception, though, as sometimes it is better to talk about the occasional obstacle that a pro musician will encounter. Who knows? Might help.

Here we go.

I’ve been napping more than sleeping these days. I go to bed at the same time in the evening. But I never know when I’ll get up. Could it be 4:00 am? 5:30? How about a grueling 3:45 am? One thing for sure is that after that it’s hit or miss: will I be able to go back to sleep or not? That is the question. Sometimes yes, sometimes no. Right now it’s 50/50. Not a great ratio.

But the gamble doesn’t stop quite there. Because as the dice roll, I will go through a phase of fully awake and progressively dip into one where my concentration crumbles, my eyes fall into empty darkness. The gamble becomes this: how long will it take to go from one to the other? Could be as little as a half hour, could be as long as I’m up all day. Fun!

Am I zombie when I have been up since 4 am? No. A bit cottony on the edge but not much. Not irritable either. Just a tad tired. I could sit down and read a book. Yes, that kind of tired. I can drive a car, no problem. Although I can drive a car fully alert no matter how much sleep I’ve got. Many bands I’ve been with took advantage of that little particularity of mine, making me drive all night to get to the next town. Me, dead tired, but eyes wide open.

So, what’s a man to do when your sleep pattern is a bit erratic? Practice. Yes, that’s where I wanted to go. Extra time, you say! Practice! Are you pulling a Tom Cruise (A man who said he tries not to sleep), well, off to the piano you go! You got a keyboard that you can enjoy with headphones! How convenient! Smile, it’s supposed to be fun. And I do smile. After all, it is funny.

When I was younger, that’s back before the big bang now, I was absolutely worthless if I missed 20 seconds of sleep. Now, I don’t keep count anymore. I’m up, I’m up. I might as well make the time useful. One can practice the piano while nodding, yes, it can be done.

I am hopeful that I’ll eventually be able to do some regular nights again. My sleep isn’t sacred anymore, I am confident I’ll go through yet another phase, this one, I bet, with 20 hours of sleep per day and with snoring so loud it’ll crack the foundation of the house.

This picture is to illustrate that you can start hallucinating if you’re severely deprived of sleep.