I’ve forgotten what to do with my arms when I’m trying to go to sleep.
This is a relatively recent development – yet another prat fall in my sitcom of a life – one which has made the supposed simple act of falling asleep a tortuous nightmare (actually, probably not a nightmare, because you need to be able to fall asleep in the first place in order to have one, don’t you?).
It all happened completely out of the blue. It was a night just like any other, I turned from lying on my right side on to my left and slowly became aware that I couldn’t get comfortable.
I then realised that it was because I didn’t know where I should be putting my arms. Then I started thinking about it.
Me: “Eh? What’s all this about?! Put my arms the way we normally have them!”
My brain: “I can’t remember how we normally have them.”
Me: “What do you mean? How on earth can you forget that?”
My brain: “Dunno. Whatever. Not my problem. Deal with it, Grandad.”
Me: “This is utterly ridiculous! It’s never been a problem before in over 40 years, how come you’re forgetting now, you cretin? Well? WELL? Oi! Come back!!”
At this point my brain has already tired of the exchange, lost all concentration and has dreamily meandered off into blissful reverie, with thoughts of headlining Glastonbury and how he would spend lottery winnings, leaving me wriggling about the bed and struggling to comfortably place my stupid, flappy arms.
I find it hard to sleep in the first place and have suffered horrible bouts of insomnia in the past, so as you can imagine, this latest situation is an absolute joy.
It seems to be more of a problem when lying on my left hand side for some reason and with my brain otherwise engaged, my subconscious has chipped in to become no help whatsoever with the following – it has me lying with my left hand under my face, pushing the skin upwards and probably making me look like Les Dawson, whilst it’s putting my right hand under my chin, folded under with my fingers almost touching my wrist.
This lasts all of 30 seconds before throwing yet another sleep-depriving-explosion into the mix; both hands are completely numbed with pins and needles and I have to flap them about to wake them up and start the whole absurd and desperate process of trying to get comfortable all over again. This can happen three or four times a night.
If my hands weren’t paralysed at this point I’d punch myself in the face.
I went online to discover if anyone has this problem. I found many people with arm-related sleep problems.
Some do nod off but are woken up by pins and needles caused by sleeping in an unnatural position. Others suffer from Restless Arm Syndrome, whereby a pulsating/tingling feeling in their arms or involuntary spasms keeps them awake. But not one of them, not one, has been thick enough to forget where to put their own arms in bed after four and half decades.
It’s just me...