Telling time while I'm asleep

I am going to be very tired today. It hasn't happened yet but I'm going to assume that around 2 or 3pm I will start having "difficulties" .Which doesn't bode well for An Hour with John Boyne, so if you see me yawning in this session, please don't assume it's because I'm finding it boring. It'll just be my brain trying to reboot itself (if I actually nod off and spring back into wakefulness, that's a hard reboot).

The reason that I can anticipate this slowing down of my cognitive faculties is that I had a terrible night's sleep. And this was caused by what I think of as "sleep paranoia".

The Silver Fox is currently in Auckland for work (back later this evening) and he got there by taking a very early flight this morning. As in "getting up at 5am" early. Naturally, we made sure to set a nice loud alarm last night so that he would get up.

Apparently my brain was not satisfied that this alone was enough of a precaution. My brain (oh helpful, brain!) decided that I should wake up every one to one-and-a-half hours during the night just to make sure it wasn't time for the Silver Fox to get up yet.

When you think about it, it is kind of neat that even when we're asleep, somewhere in the back, amongst a bunch of rusty cogs and springs, your brain has its own clock and that clock keeps on ticking away even while you're asleep. It's not like the one on the microwave that gives up the ghost the second there's a power cut and then has to be reset. No. Our brain clocks are far cleverer than that.

Not clever enough to actually wake me up at the right time, admittedly but at least it's trying. Brain-clock only has my (and the Silver Fox's) best interests at heart. "A" for effort, brain-clock. "E" for execution.

And the thing is, all the waking up and falling back asleep during the night actually made it more likely that I'd be deeply asleep when the alarm went off, not less. Oh, dear brain, how you do engage in the most self-defeating of activities. You're like someone who's trying to look cool by wearing a mullet-skirt. Please desist.

As it was the Silver Fox was similarly affected and simply gave up trying to sleep at all, getting up before the alarm even had a chance to go off. The old "if you can't beat the brain clock, join it" philosophy at work.

Does sleep paranoia ever get to you? Either when you have to get up early, or on the flipside, when you really need to get a decent night's sleep? How well-meaning but ultimately annoying is your brain-clock?

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