I still toss and turn, but I don’t let it affect my life

Clive Smith says he would not like to arm wrestle athlete Caster Semenya 		Picture: Martin Rickett/PA Wire

CLIVE SMITH: English pigs? Don’t bite the hand that feeds you

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How did you sleep last night? If, like me, you’re tossing and turning all night, feeling exhausted and grimacing at your alarm at 3am with work worries and niggling conversations going around and around your head, then you’re not alone.

According to the latest NHS figures, one in three of us complains of sleeplessness at some time or another.

The longest scientifically documented period that anyone has survived without sleep and without using stimulants of any kind is a whopping 264 hours!

Unfortunately when poor sleep happens regularly, it’s very difficult to break free of this pattern.

Oh, I’ve tried all the usual remedies, from counting sheep and hot milk to no caffeine and not eating after 7pm. But I’m still wide awake at silly o’clock.

Even the cat has wised up to this now and takes advantage by demanding an early morning brekkie.

But my epiphany with insomnia came to a head recently after working for a full 12 hours.

I felt really physically and mentally tired. So, declining to go and have an Indian after my shift, instead I slowly ambled my way home.

Just as I turned the corner, I bumped into an old girlie pal that I hadn’t seen for about a year.

We got chatting and ended up back at hers where I spent the rest of the evening laughing and having a few vinos with my lovely friend.

By then I’d forgotten how exhausted I was and that night I fell fast asleep and slept soundly without waking once.

Since then insomnia has lost its power over me. I still have the odd night of tossing and turning, usually when I’m stressed about something and can’t drop off.

But I’ve completely changed the way I react to the situation. Instead of getting angry, I remember how I’ve survived so far and that your body will get the rest it needs.

It’s a fallacy to say you need a full eight hours’ kip every night. While one person may function on four or five, others feel more refreshed on nine.

Now I don’t fear not sleeping, it’s rarely a problem. Goodnight all!