The old proverbial log has nothing on my sleep.Ever since I know not when I have been a seriously good sleeper, when I sleep I stay asleep. It is scary and as such I look upon it as a mixed blessing. Such a level of unconsciousness is a worry, akin to being put under a general anesthetic. A little death each night.
Although the experts say we all dream all night I am not aware of dreams - well maybe a few which I could account for with my fingers and some to spare. On the whole I declare myself dream free. I have always said, nothing except a voice and even then not always. I am reminded of this as I had an text sent me in the wee small hours last night, the phone was right next to my ear!
Even I woke up!
That got me thinking of times I have woken with no trouble at all, and I don’t count when I nursed my mother, I wasn’t truly asleep during that period.
Earthquakes get me up in a shot, as I discovered a few years back, feet on floor before my eyes had time to open.
The pain from gallstones, anyone who has had one, or a kidney stone, will know what I mean.
Armed soldiers ripping open a tent in the night.
Being a good sleeper does have its advantages though for rough travel. Away from home on my wanders I discovered those advantages. Traveling rough, there is never any certainty of a Hilton Hotel around the next corner. If I was tired I could sleep absolutely anywhere for hours. First I made the acquaintances of sofas, I have a lifelong connection with the sofas of the world, old new, firm and baggy. For over nighters, or for weeks at a time. So many kind people have a sofa.
Then it was benches - not of the park variety although I am sure they would have served - these were the benches one could still find in railway and bus stations before bombs cleared and left vast empty spaces. They were remarkably comfortable to youthful limbs. A bag or rucksack for a pillow, a jacket for a blanket and fatigue, always resulted in a good nights sleep.
B&Bs, back in the 60s, were mostly grim affairs with very second-rate mattresses and unwelcoming sterility of room,I found station benches the length of Britain were preferably to the average Bed & Breakfast.They are vastly improved now but oh so expensive - still old limbs you know:)
I possessed for many years an Antler suitcase which was built like a wall of solidity. Laid flat against a wall, usual bag and jacket, and I have slept comfortably a few times thus. Steps, whilst waiting for people to return home, proved useful sleeping places if there was a wall behind.
The ground, soft or hard, was the usual mattress during my camping days, sand the best for creating a cozy hollow but failing sand the softness around a hedge would serve well. Luxury were the occasions I traveled by car or bus and could take a piece of foam to lie on.
I have slept in caves, on long distance (days at a time, long distance) trains and buses as I ventured across the Australian continent. I preferred the trains.
I have always enjoyed sleeping on trains especially when confined to a small sleeping compartment, there is an excitement in the listening for the act of falling asleep not found anywhere else.
In the Himalayas I slept on the exotic carpet of a tea house which offered a good warm deep sleep, as well as an orgy of feasting for the million insects residing in said carpet - 120 bites was my score. Oh how the insects like my blood.
I have slept on the flat roofs overlooking minaret and mosque, the evocative call to prayers my alarm clock.
I have slept also on Harrods style mattresses and horsehair ones. I do have trouble with bed bunks. There the decision of where to sleep overwhelms - on top at least I know if the structure collapses I will not be the one who is crushed, however, it involves a ladder! The bottom easy to get in and out of, but, there's that crushing business!
On ships and boats of all sizes I can only sleep out of doors, fresh air the only way to avoid sickness. So my pillow has often been a coil of ropes and a damp section of deck
‘tis fine because -
I can sleep anywhere.
Well, no, actually I cannot. I cannot sleep standing up. I have fallen asleep whilst on my feet -
it doesn’t work
the body relaxes
the beginning of that fall to the ground results in instant wakefulness -