Today I got a painful reminder that I’m not a plucky young teenager anymore – and that getting a good night’s sleep is not so much an option as it is a necessity.

I love sleep – ever since I was a little girl and could only nod off if I wrapped the blankets around me like a cocoon in the top bunk bed.  I’d spend a good hour just trying out different twists in the blanket and putting myself in weird positions to see what was the most comfortable.  Course because we’d gone to bed before the sun set, I’d wake up stupidly early and spend the mornings dancing to the Teletext music until the TV programmes started.

Then the joy of school starts, and you suddenly lose the ability to wake up stupid early…mostly because you’re finally allowed to stay up a few extra hours.  You spend every weekday begging for the weekend, so you can just collapse and forget how to walk.  Then in the morning, I’d unbutton the sheet and slip inside to hide under the duvet so my parents couldn’t just drag me out.  It took the combined forces of Real Monsters, Insektors and Rugrats and coax me from its safety in the mornings.  And only because I wasn’t allowed to drag the duvet downstairs.

Then part time work joined my life in the teen years and I lost all my long lie in mornings.  Think every set of holiday snaps we ever took in the teen years weren’t complete without a photo of me still passed out on the sofa bed come noon.  Oh those were the days.

The biggest plus of giving up my part time job last year was being allowed to have a lie in 2 times a week.  Of course during the week, I have to be up at 6 so I generally have to be in bed before midnight if I want to be coherent in the morning.  However, sometimes my brain ‘forgets’ this.

At the moment, for some insane reason I’m trying to watch all of the One Piece anime.  If you’ve never heard of it, One Piece is a cartoon from Japan about pirates.  It’s the most popular anime in Japan, and it’s been around since 1998.  Which means there’s a lot of it.  Been spending my evenings with it on in the background for the better part of the month and I’m still just at the start of the 200 episodes.  Right now there’s 600, and it’s still going just so you get an idea of how big a task this is.

Anyway, like an idiot I spent the last few days marathoning it at night, but also getting up early in the morning.  Now, when I was a sprightly 18 year old, staying up till 3 playing video games and getting up at 6 for university for old hat.  All you need is a hot shower, a very large cup of tea and a bacon roll and you’re all set.  If I ever got more than 6 hours sleep any week night during uni I’d be very surprised.

Now?  Going 3 days with 5 hours sleep or less is apparently the same as drinking a tall long glass of viral infection.  This morning I woke, and the floor moved without me.  A hot shower, several cups of tea and breaking the diet for a sausage bap soon followed, but by 11am I was very unhappy.  It took everything I had not to drop my head on my desk and fall asleep.

Needless to say I didn’t improve the longer the day droved on.  Made worse by the fact that I know the bleep test was tonight, and I was in no shape to walk home, much less try and run laps for 15 minutes.  Decided my best option was to try and get some sleep and see how I felt at 6.  When it rolls round, I get up, shower…then start throwing up.

So yeah, bed again.  And yet again I’ve missed the Wednesday class.  Starting to wonder if I’m cursed cause I just never seem to make it to the classes.  Might be able to do damage control and do the test on Sunday instead.

Why is it the older you get the harder it is to bounce back from stupid things?  I’m not exactly old but it seems ridiculous just how much harder it is to get up from knocks now than it was 5 years ago.  Especially considering that I’m technically in better shape now than I ever was back then.  I can run longer, punch harder and recover my breath faster – but I can’t get out of bed after a late night and my formerly cast iron stomach is starting to rust.  I’m just a little bit terrified of what I’m gonna feel like in 5 more years.

The worse bit?  I’ve slept this evening so now I feel wide awake – lord knows how I’ll get to sleep tonight!