A sleep like no o’er doth take me.
I’m a terrible sleeper. I seldom get to bed before midnight and usually lay awake restlessly for a couple of hours. I often wake at least three times in the night and only find rest at about the same time my alarm decides I should be awake.
As a result I am exhausted by 3pm most days and find that when I finish work at 5pm I usually crash out on the couch of a couple of hours and awake worse off.
Well I may have found the answer in Shakespeare. No, I don’t mean that reading Shakespeare puts me to sleep! I love Shakespeare and believe that if we were deprived of all other literature we would be just as rich in culture to have just his body of work survive.
What I’m trying to convey is that by settling down for bed with a reading light in hand and revealing in the mastery of words that is, currently, Hamlet I am finally finding rest. It could easily be a guide to women’s fashion in the 20th century or a novel by, one shudders to think, Dan Brown but why waste my wind down time on drivel.
No, Shakespeare it is and not only have I found that I sleep much better but I also feel the richer for it. In fact, it’s been having a strange effect on my brain whilst I sleep to as I have found that the language in my dreams has altered to reflect the language in the plays.
It may be isolated and nobly occur a couple of times but as I have a fascination with language I do wonder what the long term effect will be on my own speech. Of course I don’t expect I’ll suddenly start spouting words like “thy” or “doth” or “thou” in my everyday tongue but it may make small changes to how I use my modern english. Who knows, maybe I’ll start to sound like Stephen Fry?
Again doubtful but never the less I am enjoying my evenings with Shakespeare and have to thank him not only for his amazing contribution to language but also for curing my insomnia.
So as you sit at 3am in front of your computer mining on your blog that you can’t sleep, why not close the lid or turn off the screen and grab some classic literature and give that a go before bed. Even if you don’t sleep you will at least better yourself in another way.