When did it start?
To my recollection it probably started during my days at RAF Laarbruch, Germany. The station was part of the now disbanded RAFG network and had to do regular exercises. The aim was to judge how quickly we could mobiles our defences in case of a Soviet attack. I spent months worrying about being woken at 3:00 am, before I realised it was pointless for me to worry; if they were going to set an exercise I couldn't do anything about it. Sadly, the network is closed down now. Most of the former bases are closed, MPs tell us we don't need air cover on the borders, our planes are that much faster than then. Any pilot will tell you, if you are far from the attack scene, your effectiveness is compromised by having to return to base to re-fuel.
Another area closed for the same reason is the Northern sector, bases in Scotland. There is no longer an active air base beyond the English border with Scotland. It is a shame government lacks the foresight to close our borders to stop the influx of cheap labour from Communist countries.
After a few years, I regained a regular sleep pattern. Many years later, I was going out with a local lady and found myself drowsy at around 10:00 pm. In order not to offend my friend I trained myself to stay awake longer. I did the task too well, in the end I found I couldn't sleep at all, I didn't need coffee to stay awake. Who needs a stimulant, when you can't sleep?
For a long time, I have stayed awake as long as I can. I take a short nap, but that is all. My reason is there is a section of my psyche which I try to keep shut off, the only way I know of doing this is to stay awake. The truth is I am scared of what lays behind the closed doors, dark dreams and thoughts. Some of which end up in my stories.
One good reason for my staying awake is my stepson, other than being attacked three times in the last two years and the constant verbal abuse I have to endure. He has made numerous threats to attack me in the night.
This week has been the worst for me for a long time. It all started four days ago, one of my daughters was depressed, so, my wife agreed to take her and my stepson's partner on the paper round. I don't usually get to bed before 2:00 am, and didn't approve of being woken by my stepson's partner screeching at 7:00 am. The next day, two of my daughters were calling up the stairs to get my stepson to mend a puncture, again around 7:00 am. Yesterday I had trouble getting to sleep, because I had an early appointment at our hospital. The after effect was, at around 4:00 am(GMT) I was unable to relax my mind enough to get some sleep.
I can usually relax around 2:00 am, but after such a long period of being woken by shouting and short naps, I am finding it hard to relax.