There are many reasons for insomnia. So many, in fact, that when someone asks me why I can't sleep, I'd like to offer up this analogy.
If I were to ask you what someone had died from - you may respond with anything from head trauma (still looking for a blunt instrument kinda deal) to old age. You probably won't say the bleeding obvious, which is that the person died from a stopped heart. And so it is with insomnia (kind of, sort of, not nearly quite as dramatic obviously). But still, my answer to why I can't sleep would be because my brain won't shut off into sleep or my brain wakes me too early. It's that simple.
Reasons behind insomnia are, obviously a little more complicated. It can be because of the mind-racing that only seems to happen with such intensity just as my head hits the pillow, it can be too little exercise, too much telly, drugs, lack of drugs, the wrong drugs, hormones, too much light, no light, too much caffeine, backache, any ache, bad dreams or just for YOLO or maybe because of some damn-ned other reason as yet to be identified. I have stopped trying to work it out as I believe that therein true madness can lie. And if I'm honest, I'm not sure it really matters. I can't sleep. I have tried most remedies and sometimes they work and sometimes they don't. So I go with the flow until I (or my nearest and dearest) can't handle it and I'll either seek more drastic help or just absent myself for a bit to do some catch up napping.
Now I'm not known for being a woman who can find silver linings easily. But there has been something quite thrilling about my very early summer morning starts over the years. Days on holiday, standing somewhere very quietly and looking at the pure majesty of a damned fine sunrise. Because there really is nothing quite like a perfect dawn morning to make you feel alive. It's serene, it's quiet (once those sodding birds have stopped declaring the start of another day - I don't need to hear their declarations, because I'm awake and I can see the day has started). The shadows created by the rising sun are stunning and, more often than not, my camera can't quite capture that moment of perfection. However much I have tried!
I don't use optical or digital filters and I won't alter images in Photoshop (except for product shots - they don't count). So I'm sure you can imagine how beautiful some of those early mornings have been.
And as my sleep pattern has turned into just that. A pattern. I'm now finding myself waking long after the dawn chorus, long after the sun has left the horizon line. And although I have loved every second of every sunrise I've watched, I don't miss it too much. In fact, I can say that I don't miss it enough to set the alarm. But if you find yourself stirring in the early hours and you can see an orange glow through the blinds, go check it out. It's amazing! And if you get a chance, grab a camera - because once you've stopped waking up in the early hours to watch the dawn, you can look back on the times that you did.
If you'd like to share some awesome sunrises, do post them on our feeds: