The Insomniac (5 and final?)

This week was the 6th and last meeting of my Sleep Clinic, or CBT (cognitive behavioral therapy). Nice group of people: wouldn't say we "bonded" (sorry), but we began to nod in agreement  at other peoples' comments; for example, when someone said that even one bad night was too much. A diverse group, Asians and Caucasions from various countries, with various accents, equally divided between men and women, some who go to bed at 9 pm and get up at 2, others who go to bed at 2 am and get up at 6, if they manage to sleep that long. All of us quietly desperate about disfunctional sleep patterns.

I don't want to jinx anything but I think I'm sleeping better. The trick is to spend less time in bed. No more turning in at 11 on the dot and praying to get 8 hours sleep by spending 10 hours tossing and turning. Initially allowed 7 hours in bed (which led to the discovery--after all these years--that with 6.5 hours sleep I function just fine), I have been increased, in 2-15 minute increments, to 7.5 hours in bed, and most nights get 6.5 hours of rest. It is an interesting experiment. We now become part of the data. 

Off to the Sierras this afternoon with SF son and daughter visiting from London (a journalist at New Scientist, here for a conference in Sacramento on something environmental). We're going to spend two days hiking in the Desolation Wilderness. I've been tending blisters on my heels, acquired last Sunday climbing to the Stanford Dish Trail in +90 degree heat with no socks in my sneakers. Did I say "stupidly"? Make that "stupidly acquired." Searching for blister cures I discovered veteran backpackers recommend wrapping your heels in nice silvery, frictionless duct tape. You wrap a few feet of the stuff around your water bottle just in case. I found duct tape in the hall closet.

I wanted to say something about Geoffrey Hill, but don't see how to segue from duct tape to a lyric by Geoffrey Hill. There's a lesson there, because he could do that without blinking. Anyway, this is getting too long. First rule of blogging: keep it short.