Dogs don’t get insomnia


I gave up trying to get to sleep. Again. The horrid virus that laid me low cleared up nicely, only to be replaced by another that has left me with the misery of nightly earache, along with the various other sore and swollen bits that just have to be waited out. My back is strung tighter than a violin, I ache and I was fed up of tossing and turning. After several sleelpess nights and with a non-functioning brain, I threw on the dressing gown and wandered into the jungle.

No, I’m not hallucinating… at night my living room comes to life.

It is a tiny space, and between the desk, sofa, fish tank and bookcase, the walls are fully occupied… except for the one that is almost entirely made of the glass doors into the garden. At night, as soon as the lights go on, these are covered in moths and the occasional adventurous slug, all seeking ingress through the transoms. I close the curtains to save Ani from doing her duty defending the property against invaders… It is a lot of glass from which to clean nose prints.

Beetles that have found their way in scutter across the floor as do house-spiders as big as mice. Their slightly smaller cousins populate the ceiling and the huge plectosomous prowls the tank looking like an aquatic dimetrodon.

I wonder, briefly, how my arachnophobic son ever survived living spiders 036

I spend some time explaining to Ani that she is not getting the doors opened as usual; there is obviously a hedgehog snuffling outside the door and the rest of the neighbourhood probably doesn’t want to be woken by frantic barking at stupid o’clock. She amuses herself pouncing on spiders and trying to squeeze her nose under the sofa when they escape.

There is a lot of work I need to be doing, but I can’t think straight enough. Can’t even concentrate on anything but the lightest and best known of books…. you know, the ones where you can mindlessly read several pages without taking in a word but still keep track of the story, because you’ve read it so often. I have to be up by six and, at one in the morning, I am wide awake. when I should be asleep.

Instead, I watch the creatures.

The few remaining flies have been woken by the light. They do what flies do, jerkily flying and landing wherever they can be most annoying. The spiders build webs that I will have to remove, only for them to rebuild, while the house-spiders lie in wait and pounce on unsuspecting prey. The dog pounces on anything that moves and the plec, having finished his chunk of zucchini, makes a start on the methodical nightly scouring of the algae in the aquarium; by morning the greening rocks and glass will be clean.

Everything in the house is doing what it is supposed to be doing… what it was designed to do.

fish 0821

It makes me wonder just how far humankind has strayed from its design and how many of our problems are directly attributable to the unnatural lifestyle we have created for ourselves. We wake, sleep and eat by the clock, not when our bodies tell us it is right to do so. Instead of using our voices, we use our fingertips. When the sun goes down, we switch on the lights and extend day into night. We buy ourselves time…and spend it working or assaulting our senses with stimuli… we are a long way from our natural state.

I have no answers to that one. We are caught in a trap of our own making. Like it or not, weekend or not, the alarm will sound at dawn, even if, by then, I am sound asleep. And I will obey.

For now, though, I am turning off the lights, slipping out past the dog into the garden and going to watch the stars.

About Sue Vincent

Sue Vincent is a Yorkshire-born writer and one of the Directors of The Silent Eye, a modern Mystery School. She writes alone and with Stuart France, exploring ancient myths, the mysterious landscape of Albion and the inner journey of the soul. Find out more at France and Vincent. She is owned by a small dog who also blogs. Follow her at and on Twitter @SCVincent. Find her books on Goodreads and follow her on Amazon worldwide to find out about new releases and offers. Email:
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58 Responses to Dogs don’t get insomnia

  1. noelleg44 says:

    Oh, Sue, I am so sorry you’re sick again. You are catching every germ that comes your way! I hope you are on the mend soon – I suppose you could always hit yourself over the head with a frying pan. I’ve had nights when I’ve wanted to do this.


  2. Victo Dolore says:

    You have had one hell of a run of bad luck! I hope your recover quickly and completely. You deserve a break from viruses!!!!


  3. Loved this. Get well soon.


  4. It seems to me when we get sick with one thing, it knocks our immune system down and we keep getting sick until finally, we are strong enough to fight off whatever bug is going around. I’ve held this theory for a long time and can’t prove it, but I believe it’s true. Eat healthy, and even if you can’t sleep, at least rest. Don’t push yourself to exhaustion the moment you feel a tiny bit better. Sometimes you really have to give your poor battered body a chance to fully recuperate. Just saying.

    I have insomnia all the time, for no better reason than apparently my brain doesn’t like sleep. Or maybe I don’t need much sleep. And you’re right. Dogs do NOT get insomnia. They can sleep anywhere, anytime. But they definitely prefer the soft sofa to the hard floor.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Sue Vincent says:

      Yes, I agree with you on that…and a damaged or stressed immune system makes it worse. With the drive to Nick’s every morning though, my day starts early with Ani.


  5. LindaGHill says:

    So sorry to hear you’re sick, Sue. It doesn’t seem to have hindered your flare at all though. I’m with your son – can’t stand the spiders. The dog can cross his legs!
    Hope you’re feeling better soon.


  6. I feel obliged to mention this. I can never find a specific post on your site unless I can remember the exact title. No navigation tools. I love your stuff, but the lack of navigation is frustrating. Just … a thought.


    • Sue Vincent says:

      I’m glad you did Marilyn, but not sure what else I can add… unless you see a different version of my site for some reason. There are the various pages up top, the last 20 posts displayed in the sidebar along with a search facility that works for titles, tags, keywords…and pretty much any word in an article, a calendar for posts in the footer and three ‘related’ posts after each article.Other than reinstating a tag cloud, what am I missing? Always happy to learn πŸ™‚

      Liked by 1 person

  7. I hope you are feeling at least a bit better by the time you read this. When I am coldish or in the grip of seasonal allergies that might as well be a cold, I swear by NyQuil Liquid or Benadryl generic (Diphenhydramine) at night to help me feel drowsy enough to sleep as they temper the other symptoms, and Alka Seltzer Plus Cold in the day (for its bit of a kick that mimics actual energy).

    I relate to the world in the night, however. I have a sleep disorder that skews my hours to the dark side. Get well soon, even though you got a great blog post out of your I-can’t-sleep misery.
    (Madelyn Griffith-Haynie – ADDandSoMuchMore dot com)
    – ADD Coach Training Field founder; ADD Coaching co-founder –
    “It takes a village to transform a world!”


  8. Ritu says:

    Oh Sue! Not again! Get well soon I hope you got some sleep xxx


  9. jenanita01 says:

    Not sure if this will help, but I’m not sleeping well lately either, and normally I can literally sleep on a clothesline. Keep me waiting anywhere, and I will nod off, so it can return as soon as it likes!


  10. Bernadette says:

    Watching the stars is the perfect remedy for insomnia. It changes the irritation at being awake to awe.


  11. You may still be sick, and I’m sorry for you, but your observations are still brilliant, Sue. Everything in your home, in nature, is exactly how it was meant to be. We should all pay more attention to those natural rhythms. Wishing you wellness. Best to keep the lights off. ☺


  12. Denis1950 says:

    I love the story Sue. We have huntsman spiders here that come in and patrol the ceilings at night , they are as large as my outspread hand. ( we always call them Wolfgang and catch them in lidded jars after a bit of a struggle)) And I have a great dog and nature story. The episode between my last Afghan Hound Kara and a full size Brush tail possum that entered the house at 3.00am via a kitchen ceiling exhaust fan. Now that was an interesting night!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
    ps look after yourself, maybe a real holiday away resting with Ani by the sea or in Scotland for 10 days .


    • Sue Vincent says:

      Oh dear… I can imagine just how interesting a night that must have been! Bad enough a brief encounter with a hedgehog πŸ˜‰
      Yes…a proper holiday would be nice, but it won’t be happening. A research trip would be good though πŸ˜‰


  13. I’ve been stressing lately about the number of bugs crawling around the house and the continual cobwebs. Thanks for reminding me that it’s just Nature doing her thing, and it’s humanity that is off kilter with its insistence on clinical cleanliness in the home.
    I sympathize with your sleep problems, and it’s certainly true about dogs – I have often spent periods of wakefulness watching Millie and Pearl asleep and envying their peace!
    Hope you’re feeling better πŸ™‚


    • Sue Vincent says:

      Funny, I can usually sleep if I curl up with Ani on the sofa. I may not be able to move in the morning, but I can sleep πŸ˜‰
      I do try and get the cobwebs, but they are industrious little blighters and far more efficient than I am πŸ™‚

      Liked by 1 person

  14. Viruses are the worst. They linger long, it seems, with age. Hope you feel better real soon. Your house sounds like our barn. Very permeable. And we have had all sorts of visitors, including bats and a black widow. A pat to Ani and good health wishes to you.


    • Sue Vincent says:

      The flat opens straight onto the garden through bug glass doors… which is wonderful, but I do get a lot of ‘visitors’ πŸ™‚ Yes, I agree… everything slows with the years. I don’t mind most things, but not enjoying the slower recovery…
      Ani says hi πŸ™‚ xxx

      Liked by 1 person

  15. TanGental says:

    poor you still suffering; but I love your spiders


  16. Mary Smith says:

    Sorry you’re poorly again. It sounds like your immune system isn’t working at full strength since your last bout.


  17. Eliza Waters says:

    Ani lets you go outside and doesn’t bark? Wren hates to be left behind. Lately, we have been hearing coyotes howling at all hours of the night in the field next door. A couple nights ago Wren was actually howling back at 3 am – I could hardly believe it! Call of the wild – lol!
    Hope you feel better soon, Sue!


    • Sue Vincent says:

      Not often… but I tend to check the garden in the middle of the night before I let her out in case of wildlife… the neighbours wouldn’t be best pleased at a defensive assault of decibels at 2 am πŸ™‚
      Ani talks to the local dogs… you can hear the call and response through the village as they all check in with each other daily.

      Liked by 2 people

  18. Woebegone but Hopeful says:

    Secondary infections are mean little so-n-so’s. Hope it’s relenting.
    Thank you for the nocturnal insight.


  19. dgkaye says:

    Sorry to hear you’ve become a target of yet another ailment. As for the spiders and things, maybe you could just call pest control and get rid of all the critters once and for all. πŸ™‚


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