For some reason, since I've been living here I've been unable to get to sleep on the right side of the clock. It's strange coming from someone who's generally able to sleep through anything (university lectures included). Though it seems like I’m not the only one to have problems sleeping. For most members of the honbu dojo getting to bed before 1am is generally considered an early night – an impressive effort given that everyone has day jobs.
It has got me wondering though what's causing the insomnia? heat? training adrenalin? late meals? coffee addiction?
In my last post I talked about some of the Okinawan secrets to long life – well I’m starting to think that sleep might not be one of them. I’d always thought it'd be pretty important for good health. And yet, everyone here seems to be up late and no one's complaining so long as they get their daily dose of caffeine.
Sensei’s no exception. He trains late but is regularly up at dawn for zazen at Kozenji temple. And I have to say, for me at least, going to bed in the AM, and getting up at 5 is not an easy task. It is an interesting time though in Naha. If the city ever ‘dozed’, I think it’d be in these early hours. By 5 most people are finally snoozing even if it’s in a drunken stupor on the curb. The roads are quite and it’s maybe the only time you can hear the birds. Even the red light district is empty – the crates outside the various ‘snack’ and hostess bars even seem almost lonely without their usual nightly occupants.
The strange hours here certainly take a little getting used to. And while I look forward to a sound night sleep without the aid of eye-masks and earplugs, these are all things I know I’m going to miss when we return home. Something that’s happening much sooner than I’d like. But enough talking, my brain’s finally stopper whirring and I think it’s time for bed.