Many of my friends have problems sleeping. One, who lives alone, listens to the radio in the middle of the night, to drown out creaks and knocks in her home which frighten her. Another suffers from restless legs and has to get up in the middle of the night to walk round the bedroom. (Her husband is undisturbed!)
My own husband has maintained a sleep problem as long as I have known him. Shortly after we met, he had to take some professional exams, and appalling insomnia plagued him throughout. A few years later, when we were living in a small flat, he was asked to be best man for a close friend. The stress of being in the limelight, and having to write and deliver a speech, caused him enormous discomfort. He had to move into the sitting room and sleep on the floor for a week, in order to deal with his insomnia alone.
Insomnia is defined, for me, as that awful feeling that you have "been awake for hours" and will never sleep again, plus the plaguing worries that swoop in to the undefended mind in the small hours.
Recently, on a visit to a National Trust property, I realised for the first time that it may be entirely normal to be awake for a couple of hours in the middle of the night.
Here's the thing.
And going to bed early (I am mocked for retiring at 9.30pm), and "night time affrightments" are also entirely normal.
These are instructions to the lady of the manor's servant, but they could equally well be "note to self" in the twenty-first century!