My accountant came over this morning – I”d thought it was going to be the afternoon, but luckily I checked – and so I had to gather all the paperwork together. It was a dismal hour or so, mostly because I had to face quite how much I’d had to spend on the London flats in the past year. A year’s income from them, in fact – more, when you take into account lost income as one flat was empty for four months. First there was a problem with the roof – I think it was brought about because of building work next door but I can’t prove it – and then a problem with the drains. My tenants left and I couldn’t get a new one until everything had been done, and then the drain thing happened once the new (and lovely) tenants moved in. I am hoping for the best now. I’ve got a tax bill for the end of the month and all these expenses should wipe it out, at least.
At least it’s out of my hair now for the rest of the year. She will let me have the returns for signature and I can relax again. I hadn’t consciously been thinking about this, but I only slept for about four hours last night – I took LT out to lunch in celebration of dealing with it and then I napped heavily for an hour, I should think, this afternoon – which may well scupper my attempts to sleep tonight.
I was intrigued, the other day, to read a newspaper article about treating depression with sleep deprivation. It seems completely counter-intuitive, but apparently some people who are chronically depressed (particularly bipolar people and those with mood swings) find that they can function best after a sleepless night. This was discovered about 50 years ago in Germany; but the benefits were short-term. But the article in The Times says that the patient is called into hospital as an out-patient and stays awake all night, then goes to bed with instructions to go to bed at 5pm and set an alarm for 1am. A nurse phones half an hour later to be sure they haven’t gone back to sleep. At 7am, the patient shines a white light on their face to mimic the morning sun and then, over the next two evenings, they gradually move their sleeping and waking cycles back to normal. By the fifth day, they’re back to normal timing and studies in Italy and Denmark show that the therapy is of longterm benefit in about half the patients who try it. It’s like a reset button for the brain, they say. Of course, depression is often accompanied by sleep problems, so this very controlled resetting of the body clock presumably counteracts the irregular sleep. The trouble with newspaper articles is that they never give the full facts – it said this has been trialled in this country for a year and gave an interview with a woman who’d tried it and was thrilled with the results, but didn’t say how long it had lasted so far. All the same, there are no drugs and you basically have to give a weekend, plus a couple of evenings/nights to it, so it doesn’t even have to mean time off from work, and it can be repeated if depression builds up again, so it could be of huge benefit.