Glastonbury with Narcolepsy

Hello there reader,

I’ve been to Glastonbury. Oh yes, I dived head first into the warm waters of glitter and cider, and I loved it. But never fear, I’m not going to tell you what to do at Glastonbury, nor am I going to tell you what to see. Most people are far cooler than me, and I tend to centre my days around food rather than activities. No, this is a post on my top tips for navigating Glastonbury Festival with narcolepsy.

My plan for Glasto

I’d never been to Glastonbury before this year. I really wanted to get there before I turned 30 (which I will do before the next one). I wanted to see everything and do everything. Unfortunately, I need to sleep quite a lot- think a sloth but with red hair- and that didn’t seem compatible with the festival setting. So, this was my plan.

  • To sleep as much as I could, when I could.
  • To push my sleep clock as late as possible*
  • To hone the art of the guerrilla nap. Where was the most rock’n’roll place I could get my nap in?

These are my top tips

  • Be prepared:

I carried a kit of sleep round with me in my back pack. Bin liners for napping on the wet ground, eye mask and sunglasses in case of glaring sun, ear plugs (although I lost these within about 2 minutes of arriving). I also towed around my friendly fiance** who, while perhaps not the most willing pillow, did put up with dead arms/legs so I could have somewhere soft to lay my head. I also had cereal bars because I tend to find I move quicker after a sleep if I have a little snack.

  • If you need to sleep, sleep:

Missing my naps makes me ill so I don’t do it. There is usually a bit of wiggle room, so I can push it a bit later, but if I needed to sleep, I slept. I actually had to come out of Goldfrapp early to sleep, much to the annoyance of those people who wanted to loiter round the edge of the tent rather than come inside. Dithering fools. Apparently I barged a man who was about to pee into a cup, but I didn’t notice. Not that I’m particularly remorseful. Lazy bugger should have just gone to the loos.

  • Take a friend

I slept, but never alone. When I was napping in front of the Pyramid Stage (I woke up and Craig David was playing some banging’ choons), I was watched over by Andy and two friends. Actually, Andy discovered an afternoon nap set him up splendidly for the evening ahead, and I woke up a few times to discover he’d got on the sleepy train too.

  • Don’t take anything too seriously

To paraphrase L.P. Hartley***, Glastonbury is a foreign country, they do things differently there. I wasn’t going to strop because I didn’t sleep at 2pm precisely. Nor was I going to spring from my slumber and lamp someone for standing on my toes. Glastonbury seems to be very well set up for disabled people with viewing platforms and such like, and I joked that I should have registered myself as disabled so I could kip on the platforms and not get stood on (which did happen). I could just rock up and be like, ” ‘scuse me, burly security chaps, but it’s sleepin’ time.”

I’ve actually got no idea whether I qualify as disabled enough for that, but I imagine not.

Anyway, those are my tips and that was my experience. I loved every minute of it and I so want to be back.

Caitlin x

*I usually nap around 2pm every day for 15 minutes, and I need about 8 hours a night, which equates to a 10pm(ish) bedtime. It’s so dull, but oh the sheer decadence of being in bed before the end of the news.

**Oh yeah, got engaged. Big news.

***If that’s not the most pretentious phrase I’ve ever typed, I’ll eat my eye mask.

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