Nighty night

December 4, 2010


Sleep more. 

It sounds simple enough, but I have not been sleeping well this week. Monday night I woke up at about 4 a.m. and then laid there until about 7:30. Wednesday night I went to bed and laid there until about 2:30 a.m. Last night I stayed out for karaoke after bowling, stayed up to publish the results, and heard the 3am cuckoo before I fell asleep. Oops.

Since I last wrote about sleeping six months ago, I think I have only gotten more irresponsible with my bedtime. The point of that entry was that, because my weeknight bedtime had been creeping later and later, I tend to play catch-up on Fridays nights and will often then sleep until some crazy time like noon on Saturdays. That part is slightly better since I had to switch Curves locations and now, more often than not, work out on Saturday mornings. That means I have to get up around 10:00.

It’s frustrating when I’ve had an insomniac time like I’ve had this week. Under normal circumstances, I fall asleep pretty much instantly when I turn off my light, and if I have to get up for the bathroom in the middle of the night, well, I’ve caught myself nodding off while I was sitting up, if you catch my drift. Falling asleep is hardly ever an issue. But occasionally it is, for two main reasons.

Factor number one is out of my control. I know I’m genuinely stressed out about something to a higher degree when I can’t sleep. Usually it’s just garden variety Sunday Night Insomnia, but if I have pressure (from a big project at work, for example), that manifests itself with the middle-of-the-night can’t-get-back-to-sleep after I’ve gotten up mid-night. Very irksome but what am I going to do? That was largely the case Monday night, though factor number two was also in play to some extent, and entirely the case Wednesday night when I was anxious about some revisions that I had to make and a looming deadline.

Factor number two is, I guess, a little embarrassing to admit because it is entirely within my power to mitigate. It took some time, but I finally figured out that even though drinking puts me to sleep, a few hours later it wakes me back up when the alcohol leaves me behind. Based on my schedule of bowling, beers, and staying out afterwards, that usually happens around 4 or 5 a.m. If I’m lucky, I only lay there for twenty or thirty minutes, long enough to hear the cuckoo on the next half hour. If I’m unlucky, I lay there for an hour or two or more in an “extreme case.”

None of it bodes well for the next day at work. My bosses are great and ask that we arrive only by 9:30. That allows me to still get a few hours of sleep on fitful nights, but as I noted in the other post, I don’t do well with less than about seven hours of sleep.

So this week I had three bad nights. Monday and Wednesday as described above, and last night when, despite already being tired, I stayed out for karaoke after bowling against my better judgement. Well, we got the owner of the bar to sponsor our bowling team and we finally got our shirts yesterday, and wanted to go show them off and say thank you. I was only going to have grapefruit juice and sing one song, but I was well chuffed with how that one song went and ended up staying for two more songs until the end at 1 a.m. It takes about twenty minutes to get home, then I was eager to share the recordings with you all, and the next thing I knew it was after 2. Then when I turned my light off, I was still so wound up from the excitement of rocking the singing (as amateur, casual, karaoke singing goes) that I was quivering as I lay there. So I drew on previous experience and went back to doing one of my fall-asleep activities—reading, crossword puzzle or, in recent weeks, playing Scramble CE on my iPhone, lying down with the light out—hoping that I’d calm down enough to fall asleep. I remember hearing the 3:00 cuckoo.

So today from the moment I woke up I was looking forward to going to bed tonight. I even had visions of falling into bed the moment I arrived home. But did anybody really think I’d go to bed that early? I usually manage to stay up to watch “EastEnders” at 11:00 regardless of how “tired” I’ve been all day. And now here it is, midnight:30. I predict I’ll finally go to sleep at 1:30. 

Tired? I don’t know what you’re talking about.

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