Mid-night Monkey MindRead Now
Cathy Eads, of Atlanta, Ga., battles those nighttime gremlins. If you would like to submit a post to Clearing the Fog, please contact us here.
What is it about 4:07 a.m. that jolts my brain awake and into action like it’s an officer strategizing the platoon’s next battle plan? I want to convince the hamster thoughts inside my head that, really, the best thing they could possibly do at this hour is lie down, snuggle into the bedding, and get some much-deserved deep rest. They insist, however, that it is time to remember all the things, construct all the plans, bring up all the doubts about questionable past interactions, solve all the problems that are arising, or might arise, re-hash old conversations with wittier and more intelligent input, consider what skills to include on my next résumé, etc.
I have always believed that any time before 6 a.m. is the middle of the night. Anyone can try to debate me on the virtues, or the necessity, of waking at 5 a.m. to get a head start on the day, or quiet time for reflection and a cup of warmth before the busy day begins, but my conviction will not be swayed. Y’all have fun with that. I’ll be under the covers till 6. I simply refuse to get out of bed before that time unless there is a good reason to do so, like making an international flight to an exotic destination, or surgery.
In the course of one wee-hour bout of insomnia, I carried on a mental conversation with my ex-husband questioning his judgment around his idea of an equitable settlement agreement and crafting some of the terms of my counteroffer, rehearsed the song I think would make the perfect first dance for my son’s wedding, planned what day I should sweep and mop the floor before Thanksgiving company arrives and considered how large a turkey to buy to feed them all, pondered what I could do to keep the squirrels from knocking over my pansy pots and digging out the flowers every damn day, wondered if the plumber took the old sink away so I won’t have to coordinate a special trash pickup, realized I should try to schedule a carpet cleaner to come next week… One would think this stuff would eventually bore my poor mind to sleep!
I take the whole sleep hygiene thing seriously. I know I need to be in bed near the same time every night. I limit screen time in the hour before. Strategically, I stop eating three hours before bedtime so my body isn’t trying to digest when it should be resting. I stop drinking liquid at 9 p.m. so my bladder can make it till morning. I keep the room temperature cool. I use a sleep meditation app that talks me down into slumber each night. I take a nightly sleep supplement and herbal sleep tincture that help keep me at rest all night most of the time. But sometimes this wonderful cocktail of sleep aids still cannot defeat the 4:07 wakeup call inside my mind. If it happens more than two nights in a row, I pull out the Delta 8 gummies. But then, there is the worry that at some point those will not do the trick either.
I think I need to investigate feng shui-ing the bedroom next. I’m sure that could help. I’ll Google that today, then at 4:07, I’ll be able to plan how to re-arrange everything.
11/12/2021 09:01:07 pm
Insomnia--the vexation of kings and neuroscience students alike, and others who seek rational explanations.
11/30/2021 02:33:07 pm
Charley - I hope you have adjusted to the "fall back" time change without too much trouble!
HANNAH J HELM
11/12/2021 10:55:08 pm
Thank you for this delightful little commentary. I can totally relate and I'm in your camp about the sanctity of 6am. Thankfully most nights my gremlins leave me be, but once or twice a month for no apparent reason they run amok. Maybe I'll give them names.
11/30/2021 02:36:09 pm
Hannah - love the idea of naming the night time gremlins!
11/13/2021 03:49:41 pm
Nail head,...me too. Except I decide to visit the every hour on the hour. Sleep is the hardest thing I do! Sorry for you, glad to know I am I good company doing the sandman.
11/30/2021 02:38:33 pm
Oh Nancy, every hour!? That is pure torture! I hope you find a method for sustained slumber that works for *you.* We all deserve to have deep, refreshing sleep.
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