Let me tell you, there is not a heck of a lot going on in the world at 3 a.m. I know. I am usually wide awake right about then.
For some reason, I seem to have lost the ability to sleep through the night. Me – the person for whom sleeping was once raised to high art. I have been known to sleep through every kind of weather system, through the two weeks of cherry bombs that were thrown around all night in July in my little hometown, through arguments in the hallways of college dorms, through every type of alarm and disturbance.
You name it – I could sleep through it. But no longer.
For years, I practically slept at the drop of a hat, which worked well when I worked split shifts. I used to be in the newsroom at some ridiculously early hour, work until 2:30 p.m. – grab a nap and go out to evening events and meetings. Stories were expected to be written before you went home. The hours between 10 p.m. and midnight were spent hunched over a computer, Diet Coke at the ready.
Sleep waited. Deadlines did not. Adapt or die.
I sort of lost my ability to sleep soundly when Nipper first came along, what with his little infant time clock running off-cycle. The difference back then was that while I was awake, I felt like I was always on the verge of falling asleep.
But no longer. Regardless of when I go to bed, I’ll awaken at 3-ish and be awake until 5-ish, only to return to sleep just an hour or so before the other two-thirds of the household is awake. I am outnumbered in this case, by “morning” people. But I have never been a morning person – and now I’m not a night person.
I am in insomnia purgatory.
I’ve tried every remedy I or anyone else can think of – including my doctor, who prescribed a sleep aid. Took it, went to sleep straightaway, awakened at 3 a.m. as usual. Only difference? I was REALLY sleepy all day, instead of just kind of sleepy.
So, for those of you who slumber soundly, let me tell you about 3 a.m. It’s quiet. It’s boring. TV is filled with infomercials. There’s no one to talk to. Even the cat is out like a light. “Coast to Coast AM” is the only non-musical programming I can find on the radio. They talk about Hollow Earth and crop circles and the Shadow People. Hmmm …
But it does not put me to sleep. Nor does it do a lot to keep me awake. I use the time to think, though I can tell you with certainty I have yet to solve any problem, great or small, by doing so. My head is like a computer in sleep mode (and yes, I get the pun). My thinking is random. My mental cursor bounces around like an endless game of Pong.
I’m too cold. I’m too hot. I stick one foot out of the blanket. I think about going to the bathroom and realize there’s no need. I start counting the minutes until I have to get up, even though I am already up.
Finally, I feel myself drifting off and sleep comes just as …
“Good morning, Mama!”
Morning, yes. Good? Well, let’s just say it’s going to be another long day.
Published: February 28, 2012