At 2 A.M.

May 29, 2012

I had no trouble falling asleep over my book, so I turned out the light around 10:45. But now it’s 2 a.m. and I’m awake. My mind has begun to turn, like a merry go-round, starting slowly but picking up speed. My husband has chosen tonight to snore—not loudly, but vigorously enough to keep me awake. I try to relax, to breathe, to capture pleasant thoughts, but it’s all for nothing. “Snxxkkll,” says my husband, and the breeze from the ceiling fan seems unusually strong. I can’t get comfortable.

My mind seizes the opportunity to highlight whatever flaws and character defects it wants me to know about, thrusting them up for consideration. I think of three more things, minor but necessary, that I will add to the to-do list for the week. I feel overwhelmed by how long that list is growing. Soon I’m having a full-blown anxiety attack and all hope for immediate sleep has fled. I know that I lead a richly blessed life—that I am not in need in any real way. But tell that to my mind at 2 a.m.

I repair to the guest room where I turn the TV on low, just loud enough that I can barely hear it. I find this soothing. Eventually I fall asleep, only to be woken at 4:18 a.m. by my son’s alarm clock, the aptly-named Sonic Bomb. I storm into his room, which adjoins the guest room, and change the time on his alarm to a more reasonable hour, muttering imprecations (Why was the alarm set for 4:18 in the first place? Inquiring minds still want to know.) However, he hit the snooze button at 4:18, instead of turning off the alarm, so it goes off again at 4:28.  This time, the dog, who sleeps with him, decides she requires a bathroom break.

By now, it’s getting dangerously close to the time my own alarm clock is set for. Should I try to get a little more sleep? Do I need the TV again? Mmm, this bed is pretty comfortable...

Wait—is that my husband getting his coffee in the kitchen?


What do you do at 2 a.m.?

Oh, sure, sleep now...

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  1. Toss and turn! I find when I eat low at meals I sleep better. Actually low at and meatless but I can't get myself to do that every day so some nights I toss and turn looking at the clock literally every hour of the night. My sister gets up and makes a cup of tea and reads. I only gave into that once so far. I don't want to get up and read; I want to sleep! When my cat stretches across the foot of my bed it's even worse!

    I do hope you get a good night's sleep tonight.

  2. My darn tablet corrects my spelling for me only it goofs it up! I was saying fat, not at!

  3. I did get a good night's sleep, thanks. I usually don't have much trouble sleeping, but every now and then... Monday night was the worst night I've had in a long time. I just had to share!

  4. Ugh, I hate those nights! If I can't get back to sleep in 20 to 30 minutes, I get up. I may read, I may sketch. I try not to get on the computer. And I try not to read anything "good" or I'll be up when the sun peeks over the horizon.

    Scout, on the other hand, looks like a snoozy girl!

  5. I frequently have trouble falling asleep when I first go to bed, but once I'm finally asleep, I usually stay that way. Or if I do wake in the night, I usually fall back to sleep pretty quickly. I've had a few nights like you describe though. I'll sometimes get up to read, but not too often - like Timaree said - I want to sleep! Glad you got a good night's sleep afterwards!

  6. Laure--Your comment reminded me of when my son was an infant needing nighttime feedings. I started reading while I was feeding him, until I realized it was keeping me awake longer than I needed to be to take care of him. At that point, time spent sleeping was like gold, even more coveted than reading time, so I (reluctantly) stopped.

  7. Cheryl--I'm lucky not to have much trouble sleeping...that's why this night was such an event. I will occasionally wake up a few times, or have trouble going to sleep (even rarer--usually I fall asleep reading!) but not both! And to top it all off, the snoring and the alarm clock going off and the dog needing to be walked in the middle of the night. Sheesh.

  8. i can relate to the middle of the night, mind racing situation. i get my second wind around 10:00 pm and have a terrible time going to sleep the first time. thankfully it's not the waking up problem you describe. had to smile at the alarm being set for the middle of the night. just like a kid. in this one sentence, shorthand world we live in, it's nice to find another person who can still form real sentences in the blogashpere:-)

  9. Sherri--I think everyone has one of those nights now and then. I'm grateful not to have them too often. That's tough, getting a second wind around 10! How do you cope with that?