Middle of the night

April 13, 2015

l_ssalarmclockx1200When I was in my 20s I’d go to bed at 11pm, fall asleep immediately and awaken refreshed at 7am.  It’s a different story now.

It’s rare that I sleep through an entire night.  No, I wake up halfway through the night with a million thoughts.

Like this one:

What was I thinking? The fabric I thought I wanted for the new family room sectional is way too light for the wear it will get. Back to the drawing board.”

Or this one:

Did the new window come with a screen? Do we have to order one?

And then this:

OMG. The new stove isn’t just a flat drop in. It has a small top section where the controls are. Why didn’t I notice that when I bought it?

Yeah. The middle of the night. Gotta love it.

And then there is this:

middle-of-the-nightSo NOT true. Sometimes I can’t even READ what I scrawl in the middle of the night.

Kind of like when I abbreviate on a shopping list these days. Ban. What did I mean? Is that Ban deodorant? We don’t use Ban. What is it? Ohhh….bananas.

Or when I am just too sleepy to wake up enough to write my pearls of wisdom down. I repeat them over and and over in my head to memorize them for morning. When I can only remember how brilliant the thought was, not the actual thought, itself.

The middle of the night can be anxiety-producing.

middle-of-the-nightNow this is a daunting thought, because it means that I am in someone else’s dream every single night. Maybe the same person or maybe not.  Who would that be? Do I even want to be there?

Yes, the middle of the night can be anxiety-producing.

2887What I love about my life now is that M. is that warmth in the middle of the night. No matter how restless I am, he’s always there for me. Of course he goes right back to sleep. Naturally.

So, inquiring: what happens to you in the middle of the night? What do you think? What do you do?

41 comments on “Middle of the night
  1. I wake up a lot now days–depends on how much is going on in my life (the to-do side), whether I’ve had a drink and who knows what else. I tend to wake around 3am.
    One theory you didn’t mention is the one that in past days people slept in two shifts, getting up at some point and working then going to bed later.
    My sleep habits, as I go through the process of getting my house ready to sell, have changed drastically. So much to do and some many thoughts that they invade my sleep.

    • I didn’t know that theory. When did hard-working Americans have time to sleep in 2 shifts? I want to know more!

    • People in Mexico still break up their sleep patterns. That afternoon siesta is for real! When we were visiting a small central Mexico city in 2004 the entire city literally closed up during the middle of the day, from something like 1-3 or 12-2…don’t recall for sure. Then they would return to work and eat a later dinner about 7 or 8…

  2. I wake up three or four times during the night.
    Thoughts seem to be the culprit most nights usually something I forgot to put in my book that is with the publisher now or something I forgot to document at my day job, the family and the most annoying is the need to go to the bathroom.
    I can rarely read what I write during the night. I had to smile because they are the best ideas at the time if only we could remember.

  3. Sandy says:

    Same with me! I wake often and suddenly “remember” things to forgot to do or say. Or about things I need to do. Then there is the whole waking up to go to the bathroom thing. I really hate that..haha!

  4. Robin Rue (@massholemommy) says:

    I can sleep through the night most of the time, but if I do wake up, it’s really hard for me to fall back to sleep.

  5. Katie Paul says:

    I was always that person who could sleep through an earthquake – literally (I was raised in NZ) but now I wake up at least once in the night drowning in sweat, closely followed by an episode of anxiety that stops me going back to sleep.

    I must say that things have settled down a bit since I started taking a few vitamins. Each night before bed, I swallow Vit B, C, D, & E, and Magnesium. I can’t tell you which one is the magic pill or if it’s the combination of them all.

    Thanks for your post. It helps to know I’m not alone.

  6. Carol Graham says:

    I always assumed that night time was a time to sleep — so that is what I do 🙂 I go to bed around midnight, wake up around 6 and get up refreshed. I never even move during the night. Hubby tells me different things that happened during the night – the dogs needed out, the phone rang, and oh….there was a thunder storm. I never hear a single thing.

  7. I went through a period last year where I was not sleeping well at all, and I never knew what was causing it. Would wake up countless times and then of course was exhausted the following morning. Thankfully that has passed and now I’m back to sleeping through the night.

  8. Sheryl says:

    I can relate. Why are our minds so runaway and active when we don’t want them to be? Ah, the sad ironies of life…

  9. Hi Carol! Sorry to hear you are having sleeping challenges these days. I am happy to say I sleep pretty well even though I do wake up a couple of times a night to use the bathroom. Still, I manage to go back to sleep very easily most of the time. I think what has helped me the most is regular exercise and a regular meditation practice. But knowing we have someone there “who is the warmth in the night” is also very special. ~Kathy

  10. I’m not a great sleeper and haven’t been for years. What helps me eventually go back to sleep is to think about my husband and kids and how much I love them.

  11. I have always been a light sleeper and now it’s worse than ever. I get up a few times a night and sometimes can’t go back to sleep. And then I wonder why I’m tired at 2 pm every day…hence my mandatory 20 minute nap.

  12. This is one of the reasons I stay up way too late. It is easier to sleep through the night if the night is short.

  13. My nights are eventful. I am a VIVID dreamer- one after the other, and I SHOUT out full sentences or laugh for minutes or argue with foes or solve wrongs or write novels or raise my arms because I think I’m flying. Interestingly I wake up refreshed. Ben on the otherhand….

  14. During an extraordinarily crazy time in my life, I would spend hours trying to fall asleep because I couldn’t shut my brain off, and then I unwittingly started self-hypnosis by going to the beach every night, in my mind of course. “Beach” was my cue word to stop the wandering mind…After several months I was successful and haven’t had trouble falling asleep since…

    When I am asleep, I’ve always slept like the dead. Literally. Nothing could wake me up, not my hubby or kids, not even Katie Paul’s earthquakes… I always thought it was because I am so active during the day. But recently I was diagnosed with sleep Apnea, symptoms of which I can trace back to twenty-five years!

    Since beginning the CPAP two weeks ago, I now find I am waking several times during the night, though I do fall right back to sleep. I’m seriously hoping that menopause isn’t behind it and now that I’m getting good quality sleep those symptoms will become prevalent…that wouldn’t suit me well at all! lol

    I usually take my vitamin regimen in the morning…maybe I’ll try switching it to evening. 🙂

  15. I spend much more time awake these days myself. I think of things that I can never remember to write down and don’t remember the next day. I wonder why we are so much smarter in our sleep!

  16. I’m awake in the middle of the night most nights. I tend to read online articles. It tends to be odd and obscure things-last night I read about a woman who dealt in fetishes and sold her panties online. I find I’m only interested in these stories at 3 AM!!!

  17. I do have a racing inner dialogue, yes. But once asleep, I could stay asleep as I have no inner clock. If not for two dogs and having “overactive” bladder (50’s, two children, you know?) I could sleep 12 hours straight. Actually, the other day I went to bed at 9p, and after several up in the nights, I woke at 147p!

  18. I’m horrible for insomnia -_-
    Apparently, if you wake up at the same time every day and go to bed at the same time then it’s supposed to help. How on EARTH does a mother and a blogger manage to do that? Some days there’s just a post that’s due, cookies that need to be made, some sort of cleaning project that can’t be put off not one more day… oh the list goes on.
    I’m hoping that, once my toddlers are on a better schedule, I will have a few solid hours to myself both at night and in the morning. Right now they’re on opposite schedules to one another and just as we start thinking we’ve got them both on the same track, they switch it up again.

    Haha- the fact that you do the same thing in the middle of the night (repeat a great idea over and over again, thinking it’ll work) made me laugh.

    Get some sleep!! <3

  19. I used to be a super sleeper, always got my 7-8 hours in and woke up refreshed and ready for the day…that is until I had kids. Somehow that all changed. It takes me a while to get to sleep (with all sorts of Did I, Should I questions circling my brain) and I’m a horribly light sleeper waking up at least 2-3 times a night. If I get more than 5 hours I’m doing great these days. 🙂

  20. Diane says:

    Oh, the insurmountable problems that crop up in the middle of a sleepless night! Problems that assume their proper proportion as soon as the sun rises. Things I need to do . . . sometime. Tasks that suddenly loom and become Herculean. And the music that plays over and over and over in my head. Ugh.

  21. harriet says:

    There is nothing like waking up in the middle of the night. I hate when I can’t get back to sleep.

  22. Oh, wow. Everything you said. 🙂

    But most especially the ‘writing down something that doesn’t make sense’ part.


    I’m glad it’s not just me. 🙂

  23. Britney says:

    As if my mind isn’t running a hundred miles an hour all day, it seems like it goes on warp speed at night!

  24. Hope says:

    I find that when I shut my cell phone down a few hours before bed and keep in another room, I can sleep through the night.

  25. Lenze says:

    i normally don’t wake in the middle of the night. I’m boring

  26. Ruth Curran says:

    My brain loves the middle of the night and leads me in the strangest directions. What gets me is that I don’t think I would ever consider any of those thoughts in the light of day…. Not sure I would even understand them! I have this breathing routine (similar to one you wrote about the other day) but that worked for a while. However my brain is too clever to be tricked for very long :)!

  27. Melissa says:

    I always have trouble sleeping because I’m thinking of all I need to get done.

  28. I’ve the same problem! I could not sleep until 1am last night.. and was wondering why my sleep has been affected so much.. hmm maybe like the legend says.. I might be wide awake in someone’s else dream 🙂

  29. Liz Mays says:

    I always come up with the most brilliant ideas in the middle of the night! When I wake up, I realize that they were positively horrendous though. Why does it have to be that way?

  30. Usually I am up in the middle of the night because my older dog has to go to the bathroom.

  31. WendysHat says:

    Don’t jinx me now! I’ve never had a problem with sleep or ever needed much of it anyway. Now if we could only find a way to schedule in everything extra we do during the day too!

  32. I am the same way… I am constantly waking up thinking about things…or thinking about things for hours before I fall asleep. I love the quote if you can’t sleep at night’s it’s because you’re awake in someone else’s dream. I must be in a lot of dreams lol

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