Close up Hands Tea x

Sit a bit and hear some observational stories I’ve been steeping.

Eyes wide open.

Why is that all of life’s most pressing problems and questions beg to be attended to around two o’clock in the morning?   Surely there are a good 15+ hours a day when a person’s eyes are open and one is awake enough to operate heavy machinery and equally weighty dilemmas.  With a good night’s sleep and the illumination that the light of day brings, a person almost has a fighting chance to answer the tough questions thrown in the middle of the road.  So, why must things beg for attention after midnight, with a subconscious < Ping! > that jars you awake, leaving no hope of falling back asleep any time soon?

 

Would it be too much to ask that there be a clearly labeled mental switch that we can turn off until rested and better equipped to deal with the pressing issues of life?  At least until after well, say… a cup of strong tea and toast (with or without strawberry or blackberry preserves, depending on the level of sweetness one needs to cope).

 

Dawn and dusk are two of my favorite windows in a day, but for some reason, life’s big problems show up at dawn, not dusk.  In fact, twilight can almost fool you into thinking you can handle just about anything as the shadows grow longer and your confidence stronger.  It just takes nine to ten hours of marinating in the black of night and you’re not so sure anymore.  Even if you doze off for a short while to recharge your batteries and renew your psyche, chances are you’ll wake up long before the alarm clock and then even the smallest of matters seem overwhelming.

 

Often I wish I had a separate To Do List, an emotional one.  Sort of a Mind’s To Do List that I could write out, tack up on the fridge and walk away from – items not to be attended to until a socially acceptable breakfast hour.  And, if I don’t get to the items on the list by the time it is 5 o’clock somewhere, well then… that mental inventory gets put out of sight and out of mind until the next day.  DAY, you hear me?  Not dawn. Not dark-of-night ridiculousness.

 

Now, I’m no expert on how to handle the sleep disruption that comes from waking up in the middle of a perfectly good sleep, just to tackle what’s troubling us.  But, the nice people over at the National Sleep Foundation have an answer or two in that area and can help you find answers to what causes insomnia (which they tell me, simply put, is Latin for “No sleep”) and the statistics on it: like how 30 to 40% of adults claim to have bouts of insomnia within a given year.  The Sleep Foundation lists a variety of reasons that can cause insomnia, ranging from physical issues (an underlying disease, pain, digestive problems) to psychological (depression or anxiety).  They also have answers for combating sleeplessness that include behavioral and relaxation therapies, definitely a step up from the old glass of warm milk business.  Chronic insomnia requires attention and should be dealt with, as untreated insomnia can lead to illness and morbidity.  To say nothing of, say, operating any heavy machinery while fatigued and not at the top of your game.  Yeah.  That’s NOT a very good idea, people.

 

Nope.  I don’t have the answers to this or a lot of stuff that comes down the pipeline.  But what I do have are questions… lots and lots of questions that roll around in my head like an overactive, rather loud, pinball machine.  Those questions then sit around and steep, until I have the chance to sometimes have answers to share with you or at least something else for you to think about.  Those of you that have emailed your thoughts and opinions (or some another form of Q&A) on all kinds of dilemmas and pressing issues, especially ones that can keep anybody up at night, you also help me come up with viable solutions, thank you very much.  I appreciate that you give me something to think about, over a good mug of tea, so that I have subjects to share, once the sun announces its arrival.  So, even if I don’t have the answers, I want to thank you for giving me new, and wonderful things to question.  Just not in the middle of the night… if you don’t mind.

 

www.sleepfoundation.org

 

“Cats are rather delicate creatures and they are subject to a good many different ailments, but I have never heard of one who suffered from insomnia.” – Joseph Wood Krutch

 

“Insomnia is my greatest inspiration.” – Jon Stewart

 

“If you can’t sleep, then get up and do something instead of lying there worrying.  It’s the worry that gets you, not the lack of sleep.”  – Dale Carnegie

One thought on “Eyes wide open.

  • ohkeeka says:

    This happens to me too. And the frustrating thing is that I never get anything worked out in the middle of the night, because all of the ideas and solutions I come up with are completely non-sensical in the light of day. Melatonin definitely helps, as does limiting my time on the computer before bedtime (I know this sounds silly, but really, it works–it’s backed by science and all!).

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