Ever have one of those nights where you just can’t fall asleep? Yeah, last night was kinda like that for me.
Every once in a while I’ll find myself awake into the wee hours of the morning. Maybe I’m reading. Maybe my brain just can’t turn off. But for whatever reason, sometimes I just end up staying up far later than I should. It only happens to me occasionally, so it’s not really too much of a bad thing. It’s just that sometimes my body doesn’t want to sleep.
I used to have more of a problem with this. As a kid, my brain would churn incessantly over the most inconsequential topics. Even worse, it wouldn’t stay on one subject long enough to reach any sort of conclusion or resolution. Maybe it’s one of the side effects of ADD, but my subconscious seems to be a notorious channel surfer. When it’s left lacking the stimulation that comes with light and external events, it seems to kick the imagination into overdrive.
The main way I’ve dealt with this in the past is what I’ve come to refer to as the Exhaustion Method. It involves staying awake to the point where you literally cannot keep your eyes open any longer. Maybe it’s by reading a book until your eyes burn and the dreams start bleeding into the story. Maybe it’s waiting for your tablet to finally die before turning out the lights. Maybe it’s getting out of a perfectly nice, warm bed to write a blog post well after midnight.
Of course, this method is not without its downsides. For one, it sometimes doesn’t work. Sometimes I try to get up and do something, just to get it out of my system, but I only end up staying up even later, occasionally not sleeping at all (luckily only very occasionally). But the biggest issue is of course the cumulative effects of lack of sleep. The first day after staying up late generally isn’t that bad; it’s the day after the day after that things really start to get squirrely. Not to mention the ill effects of several nights in a row of this sort of thing.
I guess it is a form of minor insomnia, but it strikes me infrequently enough to mostly be entertaining. And the whole “brain won’t turn off” thing has definitely gotten better over the years. Which is good, since I inevitably don’t function as well with no sleep as I used to.
Not much else to say, really. Just up way later than I should be, feeling a bit guilty about not writing earlier and trying to get something out of my system so I can be functional for work tomorrow.