I spend valuable sleep time thinking in the middle of the night when I really ought to be catching some rest. Sure, there are other things you can do in bed - I read a lot - but sleep is high on the list of things I like to do. I'm just not very good at it. It's not due to a lack of practice. I try. I've turned into a champion power napper. Set the internal clock for 13 minutes and I'll nod off for 12 minutes and 45 seconds. Those naps aren't true sleep, though, and the brain roams at will. Some very good ideas came from those naps. Also some really bad ones but that might be from eating odd foods at lunch.
Nighttime should be restful and serene, at least according to all the mattress commercials. If the nights aren't peaceful, the pill-pushers at AstraZeneca have an answer. I've never tried a sleeping pill - given the strange way my system managed Vicoden when the doc prescribed it (it amps me right through the roof) and the list of side effects that all these meds come with, I'll just skip the pills.
Booze doesn't work either. That's not news for most people since the health nannies have been yammering about the evils of alcohol consumption for years, including a warning that the stuff alters sleep patterns. Plus, I tried using booze - a fifth of rum, specifically - to shut down my brain when I was sixteen. Didn't work, just made me paralytic and cognizant of the fact. The next-day ramifications were also rudely unpleasant. I gave it up (partially, as I still enjoy an evening tipple) as a lost cause.
Going to sleep is not the problem. I did that well last night, slept through the puppy yipping at midnight when Donna gave her the pain meds (we have a post-surgery puppy at home to help its recovery) or the big dog whining to go out at 4AM. Yet, I know I spent hours thinking in the middle of the night. A plot line and dialogue popped in to say hello and show me where Trail of Second Chances is headed today.
The back of my head even organized my day - write early, work, presentation with the terrific folks at Windermere, more work, reinspect, pick up a radon detector, and, if I don't wimp out, run.
I also had an idea worth writing about. That's how Rose came into being. A dream that woke me up and moved me to put it on paper.
Last night, it was a blog post, something profound. The brain framed the discussion, even started doing a first write on it. I remember being excited and thinking "ooh, this can be gooood!"
You see the problem already, don't you? While my body was crashed out, the brain worked. Which is great except the act of waking up the body made me forget everything!
Which is why, rather than a profound post that could change the way you see the world, I have this post to offer.
It isn't the thinking in the middle of the night that bothers me; it's the forgetting of the thoughts that annoys the heck out of me.