12.42 am again

Another broken night and I am sitting somewhat bleary eyed pondering the question why? Maybe it should be questions in the plural. Why do I occasionally have these disturbed nights? Why does my tired mind race frantically from one subject to another, never finding a solution but returning over and over again to the same dilemma? Why when I reach for the clock does it invariably show a time between 12.30 and 01.00? What is so special about this particular time slot?

My day had been an ordinary one, some chores, a bracing walk near the beach in the strong and exhilarating winds of Storm Doris with my husband, home to a light lunch, a little reading and writing, preparing and sharing our evening meal, a little television, a cryptic crossword and some knitting. Nothing here to over stimulate the mind and definitely no screen time after 8pm so why the lack of sleep?

These nights pop up every couple of weeks, rarely with any rhyme or reason and leave me feeling a washed out version of myself. My skin looks tired, my eyes duller and my energy levels  are low in the extreme. I am running on empty.

We have a comfortable bed, crisp bed linen, open windows and on the bad nights I slip quietly to the guest room in order to spare my husband from the torment of my endless tossing and turning. I have tried reading, a glass of milk, lavender oil and meditation but at that particular time of night I inevitably just have to wait, to surrender to the fact that I am awake and that I will not sleep for some time. Acceptance will usually mean that sleep does finally save me from the hamster wheel of my incessant thinking but not before the early hours of morning. Ever a creature of habit my body wakes as usual around 7am denying me a chance of catching a few extra hours and a new day begins. The only positive in this whole cycle is that I can be pretty certain that tonight I will sleep like a proverbial baby and wake again tomorrow with a spring in my step.

I don’t imagine that I am alone in this but if anyone has any hints, tips or magic remedies they will all be gratefully received.


1 thought on “12.42 am again”

  1. It’s a mystery, and of course you’re not alone. Sometimes I know the culprit: not enough exercise during the day, or going to bed unusually early or late, or too much wine, or a stormy night — or just too many exciting thoughts wanting to be thought. You know exactly what to do anyway: wait patiently for the night to pass. For me a restless night is just a neutral fact, neither good nor bad. I won’t die of it. I will sleep OK the next night. I often score a creative solution to a lurking problem. So it’s truly no big deal. (For those with chronic insomnia, it’s quite a different scenario, and they have all my sympathy.)


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