Night Time Meandering


There are nights, though rare, when I turn out the light and fall fast asleep right away. Too often, it goes another way. I read in bed until I can barely keep my eyes open or hold my head up. I take off my glasses, turn off the light, arrange covers and pillow, and settle in. Then a million thoughts come wandering through my brain, Keeping me company. Keeping me awake.

I try relaxation techniques to calm my mind and my body, to allow me to drift off to sleep. I use methods that are helpful in meditation: notice the thought, and let it pass on. Breathe. Think only of the breath. I lay still,, reminding myself how tired I am, willing myself to fall asleep.

I rearrange my position. I start to analyze the bothersome thoughts in detail, supposing that a closer examination might rob them of their power. I review each worry, every idea, all concerns. Some, I am able to discard as nonsensical. Others, I try to work out solutions, or at least a direction to pursue. Time marches on. Still, sleep doesn’t come.

Then, restlessness sets in. How long have I been laying here, anyway, wide awake? I shift my position, rearrange my pillow, stretch out my legs. I give one dog or another a good rub down. I turn the lamp back on. According to the little clock, I have been lying in bed, wide awake, for three hours. I allow myself to read for a bit.

When I turn the light off again, I am sure I’ll be able to drop off to sleep…but no. Now, along with all of the other cares that are disturbing my rest, there is one more problem. Now, if I don’t fall asleep right away, INSTANTLY, I will be exhausted tomorrow. That added pressure does not help.

I start reviewing possible scenarios. If I get up, use this awake time to do something useful, I will probably be ready to collapse at just about the time the alarm goes off. If I just lay in bed, not sleeping, I will be just as miserable at work tomorrow. Maybe if I got up and had a bowl of cereal. If only I had cereal in the house. Maybe oatmeal.

Finally, I get out of bed. It is raining outside. The house is chilly. I put my robe on over my pajamas. Each of the dogs goes out and comes back in. I make myself a cup of “Sleepy Time” tea. I am sipping it as I sit here at the computer. Rosa Parks is resting in my lap. I don’t know if I should count this sorry bit of writing as accomplishing “something useful,” but at least I have gotten to the point where I think I might be able to sleep. I’m going back to bed!


About cindyricksgers

I am an artist. I live on an island in northern Lake Michigan, USA. I have two grown daughters, four strong, smart and handsome grandsons and one beautiful, intelligent and charming granddaughter. I live with two spoiled dogs. I love walking in the woods around my home, reading, writing and playing in my studio.

6 responses »

  1. Oh gosh, I’m feeling anxious just reading about your night,lol
    That is exactly how I experience it too. Maybe we’re secret vampires and just don’t know it yet? I sure feel like the undead some days, ha ha

  2. My form of meditation (when I can’t sleep) is kind of weird, but it works for me. Close your eyes and pay attention to what you see. Seriously, stuff goes on inside your eyelids! There are swirling shapes, expanding and contracting shapes, most of which are black and grey. Then, for me, comes the little pinpricks of light. From those pinpricks come images. “That’s a fox!” “There’s a human face!” (The human faces are sometimes scary looking, but I don’t mind.)

    Trick is, you have to be aware of what’s happening inside your eyelids. Concentrate on that and perhaps you’ll see some things. Watching the visions always puts me to sleep. Consciously look. Consciously identify what you see.

    Might be weird, but I’ve heard of other people who experience this too. My sister refers to this state of vision as “the cotton cloud.”

    Insomnia is a bitch, and any suggestion to beat it is worth a try, right?

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