Monday, August 3, 2009

Three am and all's swell.

Sleep deprivation is a temporary torment you get through when you have babies and another thing entirely when you hit menopause. I need seven hours solid sleep. Just one off night gives me the achy, sloggy, can't-think blues.

Nonetheless, I awaken drenched in a hot flash most nights at 3 am. For the next hour or two, I am wide awake.

So . . . what are you doing at three am? I've consulted friends and family to share frustrations and empathize over each other's chronic sleepiness. Our nocturnal activities are surreal and splendid.
  • Get up, iron clothes, and go to sleep on the sofa.
  • Read something really, really boring. Like a book club pick or a business magazine.
  • Wander around the house checking doors and lights.
  • Just go ahead and stay up. After you've tossed and turned for a couple of hours, it's time to get up anyway.
  • Take Tylenol PM. Not every night, though you really need it, but once or twice a week just to catch up on sleep.
  • Check email and shop on eBay.
  • Blog. (Okay, that's me.)
  • Organize the linen closet.
  • Dust. You'd like to vacuum, but the family might object.
  • Take the dog for a walk. (I saw one neighbor do this as I stared in frustration out the window. Bless her. It's good to have company.)
  • Watch one of the cable news channels. Trust repetition of news stories to induce sleep (breaking news! celebrity couple breaking up! government official caught lying! storm topples trees!).
  • Googled "insomnia" and found The entry titled Green Cows - And Other Animals Of Color is just plain weird.
  • Make to-do lists (a great idea since you'll be too fuzzy to think straight the next day).
  • Pray.
What works for you?


  1. I'm reading a fascinating book about night and sleep called At Day's Close by Ekirch. In one chapter, he talks about segmented sleep and how apparently before artificial light, it was normal to wake for a while in the middle of the night ....

  2. I'm normal! I'm normal!

    Thanks, Ms. Packrat. I'm going to get that book for those 3 am awakenings.

    : )


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