Posts Tagged ‘sleep’

Wide Awake Wolf

Posted: August 25, 2010 in Life, writing
Tags: , , ,


Here it is, 4:36 a.m. and I can’t sleep.  What better time to try and write a blog, huh?  (Yes, I know the clock in the picture says 1:22.  I can live with it, and frankly, it was the only clock picture I could find.)

It’s that time of the morning when nothing is on TV and you can’t decide whether you’re disgruntled, or want to thank God, because you know if a good movie was on, you’d plunk yourself right down and watch it.  And then when it was done, you’d realize that DAMN – you’re really sleepy now.  Only…it’s time to get up.

I love sleeping.  I truly appreciate waking up and realizing that, despite how tired I feel, I’ve actually spent eight hours looking at my eyelids.

I think when you’re younger, you can plop down and sleep just about anywhere.  Doesn’t matter if it’s a cot, or the floor or the back seat of a car.

Later on though — *everything* freaking you keeps you awake.  So you shop carefully for a bed.  But not just any bed — it’s gotta be the best one.  Maybe it has to have numbers for sleep settings.  Maybe it has to be adjustable.  With a remote control.

And then there’s the pillow to think about.  Hypoallergenic?  Don’t know if that matters.  Should you visit a chiropractor and get his or her advice?  You know they sell pillows at their offices too, right?   And what about feathers? Down?  What’s going to work?   And how much do you spend?  Is any price too high for a good night’s sleep?

And you watch the news and your radar goes into overdrive the minute you hear the hated phrase “bed bug”.  Apparently New York City and Chicago and Detroit are the worst places for bed bugs right about now.  As is the south end of Toronto, below Bloor St.   So you make up your mind you’re NOT going to visit or live in any of these places.   (Detroit?  No biggy — there were never any plans to go there anyway.  But New York??  Damn that’s disappointing).  And so you educate yourself as well on what to look for when you’re scouting out a new place to live.  And you take away some advice as well about what to do when checking into a hotel.  You learn that you should unpack *nothing* until you’ve checked out the bed, lifted the sheets up.

And with all of this on your mind, you’re supposed to get back to sleep?  Ha!

But you try anyway.

You lie down.  Get yourself nice and comfy, with the pillow just *so* beneath your neck and head.

And then you try a trick:  you pretend like there’s someone in the room that you don’t want to talk to.  You know they want to talk, but you want them to think you’re asleep. So you breathe heavily, as if you’re asleep already.  Nine times out of ten, this pretend sleep results in real sleep.   It’s the tenth time out of ten — today in fact — when it doesn’t work.

So you try another trick.  You imagine you’re getting on a steep escalator going down, down, down with no end in sight.  Sometimes this works too.

But not today.

Today, you just lie there. And  your mind starts talking to you.

“What about that project at work.  Do you think Jill will be in today?  What will you say to her to get her to agree on your point of view regarding Windows 7?”



“So what about that girl you like?  Are you going to call her today?  Maybe you should call her.  Maybe you shouldn’t wait another day.”

“Look it’s 4:49 in the friggin morning!  Even if I decide to call her, I’m not going to friggin call her now!  Now SHADDUP”


“Hey, I’m hungry.  Want to eat?”


So then, despite all advice you’ve been given, about looking at anything too bright when you’re trying to sleep, you get up, turn the computer on, and start surfing the net.

And then you remember that you bought a cool new Mac application to let you blog without having to go to the web.  So you hunt around for it (because you’ve forgotten the name of it) and then you find it:  MarsEdit.  And you fire it up.

And then you write a blog.  Like this one.

If you have any home remedies for curing insomnia, I’m all ears.  Eyes.



Posted: March 22, 2010 in Life
Tags: , , ,

Some things are designed to fail.

Right away you’re thinking of that car or gadget you own, that has a one-year warranty, and you’re recalling how, one or two days after the warranty ran out, the ass end of whatever it is you’re thinking about fell off.

While that’s funny (if you’re not the one who owns the thing) this isn’t what I wanted to talk about.  You can, though.  Down there in the comments.

I was thinking about how you can be your own worst enemy, and that sometimes, failure can be a good thing.

Ever since I was a youngster I’ve been more alive at night.  I have no idea why this is, but I’ve grown to accept it.  Some of the best ideas come at night, and some of the best passions present themselves in the late night/early morning hours.  There’s just a clarity there, a shining sharp-edged knowledge that you can’t ignore or pretend isn’t there.

Lately, having come to terms with what I think might be an ADD issue, there has been acceptance of the fact that when my mind gets going – usually in the early morning hours – it’s pointless to stay in bed, tossing and turning.   Sometimes it’s possible to fool myself:  I’ll pretend that someone has come into the bedroom, someone I don’t want to talk to, and I’ll just lay there mimicking sleep.  The mimicking part is what does it:  time after time, the pretend-sleep has turned into real sleep.   (Man, I’m so happy when that happens).

Lately though, it hasn’t been working.

And sometimes I stay up long past the time when I should be dozing off.   Take this past weekend for example.

I knew full well that the limousine would be arriving at 7:15 a.m. Monday to take me to the airport.  I knew this, yet made the choice to stay up very late on Saturday night.  In fact, I didn’t hit the sack until 4:00 a.m. Sunday morning.  (What?  I was thinking, and writing and having a blast)

So of course I made a point of going to bed on Sunday night at 10:00, figuring I’d get up at 5:00 a.m., thus allowing a seven hour sleep.

Yeah, right.

10:00 came and went, and I hadn’t gotten around to crawling into bed.  I forced myself to go to bed at 11:30.  I thought “Ok so that’s five and a half hour’s sleep.  Not so bad.”    Something inside told me that wasn’t enough, so I set the alarm for 5:30.  That should provide enough time to pack and be ready for the 7:00 a.m. ride.

Well, wouldn’t you know it?  The bed was uncomfortable.  I scrunched up and made sure the pillow was big enough and sitting just right under my neck.

Then I had to turn over, and do the same thing again.

“Wait” I though.  “It’s too noisy in here.  Damn it.”  I forgot to wear my ear plugs.  (Have to keep the window open because the apartment is too warm.  This allows some fresh air in.  The street noises all gang up and saunter in that same window and set up a party in my room.)

I threw the covers off, and went looking for the ear plugs.  Ew.  I had used those ones too often.  Seemed like a good idea to get some new ones.  So off I went into the kitchen and found a fresh pair.

“There” I thought.  “Much better.”  And once again I situated myself under the sheets.

I thought about the next day, about meeting my new boss, and what I would tell him.  I wondered if he would understand some of the pressures our virtual team would face, and what I could do or say to help him understand.  I played around with different approaches, imagined his reactions, thought about how others would factor in, and what new ideas they would bring.  And….

“DAMN IT”  I threw the covers off.  It was hopeless.  I wandered out to the living room and started to watch the last half of Desperate Housewives.  (What?  Are you kidding me?  It’s got Teri Hatcher and Eva Longoria Parker – two of the hottest babes on TV these days.  Not to mention Julie Benz, of Dexter fame, who recently joined the cast.)

I shut the TV off and went to my bedroom, a little sleepier than before.  Then I got on the computer, made sure all the comments on my blogs were answered, then checked MySpace and Facebook to make sure everything was answered there too.  And then checked out all the MySpace blogs to make sure I read and commented on them.

Finally, at 2:30 I fell back into bed.

Today I’m dragging.   Clearly, normal human hours aren’t for me.  A rock star’s schedule seems more fitting.

May have to do something about that.

Oh, and P.S. – if you have an ADD thing and you’ve had no sleep at all I can tell you that the very worst thing in the world is to get a seat on an airplane right next to a wide-awake guy with apparent ADD.  He showed all the symptoms and none of the restraint:  his leg wouldn’t stop jumping up and down and oh dear Lord he was LOUD.   Like ALL THE TIME.  He had no filter either – whatever he thought about came out his wide open mouth.    So there was no sleep on the plane either.

I blame myself.