If It Is 3:00 a.m.—I Must Be Awake

I am so sleepy that I think I would prefer to acquire the COVID 19 just so I could get some meds to make me sleep.

I have had insomnia most of my adult life. It actually started my second year as a high teacher when I was also appointed as varsity basketball coach. As the old saying goes, “That team was short, but we were slow!” Did not win a game for the first ten games as I recall. And as a result, I did not sleep after any of those games. Then, when we did start winning a few games, it got worse! That would have been the fall and winter of 1970-71, which is apropos of nothing except I am approaching 50 years without regular sleep!

That is actually not true. I have slept two or three nights so far this year. There was a time years ago when I would punch out my pillows because I was so frustrated at not sleeping. However, for the last 40 years, I just get up, stop by the pantry and the fridge, and grab my Kindle and head to the sofa. I usually start getting sleepy as I start the second row of Oreos, so I really bear down in the hopes my eyelids will get heavy. Until recently, I never slept on the sofa. I would get up, get sleepy, and then head back to bed, except this presented a new set of problems—a particular spouse (who shall go unnamed) and her snoring. That was sure to wake me up good and proper.

Up I’d jump again and head back to more Oreos and milk. After finishing the entire package of Oreos, I would now be so sick I could not sleep, so up again I would go.

If I was lucky, I would eventually get back on my side of the bed by 5:00 a.m.


Tonight was one of those nights. Turned off the tube about 10:15. My unnamed wife headed to bed, and I back to the recliner in my study. My study is where I have been trying to sleep since my sacroiliac flared up in January. On the way to the study, I stopped by for a glass of tea, a bowl of Costco’s Kirkland peanuts, a warm blanket, and my Kindle. I was ready.

After I finished the peanuts and umpteen chapters in the latest Daniel Silva novel, The New Girl, I felt the signs that might mean a visit from Morpheus. Sure that I would go to sleep, I pulled up my cozy warm blanket, put on my Uggs, told Alexa to turn off the study lamp, and to turn on white noise. I was really sleepy, y’all. Except I wasn’t. Within two minutes, I was fully awake.

I learned a very long time ago to never stay in bed (or a recliner for that matter) and toss and turn. Things just get worse. Therefore, I got up and schlepped down the hall in my Uggs back to the kitchen once more. More peanuts and another glass of tea and back to the study. 

This time I turned on the television to a PBS show about the Roosevelts. I was totally convinced that if anything could get me to sleep, this was it. Nope. So dull, I got pissed and turned the TV off without trying to sleep at all. Instead, I went back to the kitchen again. This time I found some leftover raspberries. Doused them with a little artificial sugar and some heavy cream. Yum. Only problem now was that my stomach had so much liquid in it that it had its own tidal patterns. Waiting for the tides to ebb, I stayed in the den and tried to sleep on the sofa. The sloshing in my gut made me seasick, so I got up and did the Tim Conway-shuffle back to study and my computer, where I began writing this blog. After a while, when I thought I had enough of the story down that I could finish it if I ever did get some sleep, I closed down the iMac; told Alexa to turn off the study lamp and turn on the white noise again, and finally went to sleep about 4:00 a.m.


That is not the end of this story. Boomer and Chloe woke me up about 7:30 barking as Sandy filled the food bowls, so I slipped on my Uggs, draped the blanket around my shoulders and headed to the den where I announced to Sandy, Adam, Boomer, and Chloe, that I was headed to the bedroom, of all places, to see if I could manage some sleep.

I did sleep for a couple of fitful hours, and in doing so, I managed to get a crick my left shoulder. Great. Just what I need for another eventful nightly battle with the sandman! 

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