What’s My Sleep Number?

A friend of mine recently posted this status update:

I am physically incapable of becoming tired at the appropriate time at night.

And it made me think. Well, not at first. At first my reply was, “So do it then. Start it. Get it out of your head and make it happen!” Flippantly, I typed without the slightest attempt at research or even speculation into the many reasons for insomnia. I typed without thinking. Then I started thinking.

Thinking is not always the best thing to do. So many nights I lay down unwillingly at the end of my day, next to my gorgeous wife. The part about laying next to my gorgeous wife is not the unwilling part. Sometimes, “thinking” results in massive life changes. Which as we all know means that life changes. Too many nights I lay down and go to bed tired — exhausted actually — and unsatisfied; like my day and all my energies spent in all the various ways with various people was a waste of time. Like I did it all wrong. Something’s missing, but I don’t know what. And when it’s time to wake up, I’ll wake up tired and just as unsatisfied from my sleep not being remotely fruitful. What else could I be doing? What else should I be doing? If I knew, would I even want to do that? I have dreams. I have ideas and yet, from day to day, I count the lines on the faces of Father Time with none of my dreams one tick-tock mark closer to being realized.

And so, unwillingly, I put my pants on the ground and my head on my pillow. My eyes close and the monsters I try so hard to keep at bay all day (with notable success) lay in wait for this moment, when my guard is down and my mind is wandering through everything — they attack. The goblins of potential. They spin me up and my head riles with inadequacy and lethargy and so many questions. “You need to get caught up on new design blogs. Why haven’t you started that iPhone app yet? When will you organize your digital life and get rid of the cruft and duplicates and deprecated files? You know you said you were going to start drawing again… you even bought a drawing book, which is still blank with the exception of one page. And what ever happened to waking up early to spend some time reading the Bible? Not to mention writing those stories down that are clogging up your brain cells.” And so on. It’s so easy to drown in my own accusations of how lame I am.

So what now? Right? I get stuck in not-sleeping-mode when it’s too late to do anything about it and there’s no hope for time tomorrow to do anything outside of what already needs to be done. Rinse. Repeat. Then I drift away somewhere between “Yes! I’m totally going to do that!” and “Forget it. I’m never going to have time to do that.”

Of course… it can’t stay like this for long. It takes way too much energy to keep the status quo. So maybe a few more cycles and things will have to change and either the monsters will get bored of me and just go away, or maybe I’ll actually have some time to do a few things I’ve got on my mind. In hindsight it would seem that I could have done something about my dilemma instead spending two hours too long writing this. But complaining gives somewhat of a sense of accomplishment without having to really do anything.

Oh, and my apologies for wasting your time… it started out all promising. This is all I got right now.

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