Tuesday, March 17, 2009

Can't Sleep--No Problem

The other morning I was awake from 3 to 5am. I don't really mind being awake from 3 to 5am and here is why.

1. I love sleeping and being in bed. I have a comfortable mattress, warm blankets and relatively soft sheets. One of the best parts of being it bed is that feeling that you can just lay there and do nothing.

When I'm asleep, I'm totally unaware of how cozy and care free I really am. Yes, my body is getting rest, but my mind is usually tied up in some crazy stressful dream about not being able to take a shower or missing a college class all semester and finally remembering on the day of the final exam.

So I don't mind being awake in the middle of the night for a little while because I can truly appreciate all the great things about being in bed.

2. I don't worry that I won't be able to go back to sleep. In fact, I can pretty much guarantee that I will fall back asleep by 5am. Here's how I do it:

I tell myself that if I'm still awake at 5am, I'll get up and clean. I start to think of how productive my day will be and plan out a few things I'll clean when I wake up. I don't know how it works, but it does...I've never gotten up at 5am to clean the house because I've always fallen back asleep.

3. Between the hours of 3 and 5am, my brain comes up with some really interesting stuff. I wish I could write in the dark because I'm pretty sure I'd have a notebook full of gold right now.

For example, the other morning I noticed that the clock read 4:44. I thought that if these digital numbers were turned upside down, they would be h-h-h. My next thought was that these 3 h's could stand for the title of an amazing book I could write, so I started to think of what it might be. Here is what I came up with:

Happy Horse House

Holly's Helpful Hounds

High Hopes Hindsight

See how fun that is? I could have spent another 20 minutes coming up with H titles.

But when I looked at the clock again, it had changed to 4:45 and I realized that upside down, 4:45 said, "shh." I figured the clock was probably right. I needed to quiet my mind and relax. So I did.

4. I like watching Robert sleep. Robert is rarely ever relaxed. Work keeps him busy and stressed and when he's not worrying about work, he's worrying that he isn't spending enough time with the family, or that he needs to visit his parents, or that he isn't able to spend more time on church things.

Poor guy.

But when he's asleep, he really seems relaxed and happy. And that makes me happy.

5. The final reason I don't mind being awake from 3 to 5am is because when I was a little kid and would have trouble falling asleep, my mom told me that my body still got rest by just laying there; that it didn't matter if I wasn't asleep or not.

And I believed her.

So I usually don't stress about waking up in the middle of the night. I can't remember the last time I slept through the night without waking up, and I'm OK with that.


Amanda Dahl Larimer said...

Afton, great little sleep advice. I loved it

Senia said...

I LOVED this post!!!! I laughed out loud about the getting up to clean part. And my mom always told me the thing about resting my body, too! I still remind myself of that some nights. :-)

Angela and Kevin Taylor said...

I hate being in bed not asleep. I think of all the things I could be doing and it stresses me out. I keep thinking how much sleep I am losing. I can't even lay in bed in the morning after I wake up, it's a curse really. I rarely sleep through the night...Dylan likes to get out of bed a lot. Last night I think he made it until about 4:30 or 5:00am, not bad.

Our Family said...

I have that same college dream, er nightmare. All semester, never attended one class, suddenly facing finals and huge projects. Scary! No shower deal here, but my other reoccuring nightmare is that Rich and I forgot to get married!

Debbie said...

It is rare that I don't sleep thru the night but I loved this perspective from you! Especially the part where your alarm tells you shh! So Hilarious! ;)

My mom also told me it doesn't matter if I am asleep or not, my body needed to rest. That is what she always said when I would try to stay up late (as the youngest) because I really wasn't tired and wouldn't be able to sleep anyway. So in my case I'm not sure if my mom believed it or not, but it was a way to get me to bed! However, I find myself telling Greg that to get him to go to bed!

Erika said...

Now that I don't have little babes to wake me up I sleep so hard through the night! My husband, on the other hand, is on your schedule I think. Too much stress right now. I loved the 4:44 and triple h idea. You're so funny.

Emily Laing said...

Well, shoot, we should start a club at 3 in the morning! I slept 9 hours last night for the first time in forever. It felt great! I just hope that our new house is big enough that I can get up and go scrapbook or read or do a load of laundry and not wake everyone up...

Marah said...

When I wake in the night I stress because I know I will not be able to go back to sleep for a while and I'll be tired the next day....I will think of your advice next time!

I-Shüan Warr said...

You are such an optimist! I can't wait to try waking up at 3am tomorrow morning to think about how great it feels to be in bed!

Lots of nights I haven't been able to fall asleep by 3am yet!