For the last two weeks, I’ve been waking up on time every day like a champ. My body has become a precision alarm clock. I become awake and alert at the exact same time every morning. The only problem is this time is 3:30 in the morning, I would rather sleep for another three to four hours. Insomnia is nothing new to me, but this particular form of insomnia is. I’ve never had it where my internal clock thinks that the exact same spot in the wee hours is the perfect time to wake alert and ready to go.
In some other version of myself, this would be perfect. I’d wake at 3:30, head to my home gym, and take in two hours of exercise. I’d then shower and be ready for breakfast at 6:30, then off to the office. Doing all the important things like answering emails and asking people to fix the bread machine in the copier room/break area. In this scenario, I also go to bed at 8:00 every night. I don’t often have fantasies about “CEO Andy.” I wonder if he runs a good business place and if he has some kind of podcast about how great he is at doing so?
In the real world, I go to be around 12:30 to 1:00 every night, waking up at 3:30 isn’t ideal for a long-term situation. The first night it happened I thought it was a fluke and I just laid in bed, tossing and turning for an hour, until I drifted back to sleep. The second night in a row, I decided to play pinball on my iPad till I felt sleepy. On the third night, there was a notable shift. Not only was I frustrated by the frequency of my 3:30 wake-up calls, but I was agitated that I wouldn’t be going back to sleep immediately.
Getting mad didn’t help, it filled my body with energy and got me even more alert. I grabbed the iPad and googled what maybe I could do to get back to sleep soon. After browsing past WebMD, which told me I was going to die, I read something that said I should get out of bed and do something till I felt sleepy. I hadn’t tried this. I had remained in bed the night prior. For this night, I decided that I would go into the living room and listen to some music. It used to work when I was younger and couldn’t sleep.
I guess what works when one is younger sometimes fails when one is older. The next thing I knew it was 6:30 and the point of trying to get back in bed to catch some sleep seemed pointless with a full day ahead of me. I headed into night four with a certain amount of trepidation. Would tonight the night I would sleep, or would it be another night of wee hour meandering around my house? I decided that I would try to get a jump on my body’s internal alarm clock by downloading one of those meditation and relaxation apps you see ads for so often these days.
Installing the “Rest” app onto my phone, I opened it and browsed its offerings as I was getting ready for bed. The app was a mix of things. Soundscapes of various white noise, rivers and oceans, things like that. Guided meditations were also included for almost every situation, but there was also a section of bedtime stories read to you by famous people. Browsing the selection of stories I saw they had the timeless classic “Goodnight Moon.” I chose that for my story, before I press play a note popped up telling me to turn out the lights and get settled in bed before beginning.
I did that, hit the play button, and closed my eyes as a warm and calming voice said “Rest presents classic bedtime stories read by famous people. We welcome you to a night of slumber with ‘Goodnight Moon’ as read by comedian Bobcat Goldthwait.” I enjoy Bobcat Goldthwait as much as the next person, but if you’re familiar with his work then you know that Mr. Goldthwait has a very distinctive speaking pattern. One that I wouldn’t classify as being “calm.”
My eyes shot open. I wasn’t feeling restful, but bemused and curious as to this being the section. All the story readers in the “Rest” app were odd picks. I thought about trying another bedtime story, but the only other one that appealed to me was “Green Eggs and Ham” and it was being read by Gilbert Gottfried. I gave up on sleep, and that app, that night. Still, here we are into week two of this weirdly specifically timed insomnia.
The only thing that worked one night, and it only worked one night, was falling asleep to episodes of “The Munsters.” That was something that seemed counterintuitive since so many sleep guides tell you that TV before bed is the worse thing you can do. I’m hoping to get this insomnia licked before too long. I’m starting to be cranky about things. Maybe I should apply to be a reader for “Rest?” I’m irritated at night and that might make me a good candidate to read “Peter Rabbit” to other angry people who aren’t sleeping. See you next week.