Today, the WordPress Daily Post mentioned “sleep procrastination”. I don’t think I procrastinate at night. I know that my brain’s not on a 24-hour schedule. There are nights when I’m literally awake all night, and I’m well into the next day before I get sleepy. I’ve been to several doctors and every damn one of them gives me the same lecture. Don’t read in bed. Don’t go to bed until you’re sleepy. Don’t this… Don’t that.
And you know what, these platitudes do not work for me. I’m a night person living in a day-oriented-work world.
I tried the “stay in the living room until your sleepy” bit. I fell asleep on the sofa, and as soon as I got up to go to bed. I was wide awake, again.
I tried turning off the light and just laying there, waiting to fall asleep, because everyone knows that if you just turn off the light, you’ll fall asleep. Problem is that when I turn off the light before I’m sleepy, my mind starts doing mental gymnastics, thinking about everything I ever did that was wrong or bad or stupid. If that isn’t enough to wake someone up, I don’t know what is.
I haven’t written in a while because by the time I’m ready to write, usually around 2am, I’m supposed to already be asleep or at least winding down, because I have to get up in a few hours and be functional in a 9-5 soul-sucking job. So at night when it’s time to go to bed, I climb in bed, and I read, and read, and read, until the Kindle is falling on my face. [BTW, the Kindle doesn’t hurt nearly as much as a hardback hitting me in the face.] But my doctor says that reading in bed is bad for me. I call foul. At least I get to the point where I can sleep if I read in bed.
I am not everyone else. I don’t believe that one size fits all, and I especially don’t believe there’s only one solution to a problem.
The solution to my problem is a job that’s flexible enough for me to sleep when I can. Something like an author. I just gotta get there.