3:00 AM Thoughts

My poor husband is plagued with chronic intermittent (no, those are not mutually exclusive terms) insomnia, meaning that every few months he goes through 4-6 weeks of near-nightly insomnia that a veritable cocktail of drugs, behavior modification, and fervent prayer often will not cure. Then, mysteriously, one day he can sleep again. He has many 3:00 AM thoughts, I’d wager, and most of them are probably along the lines of frustration and despair.

I do not suffer from insomnia, thank the Lord, but since my pregnancy five years ago, I have had a bit of trouble staying asleep an entire night. In fact, I’d be willing to bet that of all the nights that have transpired from late 2007 until now, I’ve only had uninterrupted sleep during about 15% of them. I think anyone with kids could probably say the same, and a good deal of the childless populace as well.

Once I’m awake, it is often difficult to fall back asleep as those 3:00 AM thoughts invade my brain. Regrets, story ideas and scenes, what I should have said, the weight of all the work that will greet me in the morning, half-done sewing projects, trying to remember what day it is and how long until I need to get out of bed. Those 3:00 AM thoughts can keep me from slumber for an hour or more.

Last night was such a night, brought on by a son’s nightmare and subsequent screaming. Once I was back in bed my mind got busy. I managed to get some good short story development out of it, but there was a lot of regret and second guessing about a recent kind act of trust in which the party receiving our generosity has not held up his end of the bargain. All the things we should have done differently to ensure more accountability. Prayers that my heart would be at peace about it and I could simply forget it and move on with life. And when I finally fell back asleep that person invaded my early morning dreams and in flooded those same emotions.

Perhaps everything will yet be resolved. Perhaps it won’t. And perhaps I will get a full night’s sleep tonight.


One thought on “3:00 AM Thoughts

  1. Last night one of our smoke alarms malfunctioned at about 4am, sending me bleary-eyed into the hallway, feeling around, trying to get my ears to tell me which direction it was coming from… By the time I’d gutted the thing of its batteries and fell back into bed, I too was awake, and my mind started chattering away as well. I manged to knock off again around 5:30, I suspect, only to awake at 6:08 when the baby started crying.

    The life of young parents, I expect. What bothers me most in those nighttime episodes is I seem to have very little control over the thoughts that flood out any ability to nod off.

    It’s frustrating. And it’s life.

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