Four Things that Keep me Awake at Night

I fall asleep easily when I first go to bed. Most nights, I can drop back into slumber after urgency wakes me for a trip across the tile floor to the bathroom. And it’s really not accurate to suggest things keep me awake.
To clarify: once I wake up, there are a number of things that prevent me from returning to the land of dreams.
Usually, I’ll start praying and that will tip me over the edge. I’m pretty sure God isn’t impressed that I fall asleep during so many of our conversations, but thankfully his mercy is great.

On the night in question, that didn’t work.
Not mine. My husband’s.
Tonight, it only took two elbows and two adjustments of his position for the ear-grating noise to cease. Hallelujah!
Too bad that wasn’t the only enemy to my night of restful slumber.
I adore cats. In my mind, there is no such thing as “too many cats.”
Of course, I’ve never had more than three cats at one time, so perhaps it’s my lack of experience talking here.
Because one cat can be too many in the middle of the night when my body craves rest but my brain refuses to shut down.
One cat was resolutely positioned between me and hubby. Fine. Except when the other cat decided to walk over her to get to me.
Because there isn’t an entire mattress.
Purring soothes me and sometimes I can concentrate on the vibrations and that lulls me into sleep. But not if the cat in question has gas. Or is beating me with his tail.
Or must circle incessantly to find the best position, which always has to be much less comfortable for me than him. And this is nonsensical since we’ve all seen the memes of cats sleeping in the craziest contortions imaginable.
Thinking too Much
This one is sometimes related to the last think keeping me awake tonight.
Or it could be thoughts about:

  • What I need to do tomorrow
  • A story idea
  • A problem with a manuscript
  • Lists I need to make
  • Another story idea
  • Crochet projects and what colors of yarn I need to buy (see this post for more info)
  • Wondering if I’ll get called to substitute teach in a few hours
  • Mapping out my menu for the week
  • Outlining the next writing project (all of which will be forgotten in the light of day)
  • Testing out blurbs or loglines for a current manuscript

I would go on, but I’m pretty sure the list has already put 95 percent of the people reading it into a peaceful dream state.
                                                                             You’re welcome.
Replaying my own Stupidity
This is the reel that pushed me out of bed tonight (which is not the time you’re reading these words but it is the time I wrote them around 3:28am on a Tuesday).
How have I become so dependent on a navigation system? Not that I’ve ever been good with directions, mind you, but why can’t I follow road signs?
Did I really let the fact my phone wouldn’t sync with my car’s Bluetooth distract me from finding my way along the highway?
(Yes, these things are related. They are things that made me upset when I was traveling home from my most recent girls’ weekend.)
You call yourself smart and independent but you can’t even follow simple directions.
You should appreciate people who pump your gas more than you do.
Because I nearly ran out of gas on this same trip because “I just want to get somewhere that I don’t have to pump my own gas.” I know that most of the people reading this are thinking I’m insane. Everyone in the country knows how to pump their own gas. They do it every week when they need to refuel.
Except I don’t have to do it because I live in Oregon. And I’m happy not to do it.
The last time I pumped my gas, I had to remove a gas cap. Apparently, cars don’t have those these days.
And you really have to push the nozzle with force to get it inserted past the gatekeeper on this type of gas tank. Which is probably every gas tank on newer vehicles, but since I don’t pump gas, I’m ignorant of these things.
And I hate to say it, voluntarily in the dark, because I don’t think about how to pump gas.
But I had to call my husband when I cashed in my pride and pulled up to a gas station in Kelso, WA, to avoid the shame of running out of gas (which I have never done).
Wow! Is anyone else so prideful they nearly run out of gas? So spoiled they throw a tantrum when a gas tank looks like an object from a science fiction movie?
Needless to say, none of these things helped me regain my sleepy state of mind. Until I poured them onto the page, stifled a yawn and padded back to my Sleep Number 55 mattress.
What keeps you awake at night? Do you have any tactics for getting back to sleep?
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5 thoughts on “Four Things that Keep me Awake at Night”

  1. I had to laugh about pumping your own gas, you are sounding just the trendiest bit spoiled!
    Too many thoughts running through my head or coming events that I need to prepare for can keep me awake.

    I have found that snuggling up to my husband or pulling up the extra blanket so I get toasty warm helps me go back to sleep quicker. Of course I love away or kick the blanket off when I’m too hot later!

    1. Spoiled? Because I’ve lived all but a year of my life in a state where someone else pumps my gas? And since when did gas tanks NOT have gas caps?
      Yeah, I am learning to brood like the best authors. Not really good for my forehead (causes wrinkles) or my sunny disposition.
      Snuggling works for about ten minutes for me, and lately the cat even tries to get in the middle of that. Good grief!

  2. I try praying too, and I don’t think God minds when his children fall asleep mid-conversation. I mean, if one of your kids got up in the night when little and came to talk to you about what was bothering them, would you be upset if they fell asleep mid-cuddle? Of course not. (I have heard it suggested that some people look forward to being awake in the night because it’s a chance to be quiet with God and pray for whoever or whatever he brings to mind, but I’m not quite that holy yet!)
    Personally, my problem is the thinking too much, particularly about things that might never happen – angry conversations, people dying, that sort of thing. So instead I try to think about something that relaxes me. Knitting, as it might be, or sewing. Rearranging the furniture.
    As for cats – well, they’re worth the disruption, I reckon, especially in winter. Cats are, of course, liquid, so they expand to fill the space allotted to them. Which explains why I roll onto one side and then can’t roll back, because the cat has oozed into the small of my back. But at least he doesn’t have gas!

    1. Oh yes, those cats can be serious bed hogs with their liquid-esque expanding. I have one that growls at me if I try to move him so I can get up to use the rest room or get to my pillow.
      I knew I wasn’t the only one to fall asleep mid-prayer, and I like your analogy of the child seeking comfort and falling asleep in their parent’s arms.

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