Old Diary

The Fifth Wee Season

night_owl6hxdetail1What do you do when you wake up in the middle of the night?  Do you lie awake trying to go back to sleep?  Or are you one of those night owls who can’t go to sleep early and stays awake until the wee hours?

I have never been one to stay awake late into the night.  Night is meant for sleeping and I used to do quite well at that.  By nine in the evening I’m getting ready to at least be heading to the bedroom. I put a piece of paper If I’m awake at ten or eleven that’s the exception rather than the rule.

Lately two or three o’clock roll around and I’m not only awake I’m WIDE awake.  Finding a place to BE AWAKE in a 40 foot long RV while your partner is ASLEEP is a good challenge!

I ’ve always been that guy who wakes up going full speed ahead.  (Well almost always.) When we lived in sticks & bricks I had an office removed from the bedroom. If I woke in the middle of the night I’d go there to  work on portraits and other images, or I’d write.  Doing so in the coach is problematic.  The rear office sold usThe office in our coach is in the bedroom!  So, of a sleepless night I find myself at the dining table with my laptop trying not to wake Peggy.

My sleepless nights have been worse lately.  Blame it on pharmacology.  Afternoon naps may have their role to play too, but  I’m smart enough to know that if I sleep too long in the afternoon I won’t sleep at night.  And it is is that falling asleep is never a problem!  It’s what happens after I have enough sleep to function the next day and when I wake up fully re-charged for the day — at 2 o’clock in the morning.  Or 3 o’clock.  Or 4 o’clock.

I have never had this kind adjustment to prescription drugs before.  In the past the doctor gives me something, I take it, either I have an allergic reaction or not, and if not then I just take the drug and go on with my business.  This time it’s a very different situation, I feel physically different — a sensation which is not constant,  and if I’m talking about it a lot that’s because this may be my way of accepting that I’m not 40 years old any more, and maybe I really am getting to be an OLD man.  Or Older?  Or at least not young?  It’s kind of like being dragged kicking and screaming into a new experience.

2b159927ce417eb39336614decb2ad07Once I start thinking (instead of dreaming) I’m awake.  In my entire life I have rarely been able to wake up and fall back to sleep.  Occasionally I can get up for an hour or two, have a cup of coffee, and go back to bed and fall asleep. For a while that was our Saturday morning routine — right after retiring.  We were both still waking at 4 or 4:30, so we’d turn on the coffee pot, have a cuppa, and then go back to sleep — it worked for several years — usually on Saturday mornings.  But we’ve gotten over that, and now,  once I’m awake, I’m awake.

Henry_David_Thoreau writing your name

Thoreau had it write / right,

It might sound like I don’t like being awake in the middle of the night but that’s not true. In the 80’s when I drove truck I loved driving at night.  (not that truck drivers have much control over when they have to drive) There’s less traffic and time to think, and in those days there was a world of conversation over the CB radio.  It’s funny, I used to be able to drive down the road in the middle of the night and have conversations with other drivers — often people I had never met in person — and we would talk about anything and everything (other than sports or politics) and have really good conversations.  But I digress.

No, now the night the night embraces me like an old friend.  I love the quiet hours of morning.  There are lots of things to think about.  I plan routes, I write to friends, I work on the blog, I work on images,

There are few distractions.  Early morning is the best time to get things done.  Looking out the window doesn’t hold your attention — there’s not much to see other than the local cop driving through the campground from time to time.

live in each season

I guess I’m coming to see those sleepless hours of the night as if they were another season.  A short one, as it were.  Perhaps a season that recurs every 24 hours rather than every 12 months.  But a ‘season’ just as truly.  As much part of life as Spring, Summer, Autumn or Winter. As inescapable as the falling of leaves or the the blowing of snow.

Thanks for stopping by, and I’ll talk with you tomorrow.


9 thoughts on “The Fifth Wee Season

  1. This may sound weird, but try taking Magnesium 500 mg an hour or two before bed. It has helped me sleep. Although I do have one night a week where I stay up late playing Bookworm on the computer. When my neurologist put me on Mg instead of seizure pills, I could not believe the changes in my body. I’ve done some blogs on Mg and plan to do a few more. I take anywhere from 500-1000 mg a day. I still have rough days, but the fibro pain is gone; urge incontinence decreased significantly; improved muscle strength–the list is lengthy. The best thing is I no longer need the CPAP! I can sleep through the night and sleep better.
    I was surprised to find that so many things I thought were diagnoses were actually signs of Mg deficiency. Look it up. It might surprise you that what the doctor ordered a pill for might be Mg deficiency. I nursed for over 40 years and never knew any of this, especially that a serum lab will not show a low Mg level! If your potassium is low chances are your Mg is as well. My KCl has been low, but the Mg always showed normal.
    Mg is not as abundant in our food as it used to be. Additives often destroy it or decrease its effectiveness. It’s not replaced back into the soil and processing messes it up.
    OTC magnesium is a hit or miss deal. There are no laws requiring the manufacturer to put in the bottle what’s on the label. You may get Mg or sugar; you may get 100mg or 1000mg. Try several brands till you find one that works.


    • Yeah — you have mentioned Magnesium before and maybe tomorrow I’ll go out and get some. within limits it can’t be bad for you and it might help. Thanks for reminding me. I know you’ve told me before and I keep forgetting.

      I’ll try two different brands tomorrow — meaning buy them and start testing. Thanks for the suggestion.



  2. Mrs. P says:

    I have a habit of doing all my planning in my dreams and sometimes the dreams get so active they wake me up. I will try to go back to sleep by focusing on the fan we use for white noise. If I am successful, I go right back to sleep. If not, I get up and do the same as you. When I have done enough to quiet my mind then I can try to go back to sleep again.

    Mostly I sleep pretty well. Sometimes I have disturbing dreams, not nightmares but not fun dreams. This usually indicates that I have depleted the B1 in my body. If it’s still early, say 2:00 or so I can take some B1 and sleep okay the rest of the night. Then I take it for a few days after that and I am usually back on track again.

    Rick gets up and has a smoke and something to eat. Then plays games for a bit. When this occurs over a series of days he gets pretty grumpy unless he takes a nap in the morning.


    • I’ll have to give the B vitamins and the magnesium — mentioned by another comment — a try.

      I will rouse when turning over — about that I think nothing. But if I WAKE then it’s usually 100% and I’m ready to go. I can lay there for hours and never fall asleep. But sometimes getting up for as little 1/2 an hour can get me in the mood for sleep again. Or putting on the coffee pot and sipping my first cuppa — which will usually put me out like a light! But most of the time if I wake up, I’m up.

      I’m with Rick on getting grumpy. However, If I bothered to track it (which I have not) I’d guess it’s 1x or 2x a week.

      One bad night usually takes 2 nights to recover from.

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