This semester, I’m averaging a 6:00 a.m. bedtime. I don’t recommend it. It leaves me with two to five hours of inconsistent sleep. This isn’t that abnormal, but, going to bed three to four hours later than my usual time is making a world of difference. I think, feel and see things I really shouldn’t, especially since I’m meant to be asleep and dreaming about unicorns and rainbows.
Here’s what goes down when I don’t fall asleep at a healthy, practical time:
I call this my second wind.
This is my roommate’s average bedtime. We live very differently.
Instead of winding down like a normal person, I get super productive because my circadian rhythm is so off. There are fewer distractions, and I’ve got a good seven hours of the night to work.
Plus, this is when my phone reminders give me a good laugh. Out of naive hope, my alerts to pack my backpack for tomorrow, stretch, replace my face mask, reset my alarms and “Shower Now!” go off.
I ignore them all because I’m not even close to turning in.
My daily online activities reset at midnight, which gives me an excuse to stop working and procrastinate a little.
Currently, I have a 1,414-day streak for my Flow Free daily puzzles and a 326-day streak for my reading goals on Apple Books. My Bing Rewards daily activities also reset at midnight.
It’s been five hours since I’ve last eaten and I’m getting munchy. It’s not good to eat late, so I mentally debate it. A little snack usually prevails, which takes me away from work, but I feel better.
Mini-spurt of energy and crunch time.
It’s before I begin to realize it’s getting late. I tend to finish the most relevant school work at this time and then go on to future work because I still feel like I have some time.
Ingrained memories from my mother watching ghost and horror series has made me wary of this “true witching hour.” I’m completely aware of how untrue and crazy the notion is, but my getting-to-be-sleepy brain is thinking “why take the risk?” So I tend to avoid bathroom mirrors (Bloody Mary…) and begin to get acutely aware that it’s starting to get late.
Finally starting to wind down. My attention span sours at this point, so whatever I’m trying to finish keeps getting pushed back. Not to mention, YouTube and books seem even more attractive than usual.
Sometimes I end up starting things at this time — like this blog — when I really shouldn’t. But most of the time, I finish everything I planned to do that day.
I finally do my nighttime routine and take a shower. My sleep-deprived brain has some amazing, yet elusive, shower thoughts. I get my best ideas in there, which is disappointing because I only remember them occasionally. I think I’ve written an entire novel and solved cancer — not really — in the shower.
The sun is starting to rise. I don’t like it. I feel much more guilty when I see the sky brighten and hit the Charles River. It’s not something I should be seeing. My roommate is getting up and I’m only now hitting my pillow to try to fall asleep before 7:00 a.m.
It’s so messed up.