Sleepless Nights Can be a Blessing

One of the things I like about getting older is that I don’t require as much sleep. When I wake in the middle of the night, I love to get up and putter around my quiet and dimly lit home. And if I’m lucky enough to be up just before sunrise, the outdoors is a magical place as the earth goes from an eerily quiet stillness to a cacophony of bird songs.

During this nighttime wakefulness, we are all subject to occasional, if not constant, worry. Chase those demons away with a self-help book or short reading, keep a journal and turn those thoughts towards creativity. Creativity can take on many forms. What you’re going to create for dinner that night, how you’re going to create a clean space, build friendships, create healthy habits, get more money, buy a car, ride a horse, use the bus system or – my favorite – start a new business venture. The list is endless.

Then there is the middle of the night energy that is contemplative and ethereal. Out of the nearly 7 billion people living on earth over 5 billion have a discernible religious affiliation. To me that says humans are seekers looking for answers.

Some people are morning people, and some are night people. Use this knowledge wisely. If you’re a morning person, it means you are the most productive in the morning. Tackle your challenging work early and try not to schedule meetings or errands during your productive time (no meetings before noon). That is a misuse of your energy.

Night people are just the opposite. They have a hard time getting started in the morning. So they, in turn, need to schedule mid-morning meetings to get them up and out of the house in a timely fashion. Their productive time will be that evening.

My oldest son told me, humans used to fall asleep at sundown (no electricity), rise in the middle of the night to stoke the fire and start the bread. Then go back to bed, only to rise again just before sun up. That sounds perfect to me. Who ever said we are supposed to sleep through the night?

After hearing this fire-stoking, bread-making story, I embraced my middle-of-night wake up call. And what I’ve often found while I’m up, puttering around the house, waiting on the newspaper and writing in my journal (or this blog) are answers to some of my day to day questions … and how long it takes to make cinnamon rolls from scratch.