I don’t sleep much. 2 to 3 hours straight for me is considered a full night’s rest. I can fall asleep without any problems. It’s staying asleep that’s difficult.
My mind never NEVER shuts down, even in sleep. No matter what time of the day or night it is, no matter what time zone I’m in, or how physically exhausted I am, my brain, like the energizer bunny, keeps going. Most of the time this sucks wind. Dark purple smudges that need three applications of concealer are present under my eyes at all times. No amount of eye care product gets rid of them. I yawn consistently, so much so people think I’m bored when I’m around them. Not true – just tired. Like an overcharged battery, my brain goes on and on and on….
You get the picture.
There are times, though, when this has proven to be a good thing. Because I’m such a light sleeper, I always heard my child stir when she was baby, or later when she was a teenager and pushing the curfew regulations. (For reasons of disclosure, this never happened! She was always on time.) I know instantly when something is amiss in the house at night, such as when the power goes out during our numerous winter and spring storms. The instant the digital clocks flick off when the power goes, I’m up and at’em.
But the main reason my chronic insomnia is beneficial is because when the world is sleeping soundly and there isn’t a noise or distraction in my realm, I can sneak off to my attic and write for hours before I need to get up and really start the day. During my insomniac haze I am mentally clear and focused when conventional wisdom tells you I should be just the opposite. I can bang out 15-20 pages of my WIP at 3:30 in the morning and when noon strolls around I’m lucky to get 100 words written. I’m working on a novella right now that only gets my attention at 4 a.m. I’m writing it when I can’t stay in bed anymore and revising it during the light of day.
When I first started working as a Registered Nurse I worked what was called the grave yard shift of 11p.m to 7 a.m. for 2 years. On the nights I was off from work my mind never shut down so I’d be up most of the night watching old movies on television – no YouTube, CNN or late late night hosts back then.
Now when my insomnia gets me out of my bed I focus on my writing, which has been utterly prolific the past few months, hand in hand with the increase in my sleeping trends.
Too bad I don’t write vampire books. I know what ol’Dracula is going through with this whole up all night business.