Late Night Bed-Dread

9 Ways to Stay up Late and Avoid Feeling Sleepy

Turns out this is a thing.

I get very little sleep at night more is the pity. And yet when I am done with my work, I just can’t seem to simply climb into bed and pass out.

I mean, I can, but I don’t.

I’m wondering whether any other night owls are the same. I don’t have a problem falling sleep so I am not an insomniac. I just have me-time FOMO. I know I should be grabbing what precious hours are left before dawn to take a trip to visit Morpheus, but I delay that wonderful surrendering of self to the oblivion of sleep, like a child refusing to nap.

And what do I do? I scroll aimlessly through my social media. It’s not exactly a meaningful activity, I know. Before the world was turned on its head and libraries shut (gasp!) I would read at least one chapter of my current book, fighting the natural desire to nod off, just so I could grab some pleasure in the long-dead day. So, I dawdle and do thinks like paint my nails or go down some Facebook wormhole that I have no interest in at all.

And I think that’s the problem: I feel so deprived of leisure time that I punish myself still further and get even less sleep. I can just hear my mother scolding me about ‘cutting off my nose to spite my own face.’

And the worst is that I grow more agitated the later (or earlier) it becomes, knowing that I am missing out on sleep. I can’t win.  And it’s a foolish pastime because… well time passes as I delay the gratification of sleep in order to feel that the day wasn’t all about work.

There is such a thing as ‘somniphobia’ (I kid you not – I read it in the University of Google library, but it is more a fear of being asleep. https://www.healthline.com/health/somniphobia#symptoms

I am not afraid of sleeping. I love sleep. I simply want to have some time to feel I did something for me before I go to sleep.

Another article refers my weird behaviour as ‘bedtime procrastination.’ And draws connections to poor self-control (nonsense I say as I pop some more choccies in my mouth.) and one’s circadian rhythms. https://www.popsci.com/why-you-stay-up-too-late/

Yet another piece speaks about ‘delayed sleep-phase syndrome’ which suggests that there is a gene which causes nocturnal wakefulness. https://www.verywellhealth.com/delayed-sleep-phase-syndrome-overview-4585048

So, turns out I’m not that special – loads of others also suffer from this silliness (in fact I’m a bit troubled to realize that all these articles mention ‘sleep disorders’ in the same breath, so perhaps it’s time I sorted my $$#% out. My competitive nature cannot bear to be ‘disordered.’) The good thing about living in the Western Cape during stormy winter nights is that after a while you have to snuggle down…and I have the Maestro there too… so I never stay up all night.

But turns out I’m in good company:

‘I tend to stay up late, not because I’m partying but because it’s the only time of the day when I’m alone and don’t have to be performing.’

Jim Carrey

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