Thursday, December 21, 2006

Is anyone sleeping?

It's 5:14 a.m. here in Southern California and I've been awake almost an hour. I awoke with my heart beating hard and fast. I did some deep breathing and soon the heart calmed down. But I was still awake. So I did what I always do when I can't stay asleep--I got up, fed Rosie (JoJo is in absentia), made a cup of tea and sat down at the computer to prepare for my show (Michael Datcher and Francine Prose are on) and catch up, before I take Trav to school and go to Dr. Ron the acupuncturist and do more holiday shopping and hope that the appliance repairman comes today to fix the oven so I can actually bake cookies.

I just don't sleep the way I used to. Too much on my mind? Too much caffeine (tea?)? Too much to do? I dunno.

I tend to not write when I wake up earlier than I would like. Although this may just be a recent thing, since my plate, which has turned into a platter this fall, overfloweth with work/tasks/obligations other than writing fiction, which is sheer luxury.

One resolution for the New Year is to scale back onwork work, and finish my novel. Maybe another should be to sleep more. Although perhaps 6 - 7 hours sleep is enough for me.

What are your sleep habits? Do you wake up earlier than you would like? And when you do, what do you do?


Anonymous said...

I work five nights a week as a musician and choir direct on Sunday mornings. In the last five years or so I've decided to go to bed late, 2:30 or so, whether or not I'm working late that night. Then I get up at 9:30 or 10 and am able to get writing done daily. This system is not good for Sunday morning, when I have to get to church at 8:15ish and must feign wakefulness during the 8:30 service. But for the rest of the week it's great.


Lara said...

Oh Barbara, if I had only known you'd been awake, too! I am awake every morning from 4:30 - 6:00 or so and then sleep again until I get up with my three boys at 7:30 ... I sometimes read, think, ruminate ... I never write. I often feel anxious that I am not asleep and know I will pay for it later in hte day. My mindset doesn't seem conducive to writing and when I've tried it I have never been happy with the results. Too bad - if I'm going to be awake I'd just as soon be productive!

Bruja Bella said...

I have this very strange fear that sleep will somehow be taken away from me. I suffer from sleepless nights from time to time and some insomnia, so I worry sometimes that one night I simply won't be able to sleep ever again. It's crazy, I guess.

But you have my sympathy with the early waking - it probably is a sign of stress. If your body and mind are overloaded you can't seem to properly rest. Sounds like things will change with your new year's resolution though.

Happy holidays!

deirdre said...

I don't sleep as much as I used to - grief, hormones, too much on my mind - it's not good. I try to read, books or blogs, sometimes I write. Sometimes I just lie there and swear, which isn't a recommended sleep aid.

I hope you get more sleep soon. Life is so hectic this time of year.

Deborah said...

I don't turn to sleep at night the way normal humans should. I prefer the quiet and the safe solitude of knowing all in my world are safely tucked in and asleep. I knit, I read, I chat online with old friends far away in other time zones, I cook.

In the morning, I turn into the hag who curses morning people - men who awake jolly at 4:30 am ready for Wall Street exploits and children who have to make 7:15 school buses - an insominiac's maniac is how I could be described!

Anonymous said...

Barbara, as I get older I have much more difficulty sleeping. I have a long day to and from work (awake at 5:30 a.m.; back home 8:00 p.m.) in NYC. One would think that as tired as that schedule makes me that I could just sleep. Nope. I have an active mind and it usually only allows me about 5 hours per night to actually sleep. It's much worse when I'm traveling, which is about two months out of the year. Don't know what to do about it. Reluctant to take a pill . . . bourbon?

Merry Christmas and Happy New Year!


Anonymous said...

well, i'm getting better about the sleep thing, but it's a challenge with school sometimes. i will say that last night i made the awful mistake of having some coke (i don't frequent caffeine in a bottle) and i was up until 2am. this also means that i finished wrapping all the gifts i bought for my sister's family though, which is good. on the downside, i still woke up at 8am, which is less sleep than i prefer. i do wish school didn't leave me feeling so jaded about reading: i haven't picked up a book for my entire break, though i read about 10 for the fall quarter.
merry merry!