Monday, June 5, 2017

Super-Helpful Things My Brain Does at 3 in the Morning

With a gasp, I wake up in the middle of the night to a little person whisper-shouting five inches from my face: "I had a bad dream!"

Tucking them back in bed doesn't take long, but it takes long enough that I can't sleep once my head hits my own pillow again.

So my brain, knowing I'm really tired and have a busy day tomorrow, does some super-helpful things to get me to relax, like:

1. Calculating the hours and minutes of sleep I'll still get if I fall asleep right now. It does this every 7-10 minutes.

2. Thinking about a disturbing news story I heard earlier that day. Especially if it involved an abused or neglected child/animal/old person.

3. Going over an unpleasant conversation from the past, and spending 30 minutes reconstructing what I should have said.

4. Trying to remember if I locked the door, turned off the oven, or moved the laundry into the dryer.

5. Wondering what I would do if a burglar broke in right now.

6. Thinking about my husband dying. And trying not to wake him with my heaving sobs.

7. Thinking about one of my kids being diagnosed with a terminal illness. And trying not to wake my husband with my heaving sobs.

8. Mentally debating a fictitious person who disagrees with me on a social issue I'm passionate about.

9. Planning the logistics for an upcoming event like a big party or family vacation, assuming the worst-case scenario whenever possible.

10. Replaying something stupid I did between today and 20 years ago.

Am I the only one whose brain starts thinking of the most stressful things possible when I'm trying to relax and go back to sleep?  {posted @ Unremarkable Files}

11. Listening very carefully to all the weird noises the house makes and wondering what they could be.

12. Pondering whether I should get up to pee. I mean, how badly do I really have to go? Is it worth it?

13. Debating whether I should get something to eat. Worrying burns a lot of calories and by now I'm kind of hungry.

14. Thinking about a scary movie, book, or campfire story. The one about the girl hearing the drip-drip noise in the night and reaching down to have her dog lick her hand for reassurance scares me way more as a 35-year-old woman than it did as a third-grader.

15. Convincing me to go check my email for "just a second." I'm totally creeped out now, I might as well.

16. Trying to remember when I'm due for regular appointments like dental cleanings, pediatrician visits, and oil changes. (If I finish thinking about that, I can always worry that I've let my driver's license or passport expire.)

17.  Taking a recurring expense like the kids' piano lessons and figuring out how much I spend on it over a month, a year, or decade. So fun!

18. Listing everything I need to do tomorrow. Getting up and writing it down might really wake me up, so I'll just lie here and keep obsessing about it so I don't forget anything.

If I've done all that and I'm still not sleeping, my ever-helpful brain doesn't get discouraged. It just reminds me that it's never too early to start stressing out about Christmas.

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Michelle said...

Haha! I do every single one of these at night.

Jenny Evans said...

I wondered if you'd have anything to add. Sounds like insomnia is your specialty.

Audrey Louise said...

Number 3 and number 12. Every time a dog wakes me up I try so hard to fall back asleep before my body realizes I have to pee.

Diana Dye said...

Oh man. Add "mentally write sacrament meeting talks I haven't been asked to give" and we'd have identical lists.

Jenny Evans said...

That is hilarious, I do the exact same thing but I didn't include it because I thought I was the only one!

Chaun said...

These are hilarious! And I cheered (quietly, to myself, without any noise because that would be frightening) when I read "Mentally debating a fictitious person who disagrees with me on a social issue I'm passionate about." because I do this ALL the time. Then I call my mother in law about being mad at somebody, but then admitting the argument was all in my head. Sheesh. ;)

Chaun said...

Not to be a copycat, but I do the same! It must be a Mormon stress thing

Rosie said...

#1 is the absolute most depressing... I can't count the hours/minutes of sleep I get (or don't get) anymore - it's just too sad!!!

Anonymous said...

Way too accurate.

Jenny said...

Telling myself over and over to shut up and go to sleep....but remember when...or what if...or maybe i should....just go back to sleep!...I should have said...I mean I feel my bladder, but its not terrible....Just go to sleep...all night long. Then you wake up and your husband says "the kids slept pretty good last night. You should have gotten some good sleep then?"...

Jenny said...

glad theres more than one of us out there, i do it too :)

PurpleSlob said...

Lol, me too!! so, to take care of #12 at least, I go pee every time one of the girls wake me up, ya know, just in case!!
So #14, now I'm really scared!! Was it actually her dog??? OR???
You want to know how to solve #6?? Actually have him died. I became a widow at age 40. One less worry to think about. Not worth it!!
#7, oh great!! Now I have a new worry!!

Alymcb said...

I think I’ve done every one of those except for number 17. Good idea! :-)

Jenny Evans said...

You're welcome for the idea.