What do you do at night? Most would probably answer: I sleep. Indeed, that is the most common pastime of the dark hours of the night, when the streets are empty and all buildings are closed. I am sure you have had some sleepless nights too, be they on purpose or not. When you refuse to sleep on purpose, any form of entertainment is more exciting when the lights of the day are off. But what about those times when your body simply won’t have its well-deserved rest and starts plotting against you? Well, my friends, those are some dark times indeed.
“What should I do now?”
I am a lark. That means that I would rather go to bed at 9 p.m. and wake up at 5 a.m. than the other way around. Sometimes the lark inside of me likes to pull my leg and sends me to bed at 8:30 p.m. with no other purpose but having me up, batteries fully charged, at 3 a.m in the night. No, it is not funny at all to wake up in the middle of the night and ask yourself: What should I do with my life now?
Sleep is for the weak
After a short Google search, you will come across many lists of tips and tricks to help you fall asleep. From my own experience I know that I cannot always trick my brain into taking his night-time break so easily, so I needed to come up with some ideas: How to use these couple of hours in a surprisingly pleasant and useful manner? If you do not like to switch bed sides till the break of dawn either, my suggestions could be something for you:
It may not sound like the proper time of day (or in this case, night) to fall into a deep state of meditation about your life and the world around you, but trust me, it is easier than you would expect. Your brain is clearer now and since it won’t fall asleep, it’s not tired either. The utter silence of the night can be your best companion when you are trying to sort out some things for yourself, rethink your goals and decide where there would be place for improvement. No one will interrupt you, not even the chirp of the birds outside or the sound of the cars driving by. Extra tip: Grab a pen and a notebook and sketch out the conclusions you’ve reached. You risk easily forgetting everything as soon as you eventually fall asleep at about 6 or 7 a.m.
2. Enjoy a bout of inspiration.
I’m not saying that it happens every time, but for me sleepless nights are sometimes a re-encounter with my missing inspiration. As a blogger and editor, I’ve inevitably experienced the writer’s block several times, especially when there has been huge pressure on me to deliver something excellent as soon as possible. It has also happened to me that I had a sleepless night during those times and be grateful for it, since it has helped me to step out of this unfortunate situation.
3. Watch a movie.
Many of us have a watch-list of screenplays we want to see so badly, but somehow we never get round to it. In my case, it is mostly because of the fact that I need the proper atmosphere for it. There are movies I cannot simply watch with a bunch of friends while munching on salty popcorn or when I come back home tired after a long working day. I must admit: Now and again I feel just too lazy to concentrate 100% for two hours on one of the masterpieces on my list. During sleepless nights I feel neither lazy nor tired, only frustrated because I cannot fall asleep. So, I decide to spirit away the negative feelings by watching something worth my attention.
4. Clean / redecorate your room.
Okay, here comes the crazy part of my list. It won’t help to roll to and fro in your sheets in the hope that you will cop some Z’s. So why not jump out of bed and do something productive with that extra dose of nocturnal energy? As long as you don’t use a vacuum-cleaner and risk waking up a bunch of not so insomniatic neighbours, everything is allowed. You have to do that anyway, so why wait till the weekend comes to come up with excuses to get out of it? Bonus: You might feel so tired after you are done with it that you zonk out instantly.
5. Get stuff done.
This goes hand in hand with number 4. Apart from cleaning your room, you for sure have other chores in your life you cannot avoid endlessly. Everything that you catch yourself postponing repeatedly qualifies as a proper time-filling activity in this situation. It can be writing a long overdue essay, organizing your books, or answering some emails. You will thank yourself later in the day for this one.
Photo credits: Cover image by Unsplash.