The 4 a.m. Curse

As I get older, I’ve noticed that the first thing that’s affected when I’m stressed is my sleep pattern. It used to be that when I was stressed and didn’t want to think about something, I’d be able to sleep it away.

No so much anymore, kids.

Tuesday morning I woke up at 2:30 a.m. I was able to get back to sleep at that point, but found myself waking up a couple more times. Then, at 4:15, it all stopped.

The sleep, that is.

The girls were at their dad’s place and so I was sleeping blissfully (almost) alone. I say “almost” because my ever-faithful furry companion, Bones the kitty was curled up with me. I tossed and turned until 4:30 or so. That’s when the cat bailed. He gave me the stink eye over his shoulder and slunk out of the room.

Jerk. How many nights have I been woken up with a cat walking across my face? Too many to count, mister. One measly bout of 4 a.m. insomnia and you bail first chance you get? Pffft.See how long that litter box sits there and festers before I get around to it.

But I digress.

At 4:30 I tossed in the towel along with my hopes of getting any more sleep and just got up for the day. I read some emails, whined a little on Twitter, read a few blogs and then got myself geared up and headed out for a run. Being up extra early meant I could go a little further than usual. Running is a proven stress reliever for me, so it felt like a good decision. I might be stressed to the max and sleep deprived as hell, but dammit, at least I’ll have a terrific ass.

‘Cuz you know, the strain of being unemployed is softened just a tiny bit by having a tight butt. Priorities, people!!!

I got back from my run feeling worlds better. I gotta brag – there’s nothing better than having a runner’s high at 7:00 in the morning. Despite the stress and the lack of sleep, I found myself smiling widely as I headed out the door for work later.

There are some things (like insomnia) that I can’t control. There was no way I was forcing myself to go back to sleep at 4:15 yesterday morning. And so I was left with a choice – to piss and moan and complain about it and let it ruin my day…or to use that time to do something about my stress levels that IS within my control. I’m so glad that I made the right choice…because it was a whole lot more tempting to just whine and complain and wallow in the negativity that was clinging to me like a bad odour. I don’t always make the positive choice….but yesterday proved to me how great it feels when I do.

9 Responses

  1. I know the curse well! For a long time I’ve been waking around 2:30 and either staying awake from then on or not falling back to sleep till 5 or so. Last night I slept till 4:15 and have been up since – and that was a good night! It’s brutal and bad for the metabolism but I’ve learned to live with it. Hoping the stress ends soon so I can get back to “normal”. Regardless, like you, I try to stay on a regular fitness ruitine – it does help!

  2. Oh boy…but how did you feel by lunchtime?
    I’ve struggled with insomnia, since I was in my late teens. I feel for you, but I’m also a little jealous at the amount of stuff you got done. I usually lay there and feel sorry for myself.

  3. Isn’t it great when you do the thing you know you’re supposed to and get rewarded for it? Exercise is always a great anti-depressant. Releases endorphins and all that.

    Good for you and your terrific ass!

  4. I love the sound of your post! carefree, laidback, accepting! it is fun let go of things and just make light of it. Your poor cat even has a story to tell about your night! Great descriptive post – well-written and entertaining!

  5. A great post and so true. I also suffer from insomnia but I can’t push myself out the house for a run. I wish I could.

    Good luck with the job hunt!

  6. I think I would cry if I had insomnia….really. I love to sleep (even tho I get up so early), but never have trouble actually sleeping, so I feel for you and anyone that has that problem! Glad the run rocked though!!

  7. Yeah, I’d be a goner if I had insomnia. Ugh.

    Good for you for making the most of it!

  8. I’m suffering tonight. I woke up at 1 and it’s not looking like I will be back asleep anytime soon. Tomorrow…ergh…TODAY will be loads oF fun.

  9. Insomnia is a constant for me lately. I cannot remember the last night I slept a full night. I admire that you can just get up and get some things done. I just keep going back to sleep and then waking up again in 45 min or so.

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