I have never had any trouble falling asleep. I see television commercials for Lunesta or Ambien, and they don’t make any sense to me at all. I’ve been practicing law for 13 years, and a handful of times I’ve woken up in the middle of the night and stressed out about something, but I can’t remember the last time I got into bed and simply lay there, unable to fall asleep. Normally, the amount of time it takes me to fall asleep is immeasurably short; a “long time” is five minutes. (One exception: I often have trouble falling asleep in hotel rooms, for a variety of reasons that boil down to being uncomfortable. Special case.)
All of this is to underline how unusual it was last night, more than half an hour after Mrs. Unfocused and I turned out the lights, for me to still be wide awake. I wasn’t panicking about anything, or stressed out. I was physically wiped out from chasing Unfocused Girl on her bike and Unfocused Junior on his scooter up and down the block all afternoon, and had nodded off on the sofa before coming up to bed. I had no good explanation for why I couldn’t sleep. We had gone to sleep a little earlier than usual, but not by much, and considering how tired I was, it shouldn’t have been a problem.
Finally, I slipped out of bed and went downstairs. I spent an hour on the novel, which I had ignored all weekend while my father was in town and we were out enjoying the weather. After about 800 words, I went back upstairs, and fell asleep within a couple of minutes. This morning, I’m exhausted, but at least I have something to show for it.
I’m hoping this was a one-time problem, and not the beginning of a serious problem, where I can’t sleep if I don’t write. There are going to be plenty of days when I’m too busy to work on the novel, and I can’t afford to kill a night’s sleep every time that happens. I’d try warm milk, but I’m lactose intolerant. Maybe next time, I’ll just take a Benadryl.