Three Sleepless Nights

Last night was my third sleepless (or so it seemed) night in a row. We went to bed later than usual, around 11 pm, but I didn’t fall asleep until sometime after 3:30 am. This has been the pattern of the last several nights, and coincides, for the most part, with this sinus cold or headache that I’ve had. On the first night, Wednesday/Thursday, I fell asleep just fine, but woke up at 2 am and after that, struggled to get back to sleep:

Thursday Sleep

On Thursday/Friday, the pattern reversed itself. I had a very hard time falling asleep:

Friday Sleep

Last night followed the same pattern as the previous night, only to a more extreme degree:

Saturday Sleep

It looks like I finally fell asleep at around 3am or shortly thereafter. But it didn’t feel that way. It felt as if I continued to toss and turn throughout the night. This is one of those illusions that a FitBit (or similar device) helps to dispel: even on those nights when it feels like you are tossing and turning all night, you are getting sleep, but your mind is splicing out those periods of sleep the way one might slice scenes out of a strip of film. I certainly don’t feel like I slept after 3 am, but I also don’t believe that my FitBit suddenly stopped recording properly at 3 am. Those two gaps after the halfway mark (roughly 2 hours each) were times when I was, in fact, sleeping.

Rather than just give into the frustration last night, at around 1:30 am, I got out of bed, came downstairs, and wrote. I added 1,000 words to my alternate history novelette in roughly 35 minutes. It felt good to make productive use of the time I couldn’t sleep–like I was fighting back. I was certain that when I headed back up to bed I’d drift off to sleep at once. But that wasn’t so. It took nearly an hour of additional tossing and turning until I was finally out.

When I woke up this morning–a little groggy–it was without any sign, so far, of the sinus problems that have plagued me for the last few days. I’m hopeful this means I’ll sleep better tonight.