Benefits of Bad Nights

Each morning, as I wake up, I mutter and grumble about not having had enough sleep.  On the days I go the radio station it’s about 4.15 am when I ooze out of bed.  The other four days I luxuriate in extended bed time until about 5 a.m.  But the truth of the matter is that I just don’t get the 7 hours that I’d like to have.  Sure.  Some days I can grab a power nap of 20 to 30 minutes, but most times I motor, oops, make that cough and sputter, through the entire day.

I’m certainly not alone in this complaint, and like most of those afflicted with this “awakeness” it’s something that I’ve had for most of my adult life.  I usually blame my dear old dad (may he rest in peace, and be enjoying great sleep-ins) for rousting me each morning, early, with the his cheery “come on lad, we’ve got a lot to do today.”  It’s not all his fault.  All through my working career in marketing communications I never really turned off the problems or challenges that we were working on.  Frequently I’d have middle of the night  notions that precluded any further sleep.  With the merry mix of of work/play that I have today the same holds true. 

In the interest of getting that extra hour of sleep I’ve tried relaxing pills, sleep aids, a glass of red wine at bedtime and of course, the old chestnut, changing the pillow.  Forget it.  They are all useless.

I’ve decided to change my attitude.  I found the real benefit to be derived from the “bad night” syndrome.

I get to meet people that I haven’t seen in years.  You see, along with the difficulty of getting a full night of sleep I also enjoy the bonus of having 3D movies of the most colourful and outrageous dreams and plots possible.  Some of you will know whereof I speak.  Dreams of places that are wild constructions of communities and locales that you’ve never been to but which form the backdrop of the more important aspect of your mental excursions.

My wild and not usually wonderful dreams bring me face to face with people that I haven’t seen for a long time.  My most recent foray starred someone I hadn’t seen in at least 20 years.  It’s strange that most of the protagonists are from my working life (paid and volunteer), not so many from family and just a few featuring friends.  All I can figure is that the “co-stars”” of my dreams and I shared some adrenalin pumping moments in real life and it is the significance of our relationships in those true stories that bring us back together in dreamland fantasies. 

I don’t always appreciate their participation in my dreams.  After all, there were some people that were not my favourites in real life and, as you might expect, they are true to form in my dreams.  The others?  Well, when I wake up and think of their role in my overnight adventure I also stop and think of our pasts.  More often than not I have an affectionate memory.  It is in that same moment that I hope they are well and living happy life.

Grumble I might at the lack of sleep but I will try to be more appreciative of the visits of the ghosts of my colourful past. 

I wonder if I visit some of them in their nocturnal adventures?  Hmmm.?  Am I a welcome visitor?  Or someone they’d rather not be bothered by in their adventures?  

Sure as shootin’, this is going to keep me awake thinking about it!

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Author: Mike Jaycock

Living life at Eagle Lake, Ontario, Canada. Broadcaster, Communication specialist, artist, actor and Master of Ceremonies for local events.

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