Weird Thoughts at 2 A.M.


For the last several months (years, it seems), I have struggled with almost nightly bouts of insomnia.  Oh, I usually have no trouble falling asleep as soon as my head hits the pillow (unless the snoring grizzly who shares my bed beats me to it), but within a few short hours I am wide awake once more, alternately glancing angrily at the bedside clock, punching my pillow and staring miserably into the surrounding blackness.

I know better than to crawl out of bed and turn on the TV–I would cry along with Casablanca (again) or laugh along with Seinfeld (again).  Even worse would be turning on the computer and becoming engrossed in the late-night Facebook dramas of too many people I barely know or cruising through Google and Wikipedia’s latest offerings of must-have knowledge.  And I sure don’t want to switch on a light and pick up whatever book I’m currently reading.  No, I can’t do anything that might further engage my over-charged brain; I need to find a way to power it off.

And so I start by counting sheep (why not cows or kangaroos?), but when that proves pointless I progress to diagramming compound-complex sentences or silently reciting Shakespearean monologues; those used to be sleep-inducing activities for my students–why won’t they work for me?

And so, in the end, I simply lie awake and allow my restless mind to wander, hoping that eventually, mercifully, it will stumble into the land of blissful slumber.  While I am waiting for that magical moment, though, I sure have some weird thoughts bouncing around up there . . .

Is it really possible to swallow a spider in my sleep–and if so, over the course of my lifetime, how many unsuspecting spiders have crept into my wide-open mouth and tickled their way across my tongue, only to be smashed to smithereens in the caverns of my esophagus?

If parents could actually see and hear themselves at their children’s ballgames–screaming and yelling, faces contorted and fists shaking–would they be embarrassed enough to amend their future spectator behavior?

Why does getting my nails done make me feel pretty?

Can someone else take remote control of my computer and be able to see me through the monitor without my knowledge?  Okay, I know that’s silly (isn’t it?), but I still can’t help wondering–and I still can’t help feeling just a little uncomfortable changing clothes in front of it.  (Please, somebody else tell me you have the same concern!)

Do animals have complex thought processes?  Do they have their own language, with adjectives and adverbs and complete sentences?  And do they talk about us behind our backs and share our secrets with all their animal buddies?

Why is it almost impossible to peel back the foil on a yogurt container without some of the yogurt “burping” onto my shirt?

What does my voice really sound like to other people?  I already know there is a huge difference between what it sounds like in my head and what it sounds like on tape–how much more different does it sound to others?  And does that voice sound as great as I think it does when I’m singing in the car–and as badly as I think it does when I’m singing in the congregation?

If we lived in a “clothing optional” society, would I be the only one lacking the courage to stroll around au naturel, thereby making me the outcast and confirming my already suspected weirdo status?  Or would there be others who would buy into my theories that “less is more” and “imagination is everything”?

What happens to all the money thrown into wishing wells?  And if someone sneaks into the wishing well after dark and pockets the coins, are the corresponding wishes negated?  If I’m in the middle of having my wish fulfilled and then–POOF!–it’s gone, is that because someone just deposited my dime in a vending machine?

And which has a greater success rate–throwing coins into a wishing well, wishing on a falling star or wishing while blowing out birthday candles?  (I’m putting my money on the falling star.)

Does anyone else feel cheated by fortune cookies that don’t actually contain “fortunes”?  I mean, a “fortune” should be a prediction of things to come (“A thrilling time is in your immediate future”), not a mere pronouncement (“You have a deep appreciation of the arts and music”).  Right?  And does everyone else add the phrase “in bed” to the end of every fortune, or is that just a local trend practiced by a lot of bored, wishful thinkers?

How much of the person I’ve become was pre-destined by genetics and how much was created by early environment–and how much has been by my own choice?  And how much of “me” could I change if I really wanted to?

How much do tattoos hurt–and for how long?  And if they hurt that badly, why do so many people have more than one?

Seriously, how many people are actually “laughing out loud” when they type “LOL”?  (I bet very few.)  And why do people type “Tks” or “Thx” instead of “thanks”–does it really require too much effort to type three more letters?

Why is it that if I have both legs under the covers, I’m too hot, and if I have both legs on top of the covers, I’m too cold?  (And so, the only way I can be comfortable is to have one leg under and one leg over.)

All the tarantulas that are crossing the highway in the fall–where are they headed?  Do they burrow into the ground, hide in a cave, or migrate south for the winter?  And why are they always “crossing” the highway instead of skittering down it?

How much of Dr. Ruth’s knowledge is based on personal experience?  (Okay, maybe I don’t want to know the answer to that one; the visuals alone could be fodder for future nightmares–that is, if I ever sleep long enough to get to that stage.)

What about you, readers–do you ever have some of these same weird thoughts?  And what’s the weirdest thought you’ve ever had in the middle of a sleepless night?  Share, please, so I don’t feel so alone (and so I have something new to think about around 2 a.m. tomorrow morning) . . .

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About icedteawithlemon

I have recently retired from a 30-year career in education in one of the best school districts in the world. I hope to spend my second life reading, writing, photographing, traveling, biking, cheering on my favorite baseball team (the St. Louis Cardinals), and soaking up glorious sunshine. In my spare time I enjoy playing with my pet tarantulas, trying out new flavors of chewing gum, and knitting socks for prison inmates. I'm almost positive that in a past life I was one of the Seven Dwarfs (most likely "Grumpy"), and in my next life I'm going to be either a taste tester for Hershey's or a model for Victoria's Secret's new line, "Bloomers for Boomers." I want to travel country back roads, singing Vanilla Ice songs at every karaoke bar and rating bathroom cleanliness at every truckstop. And someday I plan to own a private beach where skinny girls aren't allowed. I want to be a writer when I grow up. "Our truest life is when we are in dreams awake."--Henry David Thoreau
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14 Responses to Weird Thoughts at 2 A.M.

  1. Hey there! Hope you don’t mind, I nominated you for a Sunshine Award, cause your blog cheers me up!

  2. You are not alone. I’ve also entertained at least 75% of these thoughts while wide awake at odd hours. Spiders and tarantulas are among the 25% that I haven’t thought of yet. Actually, I’ll never think of them, day or night. In fact, I’m having a hard time typing about them right now.

    I wish I had suggestions for falling asleep. If I had any that worked for me, I would definitely tell you.

    • Thank you, AA. I have a bit of a spider phobia, so they frequently interrupt my thoughts, especially at night when I can’t see them but know they’re there. And if I come across any magical insomnia cures, I’ll pass them along to you as well.

  3. Janine richardson says:

    Sometimes when I’m using my laptop and talking to myself (as I’m wont to do now and again), I catch myself because I dont feel like I’m alone. The little hole at the top is staring at me and I’m convinced some hacker somewhere has control and is therefor sniggering to themselves over what a weirdo I am. You are not alone!

  4. emjayandthem says:

    Totally relate to the “what if someone has taken over my computer and they’re seeing me now with my crunchy morning hair and puffy eyes” look?

    What’s keeping you up? For me, when I can’t sleep, it’s b/c I’m worrying about one of my kids or my mom.

    BUT having said that .. I went through a time when I would do as you did – CRASH and then wake up – I had a thorough checkup and my adrenals were out of whack. Might be worth checking out. I did – got on a supplement and w/in about 3 mos was back to normal.

    Don’t talk to me about spiders scuttling … ** shiver**

    MJ

    • I can’t tell you how relieved I am to hear how many others have had the same “someone is watching me from inside the computer” feeling! As far as what’s causing the insomnia, I think it’s a combination of things–but mainly just too much on my mind, too many things to worry about–and I’m hoping all that finally changes in a few months when I retire and leave at least a few of those stresses behind. I don’t mind spiders when they’re outside, but inside my house is an entirely different matter–yikes!

  5. janetmorrison says:

    Just so you know, I did truly lol at the legs being under the covers or over the covers…because you are exactly right! One leg out and one leg under does seem to be the perfect combination, for whatever reason.

    As for my own experiences, it takes me a full 95.3 seconds to fall into complete sleep for the rest of the evening. There have been times where I hear a noise and am convinced that some shadow is going to appear in the doorway of my bedroom and know that would freak me out if it really happened. I try to think through what kung fu moves I would use…and then wonder if they would work.

    • I wonder why the “one leg out, one leg under” works? (I don’t notice the same problem with my arms.) And I envy you your restful slumber, except on those nights when you are left pondering which kung fu moves would be most effective–as for me, I don’t think my physical strength would be enough to ward off a potential attacker, so I spend my time assessing my surroundings for potential weapons (Could I jab him in the aorta with the nail file? Slice his neck with a glass panel from the lamp shade? Squirt hand lotion in his eyes?–yeah, more weird thoughts to keep me awake!)

  6. Gail says:

    I’m thinking you MUST be in the early 50 age group as me and so many of my friends who suffer from these same bouts of insomnia. I’m convinced its midlife or menopause or “The Change” as my mother called it (lol). It happens almost nightly for me and my mind really does run away with itself. Just the other night I was in bed tossing and turning and all of a sudden I started thinking about all the germs that must be on exercise machines in gyms and fitness centers and wondering how many diseases one could catch on those things. Don’t have any idea where that thought came from, but I had it. Weird I know.

    Your post made me laugh…. as I have so many of the same thoughts.

    • Gail, although we’ve never met, I’m guessing we are very much alike. And yes, unfortunately, I am in that “early 50 age group” and have too, too many of the annoyances and aggravations that go along with that designation! I do all my exercising at home, so I don’t worry about the exercise machines; it’s the shopping cart and gas pump handles that make me shudder (day AND night). I’m glad I could make you laugh.

  7. bronxboy55 says:

    I’ve gotten fortune cookies that were completely empty. I pay almost no attention to the fortunes I do get, but for some reason, an empty cookie makes me nervous. I have plenty of my own weird thoughts, but now I’m going to be thinking about tarantulas crossing the highway. Where do you live, anyway?

    • Bronxboy55, the only fortune cookie “fortune” I ever paid serious attention to (and kept) was one that predicted, “Someday you will write a book.” 🙂 Even so, I don’t like feeling cheated! I’m sorry if the “tarantulas crossing the highway” interrupts your sleep patterns or deprives you of valuable time that could be much better spent thinking of much better things … and as for location, I live in the hills and hollers of the Missouri Ozarks (a most beautiful place, even with the tarantulas!).

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