3:17 am, night-owl time

3.17 am.

I’m writing.

Sandman, come back!

No, can’t snore anymore.

Sleepy ponderings ran away with me until my heart was pounding.

Now I’m wide-awake.

Blood rushes through my veins. Thoughts race my head.

Nothing here to distract me from their power.

Where is everyone?

Nothing. The moment’s pure.

Let’s use you, feverish energy, super-power!

Restless hours of excitement in a stormy brain.

Unwind, you tangled feelings, finally!

I’m at my best, although on borrowed time, to be payed back with interest.

Let’s use it wisely. Rush to me, clarity!

If we don’t meet tonight – before the light – we’ll have to wait another moon.

I find it difficult to process all everyday impressions and think through them during daytime. There’s too many distractions. As soon as I lie down and close my eyes, everything that didn’t finish, streams into my brain. Which makes it difficult to fall asleep, or making it impossible to fall asleep after waking up in the night or the early morning. Maybe once every 2-4 weeks, my brain gets so busy that any attempt to go back to sleep is doomed to fail. After rolling around in bed and getting ever more agitated for more than an hour or so, I tend to stand up and work through the remainder of the night. The rolling around in bed and thinking time usually yields ideas, decisions, or ToDos. Like complete formulations of difficult feedback, the code design of a feature, the next step in a house bidding process,… These conclusions are so complete, concrete, and creatively superior to my thoughts at daytime, that I can’t risk forgetting them. They need to be manifested immediately. That’s the pressure that gets me to stand up: note down that formulation, implement that feature, research the legal process,… Where on days I can feel low on energy and lethargic, this time at night is the oppositve: Overflowing with drive and energy. It feels like a specific form of “high”, and once I failed to avoid this chaotic state, I embrace it.

This strategy of “Working through” things seems related to the what’s apparently called “rumination” in psychology, which is considered negative, due to the bad mental effects when getting stuck processing things. For me, this rumnination stands in orthogonal contrast to the practice of meditation, which requires self-control to shut out all disturbions. Meditation should allow to enforce a relaxed mental state. Being able to get myself into a place where I can sleep sure sounds appealing, but I’m not sure it’s for me. I enjoy the state of mania when being up at night. Learning meditation sounds like a lot of hard work, and the practice might go against my personality. I’m just not a relaxed person.

When I don’t get a full night’s sleep, I tend to have a low energy phase at like 5:30 to 7 in the morning, but during most of the day I feel more tired, but also more energetic than on regular days. There’s like a feverish energy that actually tends to make me more productive, even though I’m more tired. Ironically I tend to get extra-awake in the evening, even though I missed out one night. Recently I read that skipping sleep is used to treat depression. I can well imagine this working, it lines up with the positive emotions I experience.