Around 9pm is bedtime. I get the kids tucked into bed and fast asleep, and I finally get some time to myself. I know I should just go to bed when they do, but I decide to mindlessly scroll social media for a bit. Before I know it, it is almost midnight and I try to put my phone down and sleep. But I can’t. I passed the time in which sleep would have come easily and now I am awake with my (mostly) irrational thoughts.
It is in the midnight hour where the anxiety creeps in from the news articles that I have read throughout the day.
“What if my house catches on fire?”
“What if someone tries to kidnap my children?”
“What if a tornado hits our house?”
It is also the time in which I am more likely to Google and WebMD any ailments I may be having. It is in this time where I am most susceptible to impulse buys — fire alarms, tasers, pepper spray, weather radios. Though all useful, they probably didn’t need to be bought that second and often I try to cancel those purchases the next morning.
It is in the midnight hour when even little things that upset me earlier in the day (or week or month even) seem like big things and I come up with the most details and profound comebacks, posts, text messages, and letters to those who have offended me. I am usually still rational enough not to send them, but sometimes I do and I am left to deal with the fallout from it the next morning when I am thinking more clearly.
It is in the midnight hour when I get anxiety over things that happened decades ago, things I am sure no one else involved in thinks about. It is when I recreate scenarios in my mind from the past and the future.
It is also in the midnight hour when I become most detailed and productive in my planning of the future. It is when I plan out all of my classes for school for the next couple of years. It is when I plan out the perfect way to pay off bills, when I search and find the perfect place for our next vacation and decide all of its details.
It is also apparently the time when I get the most ideas for my future posts, such as this one. Though many of those nights I lie to myself and think that I am actually going to fall asleep instead of writing my thoughts down.
It’s a lonely time, but talking to a close friend I found that I am not the only one with this problem. I know many people have insomnia, but I thought I was just crazy with my thoughts at night. There are also a decent number of insomnia and bedtime anxiety memes if you are looking for another thing to distract yourself from your thoughts.
From what I gather, it appears to be a use of electronics before bed that may cause this. Surprising? No. Will I stop mindlessly scrolling through Facebook before bed? Probably also no. Bedtime is the only time that I can do that guilt free.