Sunday, October 16, 2011

The Witching Hours...

"Sleep is the product of caffeine deprivation" - Author unknown

I just woke up. Feeling pretty refreshed. Got a nice chunk of sleep, uniquely uninterrupted by a needy dog or a thug kids car exhaust. Problem is...

It's 4:30 in the morning...

The biggest dilemma for me in dealing with insomnia is this element. I'm ready to start my day. Brew some coffee and walk the dog and grab a paper and sort out a plan to tackle the hours ahead. But insomnia, among other things, leaves me out of sync with most of the world. I'm ready to go, but the world isn't awake yet.

This issue isn't terrible when I'm at home. I have a couch, movies and a in the fridge and a closing door to where my girlfriend sleeps. I can wander around in the witching hours generally doing my thing without incident. Luckily I have a profession that allows these sorts of flexible hours. The only true everyday downside is an occasional bout of grumpiness, and I guess diminishing years on the end of my life.

The spotty sleep can be a terrible problem on the road. I've spent many a night wandering the grounds of a European squat house looking for a sliver of light to read. Or sat in a room, zombie-like, staring to the middle distance surrounded by slumbering bodies. Or pretending to be dead in a moving bus bunk. Less options for distraction on tour, in the middle of the night anyway.

One time in Trier, Germany...I was flopping around in a bunk bed and broke a 2x4 that landed on my drivers chest while he was sleeping. When I left the room a minute after, I was greeted by a gang of over sized and sinister looking German rats. If anyone has ever read the Maus books, you'll empathize with my panic.

On the good side of things. I've seen the sunrise creep over Niagara Falls with one leg in America and one in Canada. I've seen the sunrise come up over the driftwood and calm surf off the coast of Victoria. I've seen it come over an endless stretch of road in Kansas, being the first thing that greets you in hours, just barely tinting the horizon.

For all the frustration not being able to sleep brings, it's also an opportunity to use time that no one else gets to use...


  1. interesting read Benny, Im sure you have a lot more insomniac stories too, I hope you feel like sharing more of them at some point.

  2. Loved the post Benny, and I can relate to the Insomnia. I have gotten some of my best writing done during the witching hours though, even finished a novel at 3:00 a.m. when the house was dark and all was quiet except for the sound of my dog snoring. Thank goodness for caffeine during the rest of the day!

  3. Sometimes it's nice having the world to yourself for a few hours :)

  4. Thanks guys...good to know there are more lurkers of the night around...