Emily Little

Interesting thoughts come at 2 a.m.

I know many people who have issues sleeping, even stretching as far as insomnia. While I typically do not have any sleep problems, I’m sure everyone one can relate when I say I occasionally wake up in the middle of the night for no apparent reason. When this happens, sometimes I manage to get right back to sleep. Other times, I am wide-awake for the remainder of the night.

When I wake up in the middle of the night, the first thing I do is check the time. If I roll over and see it is 2 a.m., I know I have plenty of time to get back to sleep. However, if the clock says 5:30 a.m., I have to battle the internal struggle of whether or not to try to go back to sleep. I have less than two hours before I have to wake up, so I could get up and not bother going back to sleep. Or, I could spend those precious hours in a light and not all that restful sleep. Typically, I choose the latter.

Whenever I wake up in the middle of the night, I usually have the strong urge to be productive. I want to get out of bed, clean my room, and accomplish something. However, these tasks are never completed. When I wake up in the wee hours of the morning, I can barely manage to reach for the remote to turn on the TV.

While I may not have the ability to be productive in the middle of the night, I do tend to have some pretty interesting thoughts. I have always heard that the inspiration of great authors and artists often come to them in the middle of the night when they awaken suddenly. Unfortunately, none of my 2 a.m. thoughts have ever been quite so profound.

When I am awake as the sun rises, some of the things that come to mind are absolutely hilarious. Earlier this week, I was awake after only a few hours of sleep and began wondering what it would be like to live in a castle made out of macaroni. Friends who have seen me in this overtired state before can attest to the fact that I say some very strange things when I am tired.

As much as I would like to be, I am definitely not a night owl. I can rarely stay up past midnight, when the rest of the world seems to be wide-awake at 3 in the morning. I am not one to be able to pull all-nighters in order to get a big project done. The only surefire way to ensure I stay awake is to load up on caffeine and sugar. Even then, my late-night productivity does not last long.

Whether I have stayed awake on purpose or have woken up by accident, the middle of the night always brings interesting ideas to the table. I may not have ever had a late night epiphany detailing the meaning of life, but occasionally something worthwhile may pop into my head. I have gotten ideas for columns this way, and even had a few ideas for books I may want to write one day. I have started keeping a notebook within reachable distance of my bed so that I can jot down these ideas when they come. I challenge you to do the same, as you never know what amazing idea may come to mind at 2 a.m.