Late Night Scatterthought with Russell Wong

It’s  2:15am, and I’m still awake. That’s not really abnormal, as I’m often awake this late these days, and often can’t sleep until much later. Don’t get me wrong…I’m getting a reasonable amount of sleep. I just don’t bother getting out of bed until 10am…maybe 11am. Sometimes I just lay there and read until after 12pm…maybe 1pm. But only occasionally.

That’s not to say that I’m not being productive. Far from it. I’ve been building websites, designed a brochure on the weekend, and wrote a three-page request-for-applications document for Santas Anonymous tonight. Also, I’m getting a lot of practice in with my piano, with decent results.

Oh, and I’m watching BBC’s Sherlock, because I realized that it’s being taken off of Netflix Canada at the end of the week (side note: it’s really good). I suppose that doesn’t really fall in the productive sphere, but whatever.

I guess the thing is that I’ve never really been a morning person. Well, that’s not quite right. I’m perfectly fine once I’m up and about (I’m never grumpy when I wake up), but I just really like the half-awake-half-asleep coziness of the morning, and I’ll prolong it for as long as possible. So, I’ve been perfectly happy to take my lazy mornings, get cracking in the afternoon, and then work until late in the evening. It might even be my most productive cycle.

That being said, it’s getting warmer and brighter in Victoria, so I think it’s time to reclaim my mornings and enjoy the daylight hours. There are three ways to do that.

First is to pull an extended sleep day where I just don’t get out of bed at all. I once tried to do that in university, but my roommates forced me to get out of bed. Actually, I think they barred my door so that I couldn’t get out when I needed to use the washroom, which had the desired effect of raising my activity level.

Second is to pull an all-nighter. I’m no stranger to those, and just this weekend was reading about an epic one back in 2006. But the hard part about all-nighters isn’t staying awake…it’s avoiding boredom. I’ll work for 20 hours straight on something when I’m particularly interested and/or there’s time pressure to get it done. But just staying awake for the heck of it? No, that’s tough. Eventually, you hit the dead period of the night when there’s absolutely nothing going on and you can’t watch any more TV or play games or whatever…and you just don’t know what to do with yourself. And then there’s just no point in staying awake.

Also, pulling an all-nighter to reset your internal clock doesn’t mean staying awake for 24 hours straight…it means staying awake for roughly 33-34 hours so that you can realign yourself with the daytime.

No, you’re better off going for the third option, which is to pull a short-sleep, make it through the day without napping and without over-caffeinating, and go to bed early. That’s probably the most common thing that people do, and probably the least crazy.

Actually, there’s a fourth option, which is to use sleeping pills or NyQuil to knock yourself out early. That might be the easiest option.

Now, me being me, I’m kind of tempted to pull the all-nighter just for the heck of it, and to post all the weird stuff that I think of and say when I’m in a sleep-deprived state (I have a bit of a history). I think that would be amusing.

However, seeing as I’m looking after my nephew today while he’s on spring break, and he’s being dropped off at 9am, I suspect that a choice is being forced upon me. I mean, I could try for the all-nighter, but we’re planning to see a movie in the afternoon so being functional is a good idea. You know, cuz of the whole driving thing.

That’s fine. I learned long ago that I’m good to go so long as I get either more or less than five hours sleep by about a half hour. I don’t remember when I learned that, aside from it being during university, but I remember it being a huge discovery. Five hours is my Achilles heel, at which point I have trouble getting through the day. I dunno why that is, but I assume it’s something to do with REM sleep. Or it’s entirely something that I choose to believe despite it having absolutely no real-world merit, because a lot of the time that’s how our minds work.

Whatever. It’s now 3am, so I’m dangerously close to the five-hour mark assuming it takes me awhile to fall asleep and that I want to be awake before my nephew arrives. Just waiting for the clock to change so that I can post this right on the dot and…