Susan Andrews
July 29, 2013 4:00 pm

We’ve all struggled through a sleepless night or two. When insomnia hits me, I lie in bed trying to force myself to go to sleep as the hours slowly roll by and my mind runs full speed. I’m too lazy to get out of bed but not tired enough to zonk out and catch some much needed Z’’s.

I realized that instead of staring at the ceiling and listening to my boyfriend snore, I should be using these sleepless nights to my advantage. I could use this opportunity to be productive and knock things off my to-do list.

So here are five good reasons to have insomnia:

1. Catch up on TV shows

My trusty old DVR only holds a mere eighty hours of programs. And considering the number of shows I have lined up on my season pass manager, I run out of space quickly. TiVo is always threatening to delete a show I haven’t seen yet or not record a new one by warning me it doesn’t have enough disk space. Oh, the pressure. So having insomnia gives me the perfect time to catch up.

Some of you might be thinking that I should just upgrade to the latest DVR which offers two terabytes of disk space. This way my TiVo isn’t always chomping at the bit for free space. I considered it, but I know myself all too well. I’d have that new Premiere XL4 maxed out in no time, and I’m afraid the pressure of having 300 hours of TV shows to watch might give me a nervous breakdown. I’d have to take a week of vacation from work to stay home and catch up on my viewing before all the fall premieres air. I can’t handle that kind of pressure.

2. Clean the apartment

What better time to do spring cleaning than at three o’clock in the morning? I can finally remove that old spider web with the dead fly on my front porch, sort through my closet of clothes I’ve been wanting to donate to Goodwill, and reorganize the junk drawer. All without waking my boyfriend’s deep REM cycle. (Yes, I’m very jealous of his great knack for sleeping.) I can also catch up on the never-ending task of laundry. Or dusting.

3. Turn the bathroom into a personal mini spa

When the apartment is quiet and still, it’s the perfect time to turn my bathroom into a homestyle Burke & Williams. I can light an aromatherapy candle and take a relaxing bubble bath, break out the Ped Egg and try that new seaweed mud mask. If I’m really feeling energetic I can also color my roots and pop in my teeth bleaching trays. This way when the sun finally rises I may be tired, but my skin will look radiant, I’ll have a sparkling white smile and I’ll have super soft feet. And, unbeknownst to my boyfriend, he’ll think I naturally wake up looking this way.

4. Read all the books on your wish list

I love to read. If I were trapped on a desert island like Tom Hanks was in Cast Away, I wouldn’t care. Just as long as I had a continuous stack of new books to read and a good hatchet to pop open coconuts. This could easily be achieved if a pallet of supplies was parachuted onto my island every few months like it was in Lost. Only instead of getting mac & cheese and jars of peanut butter, mine would be filled with the latest books on the New York Times Bestsellers List and a hatchet sharpener. And while I’m at it, a jumbo box of bendy straws would be nice for my coconut water cocktails.

I have a personal book list that spans a variety of topics such as How to Improve Your Intuition to Do-It-Yourself Kitchen Tiling to the latest Robert Ludlum mystery novel.  There’s no better time to read without interruptions than 3 a.m.

I guess I could read a book on How to Sleep Better, but then my insomnia would be cured and I’d lose all those precious hours of “me time.” Then I wouldn’t get to finish reading everything on my book list, which would suck.

5. Have the world to yourself

I love feeling like I’m the only one awake in the world. I can enjoy a cup of tea and sit in the peace, quiet and stillness of those early morning hours. Just me and the birds. It’s so soothing that I could nod off if I’m not careful.

So I guess my point is, when insomnia hits it’s best to get out of bed and do something.  In my experience, whatever that something is helps to shut off my mind. And before I know it, sometimes before the dryer cycle is even finished, my eyelids are drooping. Then I stumble back to bed with my freshly polished toes and sugar-scrubbed skin, curl up next to my cozy boyfriend and fall fast asleep.

Insomnia isn’t so bad. Apart from getting things accomplished that I usually put off for a rainy day (which is rare in California) I realized I always have something to look forward to – a good night’s sleep. Even if it does come a day late.

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