Too Excited to Sleep

cute stuffed toys in the shape of sheep I don’t know if it’s just me, but even after several decades on the planet, I can still get that giddy energy I did when I was a kid and sometimes find myself too excited to sleep.

When I was growing up, I remember being afflicted with that joyful sense of sleeplessness before my birthday, before Christmas, before summer holidays and before the first day of school (not for the school part itself, but to see my friends and favourite teachers again).

In the younger days of adulthood, I had those same moments but for different reasons. The start of a new job, an upcoming trip, a first date and the move to a new dwelling all brought with them a jolt of energy that could leave me looking a bit tired and puffy-eyed the next day.

A decade later, I noticed a shift to more experience-based reasons for being excited like once-in-a-lifetime concerts, Broadway shows, unique travel destinations, and celebratory meals with friends and family.

I get a chuckle out of how I’d even get too excited to sleep the night before the delivery of a new kitchen appliance. If that’s not an adult thing, I don’t know what is.

The reality is that they were appliances for which I spent considerable time researching, comparing specifications, checking product reviews and shopping for deals. I carefully chose the brands I trusted as well as the features that truly met my needs for food preparation.

For the first time in my life, I’d own an appliance of my choosing, not just the ones that came with the apartment or the house… another exciting first!

More recently, I actually had a hard time falling asleep the night before a donation truck was coming to pick up some surplus furnishings, after we merged our two households. Who knew that downsizing and making space could be that exciting?

But it is interesting how, especially later in life, it is the little things that can stir up my energy and my gratitude that might have me counting my blessings instead of counting sheep.

For example, the start of a home project that has been waiting on the back burner for any number of reasons. Conversely, there is also the completion of the home project that brings excitement. There is also the completion of something that has been sitting on the to-do list for days, weeks or months but couldn’t come to fruition can be a great source of giddy energy.

Knowing that the resulting improvement will free up time and headspace for other priorities is indeed a good reason to rejoice, to feel excited, and then to stare at the clock asking myself, “Why am I not asleep yet?”

Fortunately, in those situations, the energy is always positive and upbeat. When I’m too excited to sleep, it really doesn’t matter if a normally 7 or 8 hour night turns to just 5, the abundance of energy would propel me the next day like a jet. In the days that follow, sleep will find me and everything would balance out later, it always does.

I don’t know when it hit exactly, maybe it happened in my 40s, but the “too excited to sleep” feeling was rescheduled… to the morning.

I often found myself waking up well before the alarm, like at 4:30 or 5:00 a.m., absolutely unable to go back to sleep. Upon realizing that “Yippeeee! Today’s the day!” I would jump out of bed and get an early start. The early wake up times were now to blame for the short nights, not the “too excited to fall asleep” feeling. It’s weird.

Even in my second career as a screenwriter, having a completely free day to write a scene that’s been playing out repeatedly in my subconscious is enough to have me jump out of bed, try to hurry the cat (if that’s even possible) through her morning routine, make myself a coffee and get the computer warmed up, praying that it doesn’t suddenly decide to do a long and painful update of some kind.

If that’s the feeling I get when pursuing my calling in life, then I am indeed a fortunate fellow.

Joy, passion, enthusiasm and positive energy are indeed great reasons to wake up early in the morning… even if it meant a short night.

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1 Comment

Filed under 50+, Health and Wellness, Humour, stories

One response to “Too Excited to Sleep

  1. I too experience times when I’m so happy or excited to fall asleep. Although I cherish having the moments, I wish it happened earlier in the evenings for fear of not getting my rest. Lol

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