Late nights aren’t what they used to be

By Staff
Scot Beard
Columnist
When I was younger I wanted to stay up late at night.
I thought that all of the cool things happened when I went to bed by 9 p.m. and I wanted to experience them.
By the time I was in middle school my mother told me I was free to stay up as late as I wanted, but I had to get up in time to catch the bus to school.
I would have enjoyed my new-found freedom, but by this time we had moved out of Huntsville and into the county. There was nothing to do and the offerings on the cable channels were slim at best.
By the time I went to college I had become a regular night owl. It was not unusual for me to get by on four hours of sleep each night.
The time was definitely more fun that when I was in middle school because I was in a town where there was stuff to do and I found plenty of things to occupy my time. There was studying and partying and hanging out with my friends.
To be honest, there was a lot more of the latter activities and not much of the first.
I improved my skills at pulling all-nighters and I remember one stretch of about two months where I felt like I was being lazy if I slept for more than three hours in a given night.
Eventually I met my future wife and slowly began redomesticating myself. Fortunately she was a night owl too, so the transition was smooth.
Well, after five years of marriage, my wife and I have both lost our ability to put in long hours for extended periods of time. I am actually embarrassed to admit that we are usually in bed by 10 p.m.
I think my friends from college would disown me if they knew that.
I now long for those days.
During the past week I have struggled to sleep. On the lucky nights I have been fortunate enough to get about four hours of blissful slumber.
Most nights, however, it has been about three hours.
It wouldn’t be so bad if I were not running into the same problem I ran into in middle school — boredom.
I have no friends to call up and chat with or go grab a bite to eat with because, in the words of Hank Williams Jr., “All my rowdy friends have settled down.”
I now have satellite television, but I do not subscribe to the movie channels. My television viewing experience at 3 a.m. consists of either an infomercial for some wonder product that will give me leaner, tighter abs while being lazy or watching sports highlights on ESPN — again.
All I want for Christmas is a good night of solid sleep. Unfortunately, I will have to wait 11 months for Santa to come back to my house.
I am tired of this insomnia, but apparently I’m not tired enough — otherwise I would be sleeping.

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