Sleepless Nights

 Posted by at 12:45 am  Nick's Blog
Feb 102024

I’ve been called lazy or a malingerer more than once because unless I absolutely have to, I seldom wake up before 10 or 10:30 AM, and many days it may be after 11. And that does sound lazy until you understand that I often work late and seldom get to bed before 2 AM. So if you factor that in, I’m still getting around eight hours sleep.

And that’s on a good night. There are many nights when back pain or other places where I’ve abused my body over the years keep me awake for many hours. And let’s not forget the nights when I just can’t shut my mind off. I can be totally exhausted when I go to bed, but about the time my head hits the pillow my brain kicks into high gear and won’t stop.

Sometimes that’s because I’m going over a plot for a book in my mind. I have actually come up with the ideas for several books on long sleepless nights like that. Return To Dog’s Run was one that comes to mind, as does Black Friday. I had no idea I was going to write those books until their plots came to me at night. It may sound strange, but when that happens I seem to write the whole book in my head. Then it’s simply a matter of getting it from there onto a computer screen.

I’d like to say that is what happens on most of my sleepless nights, but in truth my brain is usually focused on some silly nonsense. What was the name of my fifth grade teacher? Was it Mrs. McCann or Mrs. McKinley? Where was it that I broke down in the pouring rain and had to sleep in the back seat of my old car in a roadside rest area? Was that in Pennsylvania or New York? Damn, what’s the third line of that old song Those Were The Days My Friend? Yeah, I bet you’ve had some nights like that, too, haven’t you?

Have you ever found a cure for them, except for a sleeping pill? I’ve tried getting up and taking another shower, sitting in my recliner and reading, and even going back to my computer and starting to work again. Nothing really seems to work.

I had an aunt that always said that when you can’t sleep it’s because you’ve got a guilty conscience. Maybe that explains it. If that’s true, it’s a wonder I ever sleep.

Be sure to enter our latest Free Drawing. This week’s prize is an autographed copy of Stillborn Armadillos, the first book in my John Lee Quarrels mystery series. Life is already complicated enough for John Lee, what with his estranged wife dropping in for unannounced sleepovers, her oversexed sister tempting him, his pot smoking ponytailed grandfather growing his own stash, his Elvis obsessed grandmother, and being caught smack dab in the middle of a power struggle between the Sheriff and Chief Deputy. But when a road construction crew unearths the skeletons of three murder victims, John Lee suddenly finds himself on the trail of a killer who may well have died long before the deputy was even born. And then a mysterious sniper begins shooting at deputies…

To enter, click on this Free Drawing link or the tab at the top of this page and enter your name (first and last) in the comments section at the bottom of that page (not this one). Only one entry per person per drawing please, and you must enter with your real name. To prevent spam or multiple entries, the names of cartoon or movie characters are not allowed. The winner will be drawn Sunday evening. Note: Due to the high shipping cost of printed books and Amazon restrictions on e-books to foreign countries, only entries with US addresses and e-mail addresses are allowed. After 90 days, unclaimed prizes revert back to the drawing pool for a future contest.

And finally, here’s a chuckle to start your day from the collection of funny signs we see in our travels and that our readers share with us.

Thought For The Day – I want to sleep but my brain won’t stop talking to itself.

Nick Russell

World-Famous, New York Times Best Selling Author, and All-Around Nice Guy!

  5 Responses to “Sleepless Nights”

  1. I remember when you were in Florida you were sometimes eating ‘special’ edibles to help with your back pain. I use the same sort of medicine when I have trouble sleeping, maybe try that?

  2. During those sleepless hours, I also replay events and say what I wish I would have said the first time. If you find a solution, please, let me know.

    ps. I normally sleep 2 am to 11 am because I’ve long needed 9 hours of sleep–or, at least, being in bed.

  3. My problem was when Kathy would ask me to build something for her, right before I went to bed. I’d be awake the entire night, designing it, figuring how to shape it, then finally assembling it. I’d fall asleep right before my alarm clock would go off. (I was still working back then.) Then the boss would ask me to build something. I know how you must feel with all those characters fighting one another.
    I recently tried a product called ZzzQuil that seems to relax me just a bit.
    Be Safe and Enjoy!

    It’s about time.

  4. When I get in bed for the night I always read for a bit. When my eyes get heavy I hit the light, arrange the pillows (propping for various aches and pains) and begin to recite various song lyrics in my head. I have a repertoire of about 12 or 15 that I cycle through. Sometimes I don’t make it through the first. Sometimes it takes 2 or 3. Usually works! When I get tired of those, I look up a new one and begin memorizing. Richard Thompson, Leonard Cohen, Bruce Cockburn, Joni Mitchell, and some oldies or folk lyrics that put me in a good place. Poetry would work, too! That’s my way of leaving the stress of the day where it belongs.

  5. Focus on your breathing. In and out. If your mind wanders bring it back to only focusing on your breaths. 😴💤

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