Manopause and the 21 Hour Day – Every Day

It's sights like these that make me wonder if I'm dreaming -- before I remember that I can't sleep

It’s sights like these that make me wonder if I’m dreaming — before I remember that I can’t sleep

Dear Body,

It’s 1:37 a.m. I have just one question to ask you — why? Why are we awake?

There is no final exam tomorrow, nor will there be any last-minute packing for an exciting trip.

We’ve talked about this before. I’ve read the research. I’ve put in the time. There was yoga, which hurt whilst simultaneously body-shaming me. There were a variety of teas and herbal remedies that fixed nothing except the grocery store’s profit margin. There was abstinence from fun things, like alcohol, for weeks on end. There was the opposite approach to alcohol for a couple of mildly entertaining days — with the same result.

There was more exercise than any sane person needs, followed by an epic bout of lazing-about. There was a long, hard pull at a Gabriel García Márquez novel. We can agree that the man can turn a phrase, but you remained numb to his flowery, some would say sleep-inducing, Nobel prize winning prose.

Sure, it could be the fact that it gets light out so early here close to the equator, and that this early light messes with what we could loosely call our sleep patterns — but it’s sure as hell not light out at 1:37 a.m.

Were it a simple matter of a biological need to visit the baño I could at least understand the waking up bit.  But it’s not, and at any rate there’s no good reason to stay awake for four hours after a wee bit of wee.

A dark secret? Sure, that could do it. But you and I have no dark secrets worth fretting about, and most of the juicy bits took place over 30 years ago. Many of the people we’d be worrying about are likely dead. Does anyone really remember that I chose to be the one and only person to ever stage-dive at at 10,000 Maniacs concert? I doubt it and, more importantly, Natalie Merchant and I are both too old to care.

So, after roughly a year of insomnia, with my manopause in full swing, I can only conclude that you, my body, have decided to betray me. To what end I do not know. I’m no doctor, but I cannot think of a biological advantage you’re trying to trigger that involves sleeping less than three hours a night. Ours is a parasitic relationship, and you’re slowly killing your host.

If you do happen to change your ways whatever portion of my fuzzy brain I control will be here to welcome you back with a smile, and blackout curtains. Until then, my severely depleted library of NetFlix movies and I are on to you.