Things That Bump Me in the Night.

I don’t sleep well. It’s something I’ve been aware of for a very long time, but lately I see that it takes a real toll.  I have a friend who’s been pointing out the health benefits of good sleep, for ages. I’m finally starting to see her point.  The lack of sleep has caught up to me and I’m tired all the time.  Yet when I lie down, after a long day of imagining sleep, I lie awake working through the stuff that has piled up in my mind all day. I don’t plan to be up late, or toss and turn, or wake too early… all of the things that lead to a chronic state of fatigue. It seems I’m just wired that way lately.  (Mountains of things keeping me awake… but mountains only brought solitude and peace.)

As the mother of three kids in various stages of “out in the world,” there is plenty of stuff that bangs around in my big gray room. Inevitably, those things start spinning right about the time I lie down and try to sleep.  My eldest, a daughter, just graduated from college and is currently driving cross country sold; one is now a junior in college, one is will soon be a junior in high school. Two of the kids are only mine for this school year but as the end of that year approaches, am increasingly aware of how their going off into other worlds will break my heart!  (See previous posts on the “U.N.”)

It seems that as I look at life through a constantly changing lense, my brain is rarely quiet. While it seems that the things that keep me up just morph and change, more recently my writing has become an increasing source of wakefulness. I am figuring out what the next best step is, in getting my novel published. I’m looking at feedback and contemplating what I want to change, and what I don’t want to change in how I and what I write.  As I lay there each night, I weigh the positive feedback as well as the negative, the unsaid things that make me look at my writing critically.  My thoughts spin; and I lie awake.

Writing on this site is my outlet. I let some of it go here, or in some cases I just shine a light on the things that stir my brain, and that helps me figure it out.  However the ins and outs of blogging sometimes only add to my angst, and fuel my self-critique. Why don’t I have as many comments as so many of the bloggers I follow? Why don’t I get as many likes, when I am so often liking others’ posts? What is missing in the writing that leaves my readers unresponsive? What do I need to bring to these posts that would improve my stats and my viewership? Why. Do. I Care?

I care because I want to be a writer. I want my stories to impact people and compel them to read more. I want to get it right, even as I figure out what feels right for me.  I am keenly aware that I am getting older and that I want to be doing what makes me happiest. I want to be doing something that excites and challenges me, as my kids head out into the world to find what excites and challenges them. Writing is that thing, but figuring out how to make it my thing is a huge question mark.

And so I lay awake a lot and chew on these questions and issues. I chase my tail and stumble around in the dark. My head is a mine field, where some days I make it cleanly through to the other side and other days my thoughts explode and I have to dig out of the self-doubt and ambivalence.  These are the things that go bump in the night; the things that bump me in the night. And so I lie awake.  (Tonight I will picture these clouds drifting by, and hope to drift off…)

What keeps you awake? Or, do you sleep like a baby? If you do, share your secret! Leave a comment and tell me what you think.

Stop! Really. Read this.  Please note:  If you enjoy these posts hit the title and then the “Like” link at the bottom. It also helps my blog grow and lets me know what is working (and what is not), and that is the point. Go back and hit Like.  Thanks. Then check out the Facebook page: and hit like.  If you have liked a few posts, hit “Subscribe.”  You won’t get any spam and you’ll get an email each time I post.  Think of it as a free gift to yourself.  You know you want to. Go ahead, make my day!

About Dawn Quyle Landau

Mother, Writer, treasure hunter, aging red head, and sushi lover. This is my view on life, "Straight up, with a twist––" because life is too short to be subtle! Featured blogger for Huffington Post, and followed on Twitter by LeBron James– for reasons beyond my comprehension.
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18 Responses to Things That Bump Me in the Night.

  1. You have nearly 500 followers! I have just over 100! I hardly get any comments except from a handful of loyal readers and my mother. Don’t be so hard on yourself– you’re a writer! The readers will come. Now about not sleeping.. it might get worse before it gets better– part of aging -just wait til you start sweating at night! When our youngest was in high school I never slept, constantly worrying about when she was coming home. Now that all are out of the house, I seem to sleep better- as long as the window is open no matter the outside temperature.


    • Thanks Lisa. I do feel grateful for the good stuff that has happened on this blog, but I keep trying to figure out how to make it better… The followers is deceptive: it jumped way up this week, when WordPress started adding Facebook followers and blog followers. Trust me, there’s a significant overlap there. These stats can mess with your head, because they’re oh so deceptive.

      As for sleep…only got 5 hrs last night, and have 30 people coming for lobster dinner at my house! Ugh! Shouldn’t have written that post, the night before. 😉 Thanks for being such a great blog supporter!


  2. pinkagendist says:

    After I quit slipping pills, brandy works for me. A double dose before bed in a quiet room with dimmed lights 😉


  3. pinkagendist says:

    …and I wouldn’t worry too much about the likes and comments. Many of the blogs that get a lot of both are gimmicky. They’re ponzi blogs 😀 They spend all their time liking, commenting, linking, awarding- and building up an unsustainable pyramid of people who follow them in name only.
    On the other hand there’s something like Duncan Roy’s blog, not that many likes or comments, but it’s pure gold. Over half a million views and growing. He’s very honest, very everyday-life, like you. At first I got carried away and started going down the gimmicky path, but then I thought better of it and decided to follow his (and your) example. It’s more dignified, honest and authentic.


    • Thanks Pink! That’s sweet of you, and I guess I know that… but it’s hard not to compare. I get frustrated with reading and liking others’ posts and not having them reciprocate, though I’m sure I’m guilty of the same with other bloggers. Sorry folks. Half a million hits! How on earth does that happen!! It is a slippery slope playing the who’s better/bigger/more popular game… I just have my moments. Thanks for reminding why I should ignore them. 😉


  4. When it comes to my blog, I sleep well at night because I am not looking for others to validate. I am just sharing experiences and “the journey.” When I write something, I know whether it is well written or not, whether it flows or is a bit disjointed. And I am definitely NOT a writer- lol!

    In my personal journey, I have found that when I am constantly comparing myself in some way to others, it’s a huge red flag to me that there is something fundamentally unhappy or unworthy deep down inside me. And the only way I have found to get down and dirty to figure it out, is to get good and quiet, ask the question, and listen to the tiny voice in the back of my head to give me the answer. And biggest thing of all: trust that little voice.

    You ask why you care- and answer with, because you want to be a writer. Go deeper than that. You already are an amazing writer. What I am wondering, is why you can’t let yourself BE that?


  5. veronicad1 says:

    For a humorous spin on exactly what you’re going through, you should watch “I Don’t Know How She Does It” with Sarah Jessica Parker. I watched it over Mother’s Day weekend with some girlfriends and just howled! It’s not Oscar-worthy but it is entertaining and really speaks to trying to do it all. When you have time for it, please enjoy. I might even be able to pop down & join you!


    • I read the book, but haven’t seen the movie… I gave up on the “doing it all” a while ago (I believe I’ve been lecturing you on that for a while, wink wink), but even not doing it all is an awful lot! I’m slowly weening off things, but there’s still plenty to keep me up. Thanks friend. 😉


  6. Rita Russell says:

    Ha, I can definitely relate, what with the whirling dervishes in my head; my husband’s snores, groans and tossing in bed; and the hours my kids keep… sometimes sleep is more wishful thinking than not. Oh, yea and the night sweats are an added bonus.


    • All of the above: ditto, ditto. No night sweats, but surely that too will come. 😉 For now I am trying to read before I sleep, to take my mind to another place and working on not staying up as late. I’ll have to update you later.


  7. Wow, can I relate. I USED to be a sleeper; my ex and I could sleep uninterrupted until 11 a.m. (before kids, of course).

    Then I had kids. This was the first nail in the coffin, as my kids routinely come into my room, stand next to my head and wait for me to feel the hairs on the back of my neck stand up…causing me to awaken suddenly with a start and a revved up heart. They’re angels like that.

    Then I got divorced. This was nail #2. In my newly empty bed, I would awaken every night at the same time — seriously, the exact same time. Then I would not be able to go back to sleep.

    Then I met Boyfriend Brett. This was years after the divorce, meaning I had fallen into a whole new sleep routine (read: THE ENTIRE BED WAS MINE!!!). Here’s nail #3, because while I love him dearly, I don’t like to spoon him — or for him to spoon me — because I feel trapped.

    Long story short: I was up from 2 a.m. to 5:30 this morning watching old soap operas on Soap Net.

    Tonight, however: There will be Benadryl in my future. Seems to work…

    Get some rest, Dawn! 🙂


    • Benedryl is THE magic pill: safely given in hospital all over, when patients ask for something to sleep; non-adictive; works for me; and easy…That said, I try to sleep without it whenever I can. I can’t stand the up from 2-5’ish scenario, always undoes me! However, living on less than 6 hrs sleep each night is not good either. It’s my own head that’s the problem… I guess I just keep working on that and try not to let some of these demons bring me down so much. Arrrgh. Thanks Mikalee! Good to get your email too… glad all is ok. 😉


  8. etomczyk says:

    Dawn: I have trouble sleeping, too. It’s the kids (grown and on their own but I know the chaos that can affect their lives–I worry), it’s the news (gotten worse since I am a topical blogger and must keep up–is their a Zombie epidemic??), my grandson (will he be okay from the Zombies), my career as a writer (I’ve come so close to being published. . .when will I get that champion that sees what I see), the house repairs, our retirement funds (will we outlive our funds). . .and the list goes on and on. Music helps and long walks and fresh air too. All the best. E


    • Yep. I thought that once my kids got bigger I’d sleep more/better, but it only got worse. Now I wonder if I’ll ever sleep well again! I ignore the zombie stuff… drugs baby, it’s drugs. The writing career… yep, keeping me up a lot! There’s always something; I don’t have to look too hard! Thanks for checking E.



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