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The Brighter Side of the Dark Side of the Moon

This post is for the in-between-ers, the “am I all alone out here?” people, the “who-else could possibly be awake right now?” dawn to dusk creatures, and those of us who exist on a timeline we do not wish to operate on. There are a million reasons that you might find yourself here: a new baby, work stress, illness, insomnia, anxiety, excitement, travel. Regardless of the reason, the fact of the matter is that you are a member of the “I should not have looked at the clock” club. WELCOME.

Yes, sleep stress is a thing. Often, when chronic insomnia takes hold it leads to anxiety about sleeping which permeates into other aspects of life, thus increasing daily stress, which in turn continues to exacerbate sleeping problems. Modern Apothecary’s Sweet Dreams tea powder is a blend of chamomile, lavender, skullcap, passionflower, coconut, cinnamon, and valerian root which functions as a go-to remedy for calming a restless mind and body. While this is a good option, I personally think there is a bright side to the dark side of the moon.

As frustrating as it can be to watch the minutes slip by when you know you need to sleep, there can be a stillness in the space between awake and dreaming that affords you time to think in a way that the distractions of the day do not allow for. A moment gifted to you patiently by the night. When you find yourself awake and unintentionally lucid, use it. Below is a list of some possibilities of what to do when you don’t know what to do. Hopefully, these ideas will offer you a few ways you can connect the dots between the stars and give up on your argument with the clock.

My Past Midnight To-do List (for your inspiration...)

  • Re-read the best parts of your favorite book

  • Bake something new

  • Take a bubble bath or a shower and reflect on things to be grateful for until the water runs cold

  • Research a new destination or someplace you want to visit

  • Journal

  • Make a list of “someday” hobbies

  • Thoroughly clean something with lemon-scented cleaner (when you wake up you will smell it and feel happier)

  • Watch a documentary or YouTube video about something you are interested in

  • Fold laundry (the repetitive motion will soothe a busy mind)

  • Stretch, Breath, and Repeat

  • Fold paper into shapes (like paper cranes) and save them over time to see how many you end up with

  • Watch your favorite childhood movie

  • Start an art project that you only work on at night so you can see the benefit of your “lost time”

  • Organize something, a bookshelf, drawer, or cupboard

  • Clean the mirrors in your house

  • Teach yourself a new dance by watching how-to videos

  • Make a midnight snack, something good you don’t usually make time for. Comfort food only.

  • Make a mini-dictionary of words in another language

  • Look up pressure points on the hands and feet and use essential oils to give yourself a massage

  • Create a list of the things you want to learn more about

  • Revisit a favorite memory

  • Sift through and delete pictures on your phone

  • Take a personality quiz and reflect on the results

  • Paint your nails or toes or give yourself a mini-facial

  • Pack your lunches for the week or meal prep

  • Make a “best day ever” to-do list

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