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What Keeps Me Awake At Night

sleepless man illustrationWhat keeps me awake at night? There was a time that worries, fears, heartache, work and guilt kept me awake many nights. So did coffee!

I’ve finally learnt not to allow worry and fears for the future keep me awake. It almost took a lifetime but I finally got there. The heartache and the guilt disappeared too – good riddance! I don’t work anymore. And strangely, coffee doesn’t keep me awake any longer, either.

Do you want to know what does it for me?

A good book.  Yes, I can stay up all night if I’m enjoying a book. I just ‘have to’ finish it. The last book that did it for me was my friend, Leah Griffith’s book –  [amazon_link id=”0985306610″ target=”_blank” ]Cosette’s Tribe[/amazon_link]. I smiled, I cried and I stayed up until 3 am until I finished it.  (Review coming soon.)

A bad dream works too. My dreams are very vivid and often a bad dream will wake me up. Then, I deliberately keep awake for a while because I don’t want the dream to continue. The night before last, I had a dream like that. I was travelling in a city bus and suddenly a rather ill-looking lion appeared on the road. I kept yelling at the driver to run over it,  even though I am an animal lover when awake!  I was also screaming to the conductor to close the door to prevent the lion from getting into the bus.  All that noise was enough to wake me up.  I refused to count sheep after that for fear the lion would re-appear and eat the poor dears up. 😉

What keeps you awake at night?


I’m taking part in BlogFEST 2012 – the biggest blog party in October! Today’s host is Susan M Dusterhoft who blogs at Today’s Working Woman. Read her post here. 

  • Bad Dreams and Husbands – Or, Love the Will (
  • Seeing Pretties In My Sleep?! (


  1. rimly rimly October 22, 2012

    A movie or a book does it for me when I cannot sleep. But of late I think of all the good things that I want happening in my life and i drift off to sleep with those happy thoughts. I have had nightmares for many years now and very bad dreams that wake me up with a jolt in the middle of the night but they are becoming lesser now. Lovely reading you Corinne as always

  2. Lissa Lissa October 4, 2012

    What a dream!! Sounds like the bus driver wasn’t listening….How frustrating! ;o)
    Lissa recently posted..Make A WishMy Profile

  3. Leah Leah October 4, 2012

    Sweet Corinne, you and I are very similar. A good book will keep me up all night. I try to read boring things at bedtime. LOL! I must admit, I’m thrilled that you spent the night with Cosette. It really blesses me.
    I also dream about lions. Which is really strange. I’m always afraid of being eaten by them. Other common sitings in my dreams are tidal waves and tornados.
    I sometimes allow fear and worry to keep me awake, but I’m happy to say those nights are far and few between. I count backwards from 1000 by threes on those nights.
    I’ve not been online much lately. There is so much going on in my family. I came to Massachusetts to help care for my mother-in-law who has cancer and two days after I got here my cousin, who was more like a brother, died of a heart attack. My entire family is stunned and so so sad. It’s been a heavy time for me, but I know that God is good and I am where I’m supposed to be. Anyway, I appreciate all your prayers and support honey. Sending love and hugs.
    Leah recently posted..A Confusing CocktailMy Profile

  4. Melissa Tandoc Melissa Tandoc October 4, 2012

    Ooo I can relate with the things that kept you awake for a while except coffee. I drink very little of it just to boost me up in the morning. I have learned to discipline myself when it comes to work (except on deadlines). I just check the mails since my bosses reply late in the evening or early morning.

    Then I also have great dreams and not so good dreams. These are some concerns I have 😉

    Loved the way you write this post too. It allowed me to pause and reflect on the nights I couldn’t sleep 😉
    Melissa Tandoc recently posted..Εφφαθα 2: Take hEARtMy Profile

  5. Emily Rose Emily Rose October 3, 2012

    I am so like you about the dreams. Horrible night terrors that wake me up will continue if I go back to sleep. Luckily haven’t had one for a while. Great post! :o)

  6. bhavana bhavana October 3, 2012

    What a lovely post and an apt post for me…I always seem to reach your words when I need it the most, Corinne! I stay awake for reasons you mentioned in first para–healing is still a long way..-:)
    bhavana recently posted..On the perfect bloggerMy Profile

    • Corinne Rodrigues Corinne Rodrigues October 15, 2012

      Sorry I took so long to respond to your comment, Bhavana. I continue to send positive and healing vibes your way. I hope that you find your peace (and sleep) soon. ♥

  7. Rachna Rachna October 3, 2012

    Books, nightmares, a sick child, someone traveling are things that keep me awake. I have spent many nights reading just 10 minutes more to finish the book :).
    Rachna recently posted..What Sons Can Learn From Their MomsMy Profile

    • Corinne Rodrigues Corinne Rodrigues October 15, 2012

      I can imagine how a sick child can keep a Mom up, Rachna. I know what a difference it made to have Mum nearby when I was sick.
      Sorry it took me so long to get to your comment. 🙁

  8. Debra Debra October 3, 2012

    What do you suppose that lion represented in your psyche, Corinne? How scary was that! Love the ending here 😉
    I have insomnia sometimes, when I toss and turn can can’t sleep to save my life. Thank God it’s not that often. Coffee and tea is sure to keep me up.
    Debra recently posted..OstracizedMy Profile

    • Corinne Rodrigues Corinne Rodrigues October 15, 2012

      Not sure what the lion represents, Debra? Do you have any ideas? I’m a Leo, incidentally! 🙂
      Glad that you’re blessed with good sleep, by and large.
      Corinne Rodrigues recently posted..In The ShadowsMy Profile

    • Corinne Rodrigues Corinne Rodrigues October 15, 2012

      Oh I doze off by 11 too, Roshini, unless the book is really, really good! 🙂

  9. Jeevan Jacob John Jeevan Jacob John October 3, 2012

    Cartoons and movies, Corinne 😉

    Yeah, I know it isn’t a great habit, but I spend 2-3 hours (From 9/10 to 12 am) watching movies and cartoons (I can’t find any better time for a bit of entertainment so I decided to squeeze it in my sleep time).

    Well, I am thinking about changing that (Today, I decided to form a new habit, well get back to reading; to spend a least one hour every day for reading). But, I am thinking about putting that hour in the middle of the day instead of at night (At night, I have to keep the lights on which I don’t really like).

    • Corinne Rodrigues Corinne Rodrigues October 15, 2012

      It took me a while to respond to your comment, Jeevan, but I’m curious to know how your reading is progressing. Watching TV at night is seriously a bad habit unless you make an effort to put in some tuning off time before you hit the sack!
      Corinne Rodrigues recently posted..In The ShadowsMy Profile

  10. Sulekha Sulekha October 3, 2012

    Corinne, I can’t imagine you thinking of harming an animal 🙂 What a nightmare!! I have to get Leah’s book too, great post.
    Sulekha recently posted..Sleepless in India 🙂My Profile

    • Corinne Rodrigues Corinne Rodrigues October 3, 2012

      It was a nightmare – but some parts were so funny too, Sulekha. Leah’s book is definitely worth a read.
      Looking forward to reading your take on the topic of sleeplessness.

  11. Dangerous Linda Dangerous Linda October 3, 2012

    seems like maybe you think you’re worries and fears are not keeping you awake but your dream suggests that they’ve just gone underground…

    i loved cosette’s tribe and pulled an all-nighter reading it, too!

    what keeps me up? i’ve noticed that i seem to be becoming very in sync with certain phases of the moon. my most ‘creative insomnia’ comes each month two days before the full moon! i also, find myself staying up all night with the new moon working on my super celestial vision board 😉
    Dangerous Linda recently posted..The Shrewd ShrewMy Profile

    • Corinne Rodrigues Corinne Rodrigues October 3, 2012

      I did think of that too, Linda. However, the ‘scary’ dreams are a rare occurence now – it’s the other more hilarious one’s I wonder about!
      The phases of the moon and your creative insomnia sounds like the subject for a post. 😉

  12. sharmila sharmila October 2, 2012

    If hardly get dreams now and if I ever do and I happen to remember, my husband insists – tera pait kharab hai ( you have an upset stomach).
    A good book or an interesting online read is what keeps me awake. I must read the book you mentioned Corinne, sounds good.
    sharmila recently posted..QUIET- SUSAN CAIN A BOOK REVIEWMy Profile

    • Bongo Bongo October 2, 2012

      certain meds I take cause me to have very vivid dreams too.. some of which make sense some that do….that is when I turn on the light and pick up a book and usually fall asleep book in hand sitting up lolololo… As always…XOXOXOXO
      Bongo recently posted..YOU KNOW ME…..My Profile

    • Corinne Rodrigues Corinne Rodrigues October 3, 2012

      An upset stomach leads to bad dreams? That’s one I had never considered. 🙂
      Oh the book is really good, Sharmila. Written from a child’s perspective.

  13. Adrienne Adrienne October 2, 2012

    It’s been a long time since I’ve been kept up all night Corinne… Not that it doesn’t happen but I can’t recall the last time now. I’m not a worry wort so to speak. I learned a number of years ago to stop worrying about things I have no control over plus I’m not a coffee drinker.

    Now, if I’m reading a good book it has to really be good in order for me to stay up. Yeah, looking at those words makes me drowsy for the most part. I applaud you for staying up and finishing that book so I can’t wait to hear what it’s all about.

    Adrienne recently posted..How To Become A Better Blogger – A Bloggers RoadmapMy Profile

    • Corinne Rodrigues Corinne Rodrigues October 3, 2012

      I’m glad that you don’t let worry worry you, Adrienne. There’s so much more to life than that, isn’t there? Thanks for sharing!

  14. Privy Trifles Privy Trifles October 2, 2012

    A good and gripping book definitely tops my list too 🙂

    But yes something that is bothering me about any incident that could have happened during the day is also one of the major reasons. And lastly it has to hyper excitement!!

    I also have a list of crazy dreams and I always try to google them and see if they mean something as I had read that somewhere that all our dreams tell us something.
    Privy Trifles recently posted..Moments (Flash Fiction)My Profile

    • Corinne Rodrigues Corinne Rodrigues October 2, 2012

      Thanks for sharing, Privy. Excitement too can be something that keeps us awake. Pre-travel jitters too used to do it for me. I’m seriously looking out for a course on dream interpretation.

    • Corinne Rodrigues Corinne Rodrigues October 2, 2012

      Oh you’re another one like me, Kathy? It’s difficult to explain this madness of many people!

  15. Myrna Myrna October 2, 2012

    I fall asleep the moment my head hits the pillow. I can sleep on a bed of nails. A good book can postpone sleep for a little while, but sleep takes over very soon. I’ve also tried to write my dreams, but never followed through. Often though, I wish I didn’t need to sleep. Just think of how much I would read.
    Myrna recently posted..WATCHING PEOPLE ON THE SUBWAY IN NEW YORKMy Profile

    • Corinne Rodrigues Corinne Rodrigues October 2, 2012

      Aren’t you a lucky lady, Myrna. That’s a sign of a clean conscience for sure. 🙂

  16. Martha Orlando Martha Orlando October 2, 2012

    I am so, so covetous when it comes to my sleep time! I don’t allow anything to come between me and 8 hours. 🙂
    And, Corinne, that was one crazy dream, for sure! I have had wild dreams to awaken me, but I can usually will them away and fall back to sleep.
    Blessings, my friend!
    Martha Orlando recently posted.."Unless the LORD Builds the House . . ."My Profile

    • Corinne Rodrigues Corinne Rodrigues October 2, 2012

      8 hours? Wow, you surely are blessed, Martha. Jose is like that – sleep is quite high on his list of priorities. It makes perfect sense too. If we’re not rested, we will not be able to face the day.

  17. Jessica Mokrzycki Jessica Mokrzycki October 2, 2012

    For a long time it would seem that as soon as I would lay my head on the pillow my mind would be inundated by a rush of thoughts and memories from that day and days from my past. The daytime keeps us so busy and focused sometimes that it’s when the night comes that the gate seems to swing open and unwanted worries, fears, and anxieties come charging into our consciousness.

    I’ve honestly been repeating my mantram silently at night and it’s helped me tremendously. Just laying there and repeating it in my head gives me something to focus on. The thoughts that come at night are not fruitful to the goal…which is sleeping, and are often meaningless anyways as they are mere projections into the future that might never even come about. So instead, I try to train my mind in focusing on my mantra and I eventually fall asleep. I’ve noticed doing that has also led me to dream less and certainly have less bad dreams, which I used to have a lot too.

    Great post…I think reading a book before bed is a great idea!
    Jessica Mokrzycki recently posted..This Moment: A Friday TraditionMy Profile

    • Corinne Rodrigues Corinne Rodrigues October 2, 2012

      Thank you for sharing, Jessica. I know what you mean about our fears and anxieties coming to the fore at night. A mantra can be a great way to calm our mind. I’m glad it’s helping you. The recitation of the rosary when we were younger, was a sure way for us kids to fall asleep! 😉

  18. blogwatig blogwatig October 2, 2012

    I love the picture…………………it is too darn cute! And now you have lions and bus drivers in your dreams eh…..I always knew you were kinky. You don’t fool me 😛

  19. Heal Now and Forever Heal Now and Forever October 2, 2012

    Talking to my husband, kept me up last night for several hours, but it eased my soul and comforted my mind. But then I had to sleep in this morning and postpone my early morning writing session!
    Heal Now and Forever recently posted..Embrace What You Are ResistingMy Profile

  20. Jyothi Jyothi October 2, 2012

    Books can keep me awake too. But it has been a long time since I read a book that makes me want to stay up reading. And ditto on the dreams. I too remember them and find it difficult to fall asleep again. But these days they wake me up only just before the alarm rings. But there is a dark side to this. It is said that early morning dreams are said to come true at some point in life. 🙂
    Jyothi recently posted..If Only…..My Profile

    • Corinne Rodrigues Corinne Rodrigues October 2, 2012

      Thanks for sharing, Jyothi. I hope you find a real engrossing book soon. I’m a little worried now about what you say about early morning dreams coming true. I think I’ll avoid taking a bus. 😉

  21. janu janu October 2, 2012

    For me, it is a book too…and of course…writing.
    It isn’t always that I remember my dreams. Yes, I have woken up to a bad dream.

  22. Irene Irene October 2, 2012

    Wow, good for you, Corinne! I am still trying not to let worry and fear take away my sleep. Last night was a failure because I was upset and was up until 3AM. I read the Bible and it helped me fall asleep peacefully, although I am still feeling sad today.

    That dream about the lion is hilarious for me hehe

    Sometimes writing keeps me awake at night, too, because I can’t wait for the following day to jot down my thoughts.

    Much love to you, ♥ ♥ ♥ Corinne! God bless 🙂
    Irene recently posted..And Then You Said GoodbyeMy Profile

    • Corinne Rodrigues Corinne Rodrigues October 2, 2012

      I know what you’re going through, Irene and surely that would keep you awake. It’s a process of learning to trust that all will be well with us. ♥
      I’m not sure how I forgot to add that writing keeps me awake too. I think I was conscious not to make the post too long! 😉

    • Corinne Rodrigues Corinne Rodrigues October 2, 2012

      I’m sure it does, Claudia. I think I must try to ‘investigate’ what it means. Any thoughts? 😉

  23. Stuart Stuart October 2, 2012

    I love to write at night, so if I am awake, I either read, or write. And being retired, if I have to, I can sleep in a little later.
    Here’s to a great night’s sleep for us all tonight.


    • Corinne Rodrigues Corinne Rodrigues October 2, 2012

      Here’s to the joys of living a retired life, Stuart. I used to be a morning person, but have slowly morphed into a night bird. The only reason I can’t sleep too late, is that my morning alarm (my boxer, Pablo!) goes off by 6 am. 😉

  24. Jenn Jenn October 2, 2012

    Oooh a good book will keep me awake as well!! Like you, I am a very vivid dreamer. Usually if I have an unusually realistic dream that is scary, I will try to fall right back to sleep to try to control the dream to a satisfactory end. Sometimes it works 🙂

    Great post!!

    Cheers, Jenn
    Jenn recently posted..Keeping Me Up All NightMy Profile

    • Corinne Rodrigues Corinne Rodrigues October 2, 2012

      That’s a new way of looking at scary dreams, Jenn. Completely opposite to my approach. I must try it the next time I have a scary dream. 🙂 Off to see what keeps you awake!

  25. Harleena Singh Harleena Singh October 2, 2012

    You had me in splits Corinne 🙂

    I rarely remember my dreams, so can’t tell you what wakes me up all of a sudden at night. Yes, perhaps it’s a bad dream, though I can never make them out.

    There was a time when I used to love reading books, just like you, and would carry them on right till they ended. However, with kids having school early morning – reading surely has taken a back seat. I need to get back to them, though rarely find the time during the day.

    And yes, coffee keeps me up too, though I changed that habit of mine quite sometime back when I realized too much of it wasn’t good. 🙂

    Right now, nothing really keeps me awake because I just knock off the moment I hit the pillow! I guess it’s the lack of sleep. But yes, weekends are enjoyable watching a late night show or movie as a family together that keeps me a little awake at night.

    Thanks for sharing. 🙂
    Harleena Singh recently posted..The Right Time For a ChangeMy Profile

    • Corinne Rodrigues Corinne Rodrigues October 2, 2012

      If I only told you all of my dreams, Harleena, you’ll really be laughing. As I mentioned to Bindu in the comment above, my husband is convinced I should write them all down. They’re so graphic, it’s difficult for me convey!
      I understand why your reading has taken a backseat. You must be just so pooped at the end of the day with all your responsibilities. That you manage to read and comment meaningfully on so many blogs is very commendable.
      Weekend movies must be fun. I went for a movie after ages last week. Barfi with two friends was really good! Have you seen it already?

      • Harleena Singh Harleena Singh October 2, 2012

        Oh yes! Totally pooped 🙂

        You must write them all down – would be fun reading them too. 🙂

        And I do look forward to the weekend, some respite from work. But yes, then too the kids want all their goodies made – so the writer takes the mothers place on weekends!

        I loved Barfi too, though kids found it rather slow. I enjoyed everything about it, especially the good old times they showed so well.
        Harleena Singh recently posted..The Right Time For a ChangeMy Profile

        • Corinne Rodrigues Corinne Rodrigues October 2, 2012

          When one falls asleep after a hard day’s work, it’s the best sleep one can have!
          I’ll start working on my ‘dream’ project soon – to amuse you and others. I can understand children finding Barfi slow – it doesn’t fit into to the usual Bollywood format. As for me, I wouldn’t mind seeing it again.

  26. Jo Jo October 2, 2012

    A good book is a wonderful reason to stay up all night. Also writing can keep me up all night. If the characters are talking I must keep writing!

    Great job. Now get some sleep!
    Jo recently posted..INSOMNIA?My Profile

    • Corinne Rodrigues Corinne Rodrigues October 2, 2012

      Oh yes, how did I forget that, Jo? Sometimes I feel compelled to write a post immediately!

  27. Shilpa Garg Shilpa Garg October 2, 2012

    Usually, I am a sound sleeper. I sleep as soon as I hit the bed and also can sleep anywhere! 😀
    But, what keeps me awake at nights are the worries and fears! Glad that you are able to brush them aside!
    And yes, a good book can definitely keep me awake too! 🙂
    Shilpa Garg recently posted..The Krishna Key : Ashwin SanghiMy Profile

    • Corinne Rodrigues Corinne Rodrigues October 2, 2012

      Sleeping immediately means you have a clear conscience, Shilpa! 😉 I’ve realized that no amount of worry is worth losing sleep over. I hope that you can learn not to worry too. A good book is worth every bit of sleep though. 🙂

  28. Bindu Bindu October 2, 2012

    Yes, books are the first and foremost reason, maybe the only reason to be awake at night.
    What a dream! I can never remember dreams except for a recurring one long back that I flunked my Chemistry university exams and couldn’t graduate. This was years after I got out of college, so you know how much I hated that subject!
    Bindu recently posted..Oktoberfest 😉My Profile

    • Corinne Rodrigues Corinne Rodrigues October 2, 2012

      You would understand what I mean about books, Bindu. My husband keeps urging me to write down my dreams – they can be quite hilarious too. I takes a bit of discipline to write them down immediately – and I don’t have much of that. I’m seriously thinking of learning how to interpret dreams. It would help me understand myself better. Dreams about failing/missing exams I remember reading had something to do with confidence issues. If I had such a dream it would be about maths or physics, for sure!

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