Sleepless in Cincinnati

Sleepless in Cincinnati

Thank God I have mild insomnia.

Seems a strange thing for which to be thankful, right? But I am. Though I do what I can to keep the insomnia at bay, sooner or later there will come a night when sleep isn’t just elusive—it’s non-existent. And I’m grateful. It’s when I can be my most productive and, some might say, my most manic.

Several weeks ago, I was tossing and turning until almost 3:00 in the morning. So I got out of bed and alphabetized my 300 DVDs. I’ve also been known to rearrange cabinets, repot plants, scrub my floors, and watch countless hours of the late Billy Mays’ infomercials. (That guy could sell me anything.)

The long hours being awake also encourage me to reflect—on myself, my life, the world around me. Several years ago, I spent a sleepless night writing down on a piece of paper the things I want to accomplish before I turn 40. A few were:

  • master a foreign language
  • watch Lawrence of Arabia
  • visit Ireland
  • get a parrot

Insomnia is also a time for me to talk to God. Not in prayer so much, but an actual conversation. I check in, share my fears and frustrations, and listen for guidance. I’ve ended many a conversation as the morning sun peeked between the trees.

And although I’m a parrot-less, monolingual 37 year old who’s never set foot in Ireland or has seen Lawrence of Arabia, I know that that the next time I’m wide awake in the middle of the night, I’m in for good conversation.

Photo: Carol Hyman/PhotoXpress


About the Author

Christopher Heffron is the associate editor of St. Anthony Messenger magazine and the social media editor at Franciscan Media. He is also the editor of,, and this blog site.