Waiting for Nighttime

I have realized something recently:  I am far, far more energetic at night than during the day.

I try to get myself to go on walks during the day, but really, I don’t really “feel” it until at least 5 or 6.  I start telling myself I should go out and walk around 1pm, but I find it very hard to make myself do so until the beginning of the evening.  I go for a walk around 6pm usually, but then at 11pm or midnight, I find that I get a surge of nervous energy, and I literally begin to feel tense if I don’t go out for a walk – my legs slowly tense, my jaw sets, my fingers get twitchy to the point that my typing accuracy falls through the floor.

For instance, when I try to run during the day, I’m lucky if I can make it 200 yards without stopping. I have exercise-induced asthma, while I can make it that 200 yards damn fast for my size, by the time I hit 200 yards, I can barely breathe. It’s been like this all my life – even when I was in top shape and my middle school’s track star (in sprinting, duh). I have been taking advantage of the endless dirt roads that run through the farm fields near my apartment, and I have been heading out onto them for my midnight walks, and recently I decided to start running occasionally, when I feel like it (though I’m glad I do this at night, where nobody notices the weird foreigner who runs at random). What I have discovered is that I can run 5 or 6 times as far at night as I can during the day, and while I do have a limit still, I am less winded at the end. I could still run again if I needed to, whereas during the day I usually am just *done*, at least for a few minutes.

I’m not sure why this really is, but I realized the other day that it has happened since I was a kid.  In middle school I used to wake up at 2am and climb out my window and wander around the block, or read in bed, or climb into my tree house and read, when the moon was bright enough, then I’d go back to bed around 5 or 6.  In high school I used to get out of bed at 2 or 3 am and go for a run around the block, then I’d sit at the end of our driveway and read by the light of the streetlamp until 4 or so, then go back to bed.  In college I used to go for walks through the fields and woods and farms at all hours of the night, for an hour or two at a time, then I’d go to bed.

I have no idea where this energy comes from, but it has always been useful in getting writing done at night (my thesis was almost entirely written between 10pm and 6am, and I write most of my blog posts at night), and the fact that streets and paths are generally deserted means that I can walk to my heart’s content and see only a few people, which makes it easier to use my walks for daydreaming and contemplation.  However, when I can’t go out (and I will go out in anything other than flat-out rain), I find it almost impossible to sleep.  I’m not tired the next day when I wake up in the middle of the night and, say, go for a two hour walk, but I am when I don’t.  It’s odd.

Left to my own devices, I’m generally awake from about 9-10am until 4-5am, and I take a nap around 5pm for an hour or so.  It drives most people nuts, because I’m the last in bed and the first out of bed, with people who need more sleep than I do.


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