Can’t Sleep?

DCP’s guide to your late night insomnia

By Sarah Conard

It’s 3 o’clock in the morning. You ‘ve just finished the series finale of “The Office” for the 12th time. You know you can’t possibly sleep now but, you don’t feel like starting “Stranger Things” for the third time either…what do you do?

The Dayton City Paper has already proven the phrase, “There’s nothing to do in Dayton” to be wrong. We are now proving, “There’s nothing to do in Dayton at night,” is wrong, too.

When I can’t sleep and it’s late, it’s usually because I am hungry. My first go-to stop for a late-night-bite is the old, reliable Waffle House. To me, there’s something about Waffle House after 2 a.m. that makes it special. The service is always nice and the food is cooked with love. I sure most people have their fair share of Waffle House stories, but for those who have not ventured out yet, I highly recommend stopping at Waffle House for some late night breakfast.

If for some reason, Waffle House doesn’t work out for you, enjoy your late night breakfast at IHop. With a larger variety of breakfast foods than Waffle House, IHop is sure to have something to tempt your tongue.

If you’re still hungry, but craving something sweeter, try a donut shop. Bill’s Donuts in Centerville and Jim’s Donuts in Vandalia are both open 24 hours a day. I usually go with a butter twist or a classic sprinkled for my donut adventures. While the popularity of the late night donut shops does peak around midnight, the best time to go is around 2 or 3 a.m. when the midnight crowd has dispersed.

“It definitely keeps us more connected with the community [being open all day], whether it’s 3 in the morning or 3 in the afternoon. We always have a baker here working. People think it will be slower [at night] but it’s just as fast as our other times,” Tim Osborne, of Bill’s Donuts, explaines.

Finally, if you are looking for something more than a diner or a donut shop, Perkins in Miamisburg deserves a spot on our list of late night food stops. With a wide range of breakfast, lunch, and dinner options, Perkins can be a great catch all for the late-night food date with your friends. If you’re not someone who wants to eat late at night – or worse yet, eat alone – you might want to explore quirkier options.

Reach DCP Editor-in-Chief Sarah Conard at

By Megan Garrison

It’s Tuesday at 3am. The bars are closed, which isn’t surprising, considering it’s Tuesday. You have no money, because it’s 2018, and the economy is a mess, so going to a department or grocery store just to wander around seems endlessly depressing. You’ve already failed your New Year’s resolution about dieting, but you feel like boredom eating at a 24-hour diner alone will actually make the extra pounds seem pathetic.

You live in Dayton, and you can’t sleep. What can you do?

Going outside is a great way to remedy your insomnia. It’s free and easy to do, and it will give you that healthy dose of fresh air we all need to survive. The tough part is figuring out what to do once you step outside. But fear not! I have some solutions for you.

Night Running/Walking:

Safety is first when it comes to braving the moonlit city in the early hours of the morning. Make sure to don light reflective gear and charge your cellphone in the case of an emergency. Once that is out of the way, enjoy your freedom.

All exercise gives you endorphins; exercising at night gives you a certain sense of exploration that isn’t provided during the day. You can’t see very far ahead of you, the path disappears under your feet. And in Dayton there is a lovely place for a run, or a walk.

Sunrise is part of the Five Rivers Metropark system. It’s a quaint little temporary home on late nights and early mornings. An urban park that sits against the Miami River and downtown Dayton with stunning views, it captures the changing light throughout the day. At night, after a long run or a walk around the river or through downtown, it’s the perfect place to rest and enjoy the rise of the morning sun.

If you aren’t into running, or even walking, another possibility is geocaching (a worldwide hunt for hidden objects via the use of GPS coordinates given on the official website) throughout the city. Be careful to follow laws surrounding park closing times and access to certain areas of Dayton, of course. Luckily, even with those, there are still numerous locations in which to find little items and messages from another restless soul.

Ghost Hunting:

For the brave, this is the perfect late night activity. Shrouded in darkness and cascading moonlight, a Daytonian has plenty of places to live a ghost story the or she can tell a friend. While the Dayton City Paper doesn’t encourage traipsing around abandoned buildings at night, there are several safe and legal places to find a ghoulish friend: the Patterson Homestead, the Fire Station in Moraine, and the Dayton Engineers Club. Each one has already been investigated by Dayton’s own Ghosthunters Society, with spooky results.

Storm Chasing:

This one is entirely dependent on the weather. The unpredictability of Dayton’s weather might finally be beneficial. In fact, one of the most famous storm chasers, Simon Brewer, was born and raised in Dayton. You can also join the Ohio Storm Chasers to learn the skill…and maybe catch a meteorological phenomenon.

Now, this last one does cost money, and isn’t outside. If you really want to get some exercise and keep that diet on track, you could always find a 24-hour gym to chase the sleeplessness away.

If you prefer shaking your booty to shedding pounds though, there are options for you too.

By Tim Walker

It’s a late night in Dayton, you can’t sleep, and all the bars have closed their doors for the night. So where do you go now, if you’re looking for a little after hours entertainment? If your tastes run toward a fun, energetic, dance club, then you might consider Club Masque, located right downtown at 34 N. Jefferson Street.

Masque is known for many things: being open-minded (it is widely considered one of the most welcoming clubs in the Miami Valley, and not just for the LGBTQ community that has embraced it), the multiple floors, the amazing light show, and being open late on the weekends. The club’s doors generally remain open until 5am on Friday and Saturday nights.

 “I just don’t like to run people out of the venue,” says Luke Liakos, owner of Club Masque and founder of Diamonds Cabaret in Washington Township as well as several area adult businesses. “I’ve always operated like this.” Due to state liquor laws, the club is required to pull all alcoholic drinks by 2:30 a.m., but that doesn’t stop patrons who are still dancing from ordering sodas, energy drinks, or bottled water. When asked if people ever have to leave as the wee hours wane, Liakos says “95 percent of the time people leave after a while. Rarely do we have to let people know we are getting ready to shut it down.”

Since opening in late December of 2005, Masque has remained a perennial favorite of local night owls. “We are constantly upgrading the venue,” continues Liskos. “It gets real expensive to stay on top of the trends. The last addition was a huge video wall for our main stage and a $300,000 lighting upgrade.”

Local residents who prefer gambling to dancing have their own list of entertaining places to frequent, of course. Hollywood Gaming at Dayton Raceway, located at 777 Hollywood Boulevard near the corner of Needmore and Wagner Ford, is open all night, and the slot machines are rattling until the break of day. A bit further south, right off of I-75 on St. Rt. 63, local insomniacs can also check out the action at Miami Valley Gaming in Lebanon. Both racinos – so-called because they have horse racing tracks as well as casinos – are open around the clock. If these social activities are just too, well…social…for you, try an option for more introverted insomniacs.

By Dr. Jill Summerville

When Derek Thompson writes about, “the Great Retail Apocalypse of 2017” in The Atlantic, he’s actually heralding the death of that iconic symbol of teenage, consumerist freedom, the mall. Thankfully, for Dayton’s shyer insomniacs, shopping is largely no longer a social activity. Instead, introverts are welcome to strap on their Fit Bits, strap in their restless toddlers, and stroll the shopping aisles in search of strangers’ stories. Honestly, what’s most valuable isn’t sold on the shelves of Walmart, Meijer, Walgreens, or CVS, although you’re welcome to visit them all. The real value comes from the possibility of a connection made while hearing about a messy break up during a clean up in aisle twelve. If making a connection is worth doing though, why not be serious about it? Why not have a secret whispered into your ear, and maybe a tongue darted furtively into it too? The pleasure seeking insomniac who’s too bold to confine his or her fantasies to a diary will be welcome at Hustler Hollywood (1038 Lebanon Street). Of course, there’s no reason why someone’s sexual expression should be confined to the shadows. However, Lara Bennett, the publicist for Hustler Hollywood, says that, surprisingly, the night time customers are sometimes the most timid ones. In darkness, Bennett says, “Those too timid to ask in the daytime may find the courage to tell our sales professionals exactly what they really want.” She says the store is the perfect late night haven for those who would otherwise be cuddling a pillow on the couch, as well as those (insomniac or otherwise) who firmly believe that beds are not for sleeping. The stereotype is that a store like this is only for those who want to be up all night (pun intended), but there are enticements for the smoldering romantic as well as the sensualist. Along with the expected dolls and toys, says Bennett, “We also offer home goods, board games, clothing, socks, and bath and body products. We’re not just your average romance shop – we’re more than you think.” You may discover surprising products, but you could also discover who you truly are. In fact, the sales associates take pride in having the necessary sensitivity and training to make sure you will. Lara Bennett: “[This store is ideal for someone who has] never been in a romance boutique before. [It’s also] perfect for someone who is a seasoned veteran and has it all. We guarantee we’ll show you something that will delight and surprise.”

You may be reading this now, with a fair amount of skepticism. You’d like to think of yourself as a seasoned veterans of romance, but how many of those are perpetually awake? Casanova had suggestively licked his last oyster by dinner. Perhaps, but there is a romantic mythos accompanying late night pondering. It is, essentially, finding the courage to take the journey that overwhelmed the man in Plato’s parable of The Cave, the journey from darkness into light. Facing the uncertainties between the sunset and the sunrise, wide-eyed, requires a resolve not everyone possesses. It shows a willingness to unrelentingly see the world as it truly is…Or wish upon a falling star and make it new again.

Dayton Runners Club

Sunrise Park


Storm Chasers

24-Hour Gyms


Miami Valley Gaming

Hollwood Gaming

Bill’s Donuts

Jim’s Donuts



Tags: , ,

No comments yet.

Leave a Reply

Got an Opinion?


We are interested to hear what you think.  Please send us a message. [contact-form 4 “Opinion”]  

Summer Sun and Salutations


You’ve seen it throughout your social media feed, you hear about a friend’s awesome class over a cup of coffee, […]

Paddle on, Dayton


Summer is the perfect time to hit the water, and with more than 265 miles of water trails in the […]

Still living the good life


The words “living legend” are often misapplied, usually to sports figures who haven’t really experienced enough of life to earn […]

Acid Flashback: Hara Arena 1981


Love them or hate them, the Grateful Dead were truly a one-of-a-kind band. During their thirty-year career as one of […]

Evolution Calling


Queensrÿche have spent their career defining a uniquely heavy progressive sound. Whether delivering Mindcrime, Empires or taking fans to the […]