The morning is a bit of an issue for me. Because I wake up EARLY. I’ve always been an early-riser and have never had a problem with times beginning with 6. But the time doesn’t begin with 6 any more. It begins with 5. Or 4.
I wake up every day between 4.30 and 5.30. I don’t know why. I have no small children, I have nobody to blame but myself. I can’t remember quite when it started, it might have been last summer or it might have been the autumn. Certainly is was happening before we moved into the rented house last November.
People ask me if it’s stress. I guess it might be. I don’t feel stressed, but having moved house twice and done lots of DIY and having taken the difficult decision to take voluntary redundancy, I have had a stressful few months.
To be honest, I don’t even feel tired, which I guess is a good thing. So I tell myself if I’m not tired it’s fine to be awake at 5, but there’s also something nagging away at me that says it’s not normal. That it’s a symptom of something else, that eventually it’s going to hit me and I’m going to get really tired, that I’m going to turn into a proper insomniac…
I think there are four things that wake me up: snoring (not mine, of course), an aching leg, needing a wee and not knowing the time.
The aching leg is a mystery to me and I’m still convinced it goes back to an old injury I had in 1998, which took me nearly two years to get over. I used to get the pain every few months after that, but now it’s pretty much set in. A new mattress might help, but it might not. A dose of ibuprofen every few days takes the edge off because it’s not that bad. It’s fine when I get up, it just aches enough to wake me.
My husband thinks I’m mad being so bothered about knowing what the time is, but it genuinely keeps me awake. If I don’t know what time it is I assume it might be nearly time to get up, so I stay awake (not that I can ever take a conscious decision to stay awake, I just do). We had a clock that projected the time onto the ceiling, which was brilliant. Until someone managed to set an alarm on it for 3.10am. I could turn the alarm off when it woke me, but I could never un-set it. Then my husband thought it might be nice to wake to the radio at 6am. Except the radio wouldn’t tune in properly and he wouldn’t get up, leaving it making white noise for about an hour. And once set, we couldn’t un-set it. I had to ditch the clock. So now I have to get out of bed to check the time on my phone, which I won’t keep on my bedside table for fear of spilling water on it (I’ve never, ever spilled water in the night).
I need a new clock, don’t I?
I know all the advice on sleeping says you should reduce your screen time in the evenings. There are days when I’m on my computer and phone as I climb into bed at night, but there are also days when I don’ t look at them after 8pm. It makes no difference.
Going to bed late makes no difference either. I don’t exactly go to bed early anyway, it’s usually around 11.30.
So this is my morning. I get up between 5.45 and 6 every day and go on my phone and computer while the house is quiet. I eat my breakfast and I have a read of heat magazine (which could very easily have qualified as my guilty pleasure). I take my time over breakfast and then it’s on with the day: getting the kids up, making packed lunches, emptying the dishwasher, putting the washing away, taking them to school or going to work…
I’ve had it in mind to write about my sleep issues for a while now, but the time has never been quite right, so thanks to Tara at Sticky Fingers for inspiring me to get on with it! Pop on over to Sticky Fingers to see how others have interpreted ‘morning’ in The Gallery.