The Gallery: Morning 2014

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. 

Author: Sarah Mummy

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  1. It’s crap, crap! Do you think you have a type of insomnia? I think I do and I’m not sure how to fix it. My problem is I always sleep well on a Friday night so I wonder if I just deal with stress via lack of sleep.

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  2. There’s no way that I could sleep if I didn’t know the time either, or had some way of knowing that I could see the time if I wanted to. If ever I have tried, i wake every hour and cannot sleep properly. I feel for you, insomnia is horrible whether it be at the beginning of the night or waking up far too early. Now that the sun is up, I’m waking at 6.30am every morning but I guess that would be a lie in for you 🙁 A new clock – definitely!

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  3. Sorry you can’t sleep well. I am the other way around, I can’t ever get to sleep…it takes me a good hour or two to drop off and if I get disturbed in the night then it takes me just as long again. Would a new clock help do you think?

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  4. You need to get a new clock. I waken during the night with the kids or just in general. I’m not a morning person x

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  5. Gosh Sarah that is super early – definitely get a clock or have your phone by your bed. I’m sure that will help. I’m a terrible sleeper, take ages to sleep then may get the snoring beside me too! Early morning should definitely be cherished though, I’m sure if you didn’t have that time you’d really miss it. Thank you for you lovely comment, made me smile 🙂

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  6. Ooo I do feel for you. As you know, I am the other way around, I can sleep pretty much whenever but we recently went through a stage of Harry waking between 4-5 and it was a killer for me! Perhaps a new clock would help! All that said, when I went through my own stage of waking early, I did cherish that morning time before Harry woke! x

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  7. Oh that is early although, it does sound nice to have some peace to eat your breakfast and read a magazine before the mayhem of kids and school runs and a busy day begins.

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  8. Thanks very much, ladies. So glad to hear that it’s not just me who needs to know the time in the night!
    Sonya – why didn’t I think of a watch?! It seems so obvious, but I never wear one, so I hadn’t considered it.
    I do think it’s probably a type of insomnia, Tas. I sleep the same whatever day of the week it is. It’s good to have you to chat to first thing in the morning!
    I do enjoy my little bit of peace first thing, though!

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  9. oh no waking up that early every day is a nuisance but it sounds like you are making the most of an early start. it must be nice to have some time to yourself to read and enjoy a peaceful breakfast and a hot cuppa x

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  10. There’s no way I could get up that early willingly, unless I had to!
    Too many early starts with the kids over the last 8 years I suppose. I would love to get up before the kids but whenever I’ve tried they always seem to just *know* and get up too.

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  11. GET THE BLOODY CLOCK! and make it a priority. You are like me Nan, she hops up and down getting out of bed to check the time, panicking that she’ll be late for something in the morning. She’s always been the same. If she can see the time clearly, she relaxes. Go and choose yourself a digital clock with big fat numbers that light up, don’t let anyone touch it or change it. Spend whatever money it takes. Sleep is so important… x

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  12. I think you need to do some relaxation honey, it’s sounds like you’re not getting anywhere near enough sleep. Have you tried the ‘legs up the wall’ yoga pose before you go to bed?

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  13. Thanks very much, ladies.
    It’s the years of getting up with kids that have made me like this I think, Marilyn!
    The time to myself is nice, though, Mummy Mishaps.
    I’m going to get the clock this weekend, Uley Girl. I will threaten my family that they mustn’t touch it!
    Never head of ‘legs up the wall’, Lou. I think I’ll look it up!

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  14. Get a clock, I’m the same if I can quickly look at the time I go back to sleep, if I can’t see the time I lay away fretting about it. I also avoid caffine… I find if I drink it I will sleep until early hours and then wake up unable to go back to sleep. Also, from now until Autumn blackout curtains, it’s amazing how early it gets bright.

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  15. Thanks, Hellie. I brought the old clock back into action and, so far so good, it hasn’t made any weird noises at 10 past 3 in the morning!

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