Wednesday, March 26, 2008

The "Whiching" Hour

You know what the "Whiching Hour" is.

It's the time of night where you wake up and have to decide which you want: to go back to sleep, or get up and act upon whatever's on your mind and keeping you from catching the rest of those Z's.

For me, the Whiching Hour is 4 am. Usually my alarm goes off at 6:30 am, so if for whatever reason I wake up briefly at 4 am and my mind is whirring about a project or my to-do list, I have a decision to make...

If I indulge those thoughts much longer than a minute or two, getting back to sleep can be nearly impossible.

After a few minutes of conscious thought, I'm likely to be engaged in problem-solving mode, or fretting over a confrontation that's to come, or working through a creative idea.

When I'm leaning toward waking and starting my day, I look at whether I can start and end work earlier than usual, before I crash. I try to assess my sleep deficit overall for the week.

But at 4 am, with 2.5 hours to go until the music wakes me from my slumber, that's a decent chunk of sleep to be had.

On those mornings that I'm feeling sleep-deprived, I reach for a notebook I keep on my bedside table to scribble some notes, hoping that writing it down for processing later will put my mind at ease.

Many friends have said they experience the same thing. Similar forms of sleep interruptus must be at least partially responsible for all the tired and cranky people in this country.

And I know I've sent far more than my share of emails at 4:14 am.

How about you? How do you deal with your own "Whiching Hour"?


Stephanie said...

It varies, usually having something to do with what I did/didn't eat and/or drink the night before. I get up, go to the bathroom, get a snack, and usually I'm able to go right back to sleep.

Spandrel Studios said...

Wow, I'm always amazed at people who can eat in the middle of the night then go back to bed. Once I eat, I'm awake!

fishwithoutbicycle said...

I'm like Stephanie, it's usually hunger that wakes me at that point. I have a small glass of milk and go back to bed. If my mind is whirling it usually prevents me from getting to sleep instead of interrupting my sleep.

Anonymous said...

now i realize my methodology may sound a bit disturbing but it works. two words. VOODOO DOLL. If i wake up and can't get back to sleep a twisted leg or a pin or two into a voodoo doll of my arch enemy usually puts me at ease. I figure if I'm awake then SO SHOULD MY ARCH NEMESIS! Knowing he/she is now awake & most likely experiencing excruciating pain usually puts me at ease and it isn't long before I'm back in La-La land.

Kitty said...

recently the cat has decided that 5 am is the time to actually be awake and play around with her toys. Mark doesn't hear it but I do.

Most of the time I fall back asleep. I have to figure out how to reset her cat clock, lol!

Spandrel Studios said...

Hello, again, Fish! Rather than eating something, I'll have to remember to try a glass of milk when I can't get back to sleep.

Hey, Anon... Sounds like the voodoo that you do works for you.

Hi, Kitty - those cats and their early wakeups! Is it me, or are women far more attuned to noises in the house than men are? Or maybe it's just that Mark's a more sound sleeper...