Early early morning

FirenzeFirenze Shipmate, Host Emeritus
I have a sleep pattern whereby I usually wake between 5 and 6 and get up about 6.30. I potter round the 'net, play games until about half eight or 9. Then wash, dress, breakfast and off into the day.

It begins now to feel not the best. The same activities bring back the same trains of (largely unhelpful) thoughts, the news is usually depressing, the games grow stale.

How do others begin their day? What is the best way to use the quiet, dark hours?

Comments

  • BroJamesBroJames Purgatory Host
    If I am awake when I shouldn’t be, I tend not to get up, both because of the possibility of my other half waking, and being disturbed by my absence; and because I know I will pay later in the day for early rising.

    I tend to listen to something on my iPhone. There are various things I subscribe to on BBC Sounds, and I can also access talking books in BorrowBox via my local library membership. I try and choose something that is sufficiently engaging to distract my thoughts, but not so gripping that it actually keeps me awake. Because it is there on my phone, I don’t worry about falling asleep part way through and missing something. If I really want to listen to it I can pick it up again later on.

    I suppose the short answer is that I lie in bed and listen to something(Through earphones, of course).
  • I tend to spend the quiet dark hours still trying to get to sleep! I seem to be aware of 2am, 3am, 4am, and 5am most mornings...6am is time to get up, clear the Dragon (stove) of ash, put on more fuel, and take my morning meds...with a biscuit or two...before going back to bed, and, mostly, to sleep for a few hours.


  • FirenzeFirenze Shipmate, Host Emeritus
    Of course it's not only the mind that wakes at 6 am but, more importunately, the bladder.

    And I can't put anything in my ears besides my hearing aids.
  • LeafLeaf Shipmate
    edited November 2023
    Firenze wrote: »
    I have a sleep pattern whereby I usually wake between 5 and 6 and get up about 6.30. I potter round the 'net, play games until about half eight or 9. Then wash, dress, breakfast and off into the day.

    It begins now to feel not the best. The same activities bring back the same trains of (largely unhelpful) thoughts, the news is usually depressing, the games grow stale.

    How do others begin their day? What is the best way to use the quiet, dark hours?

    This is my sleep pattern too.

    What I have found useful: after an hour or two of news and games, I often do "gentle yoga for bigger bodies" or another comfortable beginner yoga video from YouTube. I play it very quietly, and so far it has disturbed no one in my household lo these many months.

    Why I have found it a good thing to do in the early early morning:
    1. it keeps me from being welded to the couch for hours
    2. it's easy
    3. it's very quiet
    4. it takes up only the space of a hastily-unrolled mat
    5. it gives me the hope that I may be able to get myself out of a chair when I'm old, so it feels like a somewhat positive use of the dark morning hours
    6. I never feel like I have to complete a routine. If I feel like doing five minutes, that's what I do. Or more, if I feel like it. Then I get back on the couch for a while.

    It took me a while to find a favourite video. I scrolled through YouTube and dismissed many for being too difficult, too fast, can't stand the instructor's voice, etc.

    My goal isn't fitness. It's just to move a bit, quietly, for a little while and in a peaceful way.

    It's also inexpensive: I bought a low-priced yoga mat, which is quickly rolled up and thrust behind some furniture when I'm done. It's a low space commitment too.
  • FirenzeFirenze Shipmate, Host Emeritus
    I have recently started a morning set of t'ai chi foundation exercises. I hope, with the aid of a physio, to build about a 10 minute set.

    You're right to start prepping for old age: you definitely do lose it if you don't use it.

    However, I need to be dressed to exercise.
  • ArielAriel Shipmate
    I don't have a sleep pattern as such - I surface at different times.

    On a work day if I wake up with a bit of a margin before I have to start, I'll either catch up on the news and social media or just stay put and try to visualize a relaxing scene I feel comfortable in. Mornings can sometimes begin with a vague sense of anxiety or gloom and that seems a helpful way of beginning and trying to shake it off.

    At weekends I just take my own time. One thing I've sometimes been tempted to do is go and do something creative on the computer. The small hours are generally quiet and undisturbed (though there is a small child next door who doesn't always sleep well) and if my mind is working clearly I might get an outline of something down. However, in practice I rarely do this as I usually have to consider full-time employment and storylines are therefore mentally composed instead.

    As a cure for insomnia I used to listen to the World Service on the radio through earphones, despite the programmes being sufficiently interesting to keep me awake, but one morning I woke up with a thumping bass beat coming through the walls - or so I thought - it turned out I'd inflicted tinnitus on myself. I haven't used earphones since. Luckily it's diminished to barely noticeable unless I now listen hard for it in a silent room, but the last thing I want is to give it any chance to revive.
  • BroJamesBroJames Purgatory Host
    edited November 2023
    Firenze wrote: »
    Of course it's not only the mind that wakes at 6 am but, more importunately, the bladder.

    And I can't put anything in my ears besides my hearing aids.

    Some hearing aids these days can connect to devices via Bluetooth, but that might be a big investment if yours don’t already.
  • FirenzeFirenze Shipmate, Host Emeritus
    Mine connect to my phone - sometimes. And there's an option to connect to TV, which I don't use.

    But plugging into any external source while in bed is just not a goer.
  • TelfordTelford Deckhand, Styx
    We keep awful hours so you may notice that I very rarely post in the morning, unless I still haven't gone to bed.
  • Firenze wrote: »
    Of course it's not only the mind that wakes at 6 am but, more importunately, the bladder.
    My bladder wakes at 90min - 2hr intervals. My brain used to remain asleep until the 3rd alarm from my bladder, but more recently is waking at the second call.

    Once the brain is awake it will be churning out random thoughts for about 2hours As long as daylight doesn't seep through the curtains I will eventually go back to sleep.
    I do not get up, as switching on the light will really wake me, but listening to the radio often helps. I used listen to audiobooks until my 3rd CD player wore out (Any kind of earphones, buds or cans hurt my ears).

    I have recently changed from listening to the World Service, as most of the programmes I was awake for annoyed me. Currently I am playing Classic FM in my wakeful hours but am beginning to find that very repetitious. Mostly it is pieces I enjoy, but recently the Adagio from Spartacus (Khachaturian) three times in 24 hours did seem a bit too much.

    I generally decide it is morning between 05:00&06:00, and get get up at 06:30. Bedtime is approximately 11pm. I dare not go to bed earlier as I do like it to be past midnight before I have to do the first trip to the loo.
    It's just about bedtime now - Goodnight all!


  • I go to sleep at 10 and wake up at 2 other than a quick bladder call I get back in bed and worry about not going to sleep until about 4 fall asleep and wake again at 7:30. No choice but to get dressed and walk the dog.
  • PigletPiglet All Saints Host, Circus Host
    When I changed jobs in January, and no longer had an hour-and-a-half commute, it took me quite a while to recalibrate my sleep patterns, and I would still wake at silly o'clock despite no longer needing to. If I wake during the night, I'll always get up and go to the loo, as I assume that's why I woke in the first place.

    Now that my commute is a 10-minute walk, I set the alarm for about 7, do Wordle and potter about on Facebook until 7:30 and then get up.

    At weekends, I get up about an hour before I have to be anywhere (which usually means the church, which is literally across the road from my flat).

  • MaryLouiseMaryLouise Shipmate, Host Emeritus
    Because of power cuts and working long distance, I often work during the night until 2am and then battle to get to sleep. The birds start up before 5am (lucky to have birds rather than traffic) and often I just get up then.

    What I do early in the morning depends on how sleepless the night has been: sometimes it feels like a sleepless night just continues through a sleepless day. I usually sit up in bed and read the psalms, the Catholic routine of the daily Office, very familiar and soothing or even soporific at times. Then I do some writing (morning pages), have some tea and do stretchy exercises on a mat out in the back garden, followed by some meditation, coffee and back to work.

    Other mornings, because I am a prolific dreamer, I jot down dreams and associations in a dream journal kept beside the bed. I read poetry or fiction and then brace myself for news headlines. Most mornings involve pottering about before I'm fully awake enough to reply to emails or start work: I water plants in pots, fill dogs' water bowls, stare vacantly into the fridge while wondering what to cook, chat to partner who is also an early morning person but someone who jumps up, showers, makes breakfast, calls hospice night staff, very busy and practical while I am wandering about trying to recall the dog's name.
  • Like many here, I tend to wake at the unearthly hour of 4.00 or even 3.30 AM. I struggle to get back to any sort of sleep, especially as the cats, seeing me awake, think it's breakfast time.
    I shared my dilemma ( getting back to sleep) with Mrs RR. "But that's easy." she said, "sit beside me on the sofa and I'll put my favourite gardening program on the TV". She looked me levelly. "I guarentee you'll be asleep in five minutes."

    For Mrs RR, the same effect can be achieved with any Wagner opera DVD, however exciting it is.

    I tend to pray a lot in the wee small hours and hope that the Good Lord, too, is awake. Though I suspect my prayers will send even Him to sleep.
  • I'll often wake around 3:30 or 4:00, and usually find that a mug of coffee (dark roast, so low caffeine) and ten minutes with a book will put me back to sleep right away, until the alarm goes off at 7:00. In the summer the sun shines straight in the bedroom window, so no need for the alarm.
  • FirenzeFirenze Shipmate, Host Emeritus
    At least I get to see winter dawns. Currently one of those pale numbers - the lower sky lemon shading to peach, a light drift of mauvish-grey clouds, the regulation silhouette of a leafless tree and rooftops.
  • Darllenwr gets me up at 6am so I have a wash, dress and have breakfast before he goes to work at 6.45. I have a quick look at the news headlines and then have my quiet time, using the online version of my study notes followed by prayer for individuals.
  • No settled pattern, but an unbroken night’s sleep is rare these days. As soon as I woke at 3.33am a particularly intractable problem with Mr Puzzler’s estate filled my thoughts. I went to the loo and eventually, after trying to do some sums, dropped off, to wake at 7.44, just time to get up and to church.
    Often I wake around 5 and put the radio on, but do nothing active before 6, when I might look at things on my phone. When it is lighter, I might get up and start the day’s tasks.
  • ZappaZappa Shipmate
    Since a little fight with ecclesiastical authorities a few years back I have never regained "normal" sleep, and am rarely asleep after 4:30. Yet I have come to see it as a gift. I admit I spend about 30-60 minutes surfing news networks, but slowly I am finding this is my best time for productivity. Reading, writing, walking, I even pray occasionally. And so quiet ... I have grown to love it.
  • HuiaHuia Shipmate
    Aroha, my cat has decided that 6am is the latest a cat should have breakfast, so that's when the furry alarm clock sounds. I feed her and take a pill then and have to wait another hour before I can have breakfast. Usually I go back to bed and read so I don't accidently eat something and stuff up the meds, however since I have re-discovered some audios of meditations that I thought I'd lost forever I may meditate then instead, As this means unrolling the yoga mat I could also steal @Leaf's idea and do some gentle yoga as well.

    Now off to find a "Yoga for the very unfit" You Tube video.
  • BoogieBoogie Heaven Host
    If I wake up early (usually a call of nature) I listen to podcasts, nothing too interesting, and they help me dose off again without waking my brain up.

    I'm retired so I refuse to get up before 7am. But when I do get up I tidy up, then walk the dogs before breakfast, whatever the weather. I often go in my pyjamas underneath my waterproofs then have a shower when I get back. 🐾🙂
  • Gee DGee D Shipmate
    Boogie wrote: »
    If I wake up early (usually a call of nature)🐾🙂

    As an elderly msn ( I think I've now reached that stage rather than approaching it) it's neither an if or a usually.
  • It varies. Three days a week I try to wake up early (without the alarm or light, so as not to wake my wife) and go swimming. Ideally I get to the pool just before it opens at 6am, swim, shop and come home for breakfast.

    But not every day, although I am getting more larkish as I age.
  • Nick TamenNick Tamen Shipmate
    Huia wrote: »
    Aroha, my cat has decided that 6am is the latest a cat should have breakfast, so that's when the furry alarm clock sounds.
    Our furry alarm clock would go off at 5:30, and he seemed certain that I was the only one capable of feeding him. So daughter gave me an automatic feeder for Christmas. It was a godsend.

    feed her and take a pill then and have to wait another hour before I can have breakfast. Usually I go back to bed and read so I don't accidently eat something and stuff up the meds, however since I have re-discovered some audios of meditations that I thought I'd lost forever I may meditate then instead, As this means unrolling the yoga mat I could also steal @Leaf's idea and do some gentle yoga as well.

    Now off to find a "Yoga for the very unfit" You Tube video.
    When my wife, who teaches yoga, wakes up earlier than she’d like, she does yoga nidra. No mat, or getting out of bed, required, and she goes right back to sleep.


  • I had many years of bad sleep due to hospital with son and hypervigilance when at home. Mostly only 5 hours per night. Since ditching work I'm usually now up to 7 hours and the bedroom alarm still comes on at 6am. Quite often I hear news headlines and drift off for another hour, which I know I need.

    If I wake in the night for call of nature and can't get back to sleep, I listen to a podcast on my phone. I have a favourite one that sends me off pretty quickly. It's not intentional but I've heard this particular episode a couple of times, so I'm not trying to stay awake to make sure I get the complete story, so very drowsy making and I love the caster's voice, nice and relaxing.

    I am sure the cats hang around outside the bedroom door listening for my glasses case to snap shut as they are often there when I open the bedroom door.

    First thing of a morning is kettle on, loo visit, make coffee, back to bed for online newspapers and persusal of death notices. Listen to morning radio with chats to favourite producers, breakfast (leisurely) and into the day with cups of tea, morning jobs and chats to family members.

    I like a bit of Tai Chi too, but have gotten out of the routine of late, as has my walking due to hot weather. I'm hoping to reverse this as we come into Autumn/winter
  • The usual night goes like this asleep at 10:00 awake at 3:00 asleep at 5 awake at 7:30. I have tried staying up later, but I can not seem to do that.
  • The_RivThe_Riv Shipmate
    These days I find myself dozing off quite regularly about an hour or so after supper. I seem to be trying to revert to the biphasic pattern of our medieval ancestors (sleep a 3-4 hours from shortly after sundown -- get up for a couple/few hours, known as The Watch -- then sleep again for 3-4 hours until dawn. Maybe I will when I don't need my job any more. For now, Mrs. The_Riv doesn't let me snooze too long. If she does, invariably the dogs intervene. :smile:
  • Graven ImageGraven Image Shipmate
    edited March 19
    The_Riv wrote: »
    These days I find myself dozing off quite regularly about an hour or so after supper. I seem to be trying to revert to the biphasic pattern of our medieval ancestors (sleep a 3-4 hours from shortly after sundown -- get up for a couple/few hours, known as The Watch -- then sleep again for 3-4 hours until dawn."

    Well, that explains my sleep pattern. Thanks. I shall think now that it was a throwback to my ancestors. One important question I need to know. Did they snack? Was chocolate involved? How about peanut butter?

    Fixed coding - Nenya, All Saints Host
  • PuzzlerPuzzler Shipmate
    Last night I was asleep by about 11pm. I woke at 2 needing the loo. Thankfully I went back to sleep after a few minutes, then woke at 7.10, so not too bad. If I go to bed later I wake up about 5, and probably don’t get off to sleep again.
    Next week I am being collected at 5am for a long day trip. I have no idea how to prepare for it. I can see I won’t fall asleep at all or will go to bed early and be awake at 2!
  • I have informed my Family that I am good-for-nothing until at least midday, unless provided earlier with a Full English Breakfast...if they want me to emerge before noon, it is They who must supply the breakfast...
  • The_RivThe_Riv Shipmate
    The_Riv wrote: »
    These days I find myself dozing off quite regularly about an hour or so after supper. I seem to be trying to revert to the biphasic pattern of our medieval ancestors (sleep a 3-4 hours from shortly after sundown -- get up for a couple/few hours, known as The Watch -- then sleep again for 3-4 hours until dawn."

    Well, that explains my sleep pattern. Thanks. I shall think now that it was a throwback to my ancestors. One important question I need to know. Did they snack? Was chocolate involved? How about peanut butter?

    Fixed coding - Nenya, All Saints Host

    Well, apparently during the Middle Ages, a primary activity during The Watch was sex. Make of that what you will!
  • BroJamesBroJames Purgatory Host
    The_Riv wrote: »
    The_Riv wrote: »
    These days I find myself dozing off quite regularly about an hour or so after supper. I seem to be trying to revert to the biphasic pattern of our medieval ancestors (sleep a 3-4 hours from shortly after sundown -- get up for a couple/few hours, known as The Watch -- then sleep again for 3-4 hours until dawn."

    Well, that explains my sleep pattern. Thanks. I shall think now that it was a throwback to my ancestors. One important question I need to know. Did they snack? Was chocolate involved? How about peanut butter?

    Fixed coding - Nenya, All Saints Host

    Well, apparently during the Middle Ages, a primary activity during The Watch was sex. Make of that what you will!
    It was dark and there was no light or TV.
  • PigletPiglet All Saints Host, Circus Host
    Well, they had to make as many children as possible to (delete as appropriate according to class, geography and circumstances):

    (a) fight the French
    (b) fight the Infidel
    (c) fight the Vikings
    (d) run the yardland/farm/estate/whatever or
    (e) repopulate the country after the Plague


  • The_RivThe_Riv Shipmate
    BroJames wrote: »
    It was dark and there was no light or TV.

    Oh c’mon — they had hearths and candles and puppet shows! Priorities!
  • Lily PadLily Pad Shipmate
    Puzzler wrote: »
    Last night I was asleep by about 11pm. I woke at 2 needing the loo. Thankfully I went back to sleep after a few minutes, then woke at 7.10, so not too bad. If I go to bed later I wake up about 5, and probably don’t get off to sleep again.
    Next week I am being collected at 5am for a long day trip. I have no idea how to prepare for it. I can see I won’t fall asleep at all or will go to bed early and be awake at 2!

    My best advice is to have them be your alarm clock. Do whatever you would usually do for an alarm but ask them to be the back up. When I do this, I sleep well. Also, prepare everything the night before. :)

    I'm one of those who has had some nasty trauma affecting my sleep for several years. Was finally connected with a useful medication and am losing my aversion to sleep. It's such a relief.
  • Also, plan for the worst—in my case that means assuming I’ll get no sleep and having caffeine sources on hand and carried with me. Then if you do get sleep, you can be pleasantly surprised.
  • PriscillaPriscilla Shipmate
    Cut out caffeine - decaf tea and coffee is now quite drinkable
  • Aye, but of no use if you anticipate sleepiness (due to a sleepless night) and wish to counteract it. That's what I was suggesting.
  • ZappaZappa Shipmate
    3:45 this morning ... but as i was going to have to get up by about 4:40 for our 6:30 predawn that was perfect ...
  • Not so early, but took part in an Ecumenical walk around the lake in a local park at 6.30.
  • Another sleepless night of prayer and poison Ivy—at least this time the Ivy was my husband’s!
  • HuiaHuia Shipmate
    Another sleepless night of prayer and poison Ivy—at least this time the Ivy was my husband’s!

    We don't have that over here, but it sounds nasty, I hope Rev Chopped is better soon,
  • Me too, thank you. He looks to have a much lighter case, and he says he can do "mind over matter" when he's awake, so we'll see.
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