4AM should not be familiar to anyone

For about a month this year I went through a rough patch of sleep. And by rough, I mean waking up around 4AM every morning without fail, regardless of when I would go to bed. 9PM, midnight, even 2AM, nothing and no amount of melatonin could apparently prevent my eyes from popping open during the 4 o’clock hour. And of course, I couldn’t be so lucky as to be wide awake and ready to get stuff done. No, I would just lie there in a zombie-like state wishing for the sleep that wouldn’t return.

It wasn’t the first time in my life that I’d been up at 4. Some festive evenings would find me winding down at 4AM, other mornings would find me up and at ’em to catch a flight or hit the road. But those days weren’t consecutive.

It was almost with despair a few weeks into the problem that I realized 4AM had become familiar. All the noises of delivery trucks, early buses, and that one noisy car heading into work for an early shift, I recognized. The twilight was no longer held that “middle of the night” feel. Even the smells of cooled earth and dewy vegetation had become common.

And I didn’t like it. I’m an early riser, I love the look, smell, and sound of sunrise. But the experience of the 4 o’clock hour — neither night nor day, a restive, unenthusiastic hour that so perfectly reflected the feelings of my sleep deprived soul — that I could do without.

So I guess I should be glad that when insomnia kicked in last night it was at 1:30AM?

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