I’ve never had a remarkable body clock. Prone to neither early rising nor late nights, my finest hour of the day is 10 a.m. when all cylinders fire at the best they’ve got, the energy feels sustainable, and anything seems possible about the rest of the day.
Come to think of it, I tend to schedule newspaper interviews, doctor’s, hair and other personal appointments for that hour – or 1 p.m.
There was a time when the middle morning seemed like the crack of dawn. When I was a teen on a Saturday, despite no particular late night, getting up at 10 was rising early. Noon was more like it.
Yet despite decades of pop-culture banter about Saturday Night Live, it’s been a rare event when I’ve actually stayed awake long enough to view one of the shows live (or non-live, for that matter).
I admire people who rise before dawn when they don’t have to and set about getting things done, or enjoy the quiet, contemplative time when it feels as though you are the only person awake in the world.
But then, I know people whose imaginations are stoked late at night and have that same kind of vibrancy in the wee hours before a good-night’s sleep.
Brian and I were talking about how when we were teens and young adults, we required a lot of sleep. It always seemed that guidelines referring to slumber had it that eight hours were the gold standard. Nowadays, I hear seven. What happened to that extra hour?
Aging is changing my sleep patterns. I don’t require what I once did. I can go to bed at 11 or midnight and get up at 6 or 7, rested. Where once I almost never woke up between bedtime and the alarm, now it’s a rare night when that happens. Frequently around 3 a.m. I’m awake. One recent night, I was wide awake at 3:30 a.m. I thought maybe I could drift back to sleep, but it didn’t happen and at 5, I got up, made coffee, and started the day.
As I write this, I’ve been up since 5 once again. It’s still dark, and the birds are just now tuning up. In a few minutes, my world will get busy as Brian’s alarm sounds, we both get ready for work, and the day is launched.
But I must admit, I like these early-morning starts at the computer, a sort of free time, the quiet moments when the day ahead is still on the calendar, waiting to unfold. It kind of feels like what 10 always has.
Maybe I’m transitioning into an early-bird, after all. What about you? Are you an early bird? A night owl? Are your sleeping patterns changing with age?