How to get past that waking at 4am frustrated feeling at PumpjackPiddlewick

Throughout my life I have had mornings, early mornings, when I found myself awake. Tossing and turning at 4am (or thereabouts). I used to lie awake and get so frustrated because I wanted to be asleep. I am sure many of you know the feeling.

It always seemed the more I wanted to be asleep, the more wide awake I would become. Until finally, as dawn would break, I would find myself unable to keep my eyes open and fall asleep. Only to be woken a short time later by an alarm clock. I would feel groggy and out of sorts for the rest of the day.

But no more.

A few years ago I decided the 4am frustration was getting me no where and I would try and do something about it rather than keep tossing and turning.

It started with promising myself that if I didn’t fall back asleep after 10 (or so) minutes I would get up. Or at least turn on a light and read in bed. (And thank goodness for my e-reader! So I now don’t even have to turn on a light and disturb Pumpjack.)

I also seduce myself with the promise of a potential nap during the day. I love naps, so giving myself a guilt-free excuse to have one is a wonderful tonic.

Yet, what I find funny is even though I may have had only a few hours of sleep, it doesn’t affect my day. Unlike going back to sleep and waking up groggy. In fact, I often find myself enjoying the drowsiness come night. I anticipate going to bed. Generally finding that I sleep even better. And through the night.

Now what I do, when I find myself dozily awake at 4am, is use that 10 minutes to enjoy deciding what I will do since I am awake. Get up? Write a Blog post? Watch a film? Read?

The early morning world is mine to discover, and is such a wonderful quiet time to do things in. A ‘me’ time. And sometimes in the deciding, I fall back asleep.

(Written at 4am this morning.)



  1. What a lovely, positive post for all those of us who are also nocturnal wanderers! I rely on podcasts these days, as my eyes are tired from staring at words all day, but sometimes I have to listen to the same one for several nights before I can reach the end without nodding off!

    1. Author

      I love podcasts but any human voice sounds wake Maggie (our duck) so that put paid to that in the wee hours. My e-reader has definitely been a boon for me (and I secretly play a lot of spider solitaire).

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