For two days in a row, I’ve tried—spectacularly unsuccessfully—to wake up at 4:00 am.
Resetting my body clock is not as straightforward an exercise as it is for other, more fortunate people (my brother particularly comes to mind). For people like my brother, waking up at 4:00 am simply involves going to bed at, say, 8:00 pm or 9:00 pm (depending on whether eight or seven hours of sleep are needed). As long as they clock in the required number of hours, they’re guaranteed to wake up fresh and alert.
Not in my case. I need to feel the sun (on my lids, on my skin) to achieve a rudimentary level of sentience—even if I’ve already slept more than the requisite seven to eight hours. And since the sun really doesn’t rise until about 6:00 am here in the Philippines, getting up earlier than that is routinely a momentous challenge for me.
(My parents know this all too well. When I was growing up, they had to bang on my bathroom door at regularl intervals during school day mornings to ensure that I wasn’t falling asleep in the shower. And that was only after both parents had taken at least two turns each to actually get me out of bed and into the shower.)
But why do I want to get up at 4:00 am anyway?
Well, for a variety of reasons, both idealistic and practical. If I had to pick just one reason though (and it’s enough on its own), it’s that it’s much easier to get things done in the quiet of the morning, when the rest of the world’s asleep and there are significantly fewer distractions. It’s easy to enjoy silence and solitude when you know you’ll only have them in small and manageable doses.
So today was yet another failure, but that’s probably because I relied (too optimistically) on the spirit overcoming the flesh. Tomorrow, I’ll try shining a sun lamp on my face after my alarm goes off.
Here’s to hoping the deception works.