Something special happened to me one night at 2am when I looked at my alarm clock. Something that had never occurred in my past. On this night, I didn’t think “oh good, I have 4 more hours to sleep.” I realized there is no reason when waking up, to think how long until the alarm goes off. None!
I realized it doesn’t matter if it’s 2am and I have 4 hours left to sleep, or if it’s 4:00am and I have 2 hours left to sleep. Don’t stress, just close your eyes and relax. It’s your body’s time to rebuild itself for the new day. Soon after, on multiple mornings when my alarm went off, I remembered how I chose to relax after my mid-night waking (waking?) and noticed how I felt less tired the following morning.
It wasn’t that I slept more, but I believe the quality (relaxed, rebuilding) of my sleep was much better. There was actually less stress or anxiousness during the night.
There had been numerous stretches in my life where I would wake up at 2, 3 or 4am and accidently start thinking about life things. Sometimes I feel like I’m either on or off, and in that quick waking moment, my brain started to turn back on and take off. It wasn’t insomnia to me, rather it was some kind of brain activeness. Please don’t think it was one of those don’t-look-at-your-cell phone FOMO moments because I never worry about MO. It was simply my mind starting to get in gear when it should have been idling. That’s one good behavior on my side, some inherent drive I must possess.
As I tried to take this concept from sleeping into my daytime life, where I try not to let my brain race off into full-speed-ahead processing, I’ve found life somewhat calmer and possible to focus what’s happening around me more. I’m still not zen, not at all, but I sure do find the ability to enjoy the right now.
To wrap this up, don’t let thoughts jump into your head that are out of your control, they may cause you stress for no reason, and may put you into a time crunch unnecessarily. Maybe you can focus on the thought you’re having and the stress it’s creating, and see if you can let it go, and if not, then think about a plan to resolve the issue and eliminate the stress. At 2am, the stress of an upcoming alarm is resolved easily by going back to sleep while thinking…”ah, many more hours of sleep to be had.”
One quick thought, as you become FI this gets so much easier at 2am. Once you gain RE, this becomes almost non-existent at 2am. Independence is very calming, and “retirement” is even more freeing.