On my mind in the early hours of the morning

When you wake up in the early hours of the morning, unable to sleep for a rushing mind, what are you mulling over? We ask a new mum, a business owner, an office worker and a menopausal woman to share their early morning thoughts… 

What’s on my mind in the early hours?

The New Mum
Lauren Davies, 33, is mum to three-month-old Maxwell

How do you feel when you wake up in the early hours?
Pensive. I have an active mind but my thoughts and ideas flow on a wave of feeling very happy and grateful for everything I have.

What is your first thought?
Is Maxwell still asleep?

What thoughts might this then lead to?
Will he wake up soon. If he doesn’t wake up then I start thinking about what we still need to do to our house. When will we actually sort his room out, could I learn how to lay a patio. Would it be really difficult to do a herringbone brick patio. How can I convince my husband that it would be great to have higher planters surrounding the patio.

Do you try to calm your mind or let yourself get carried away?
Let myself get carried away.

Any other comments?
I am lucky enough these days that I am able to choose to go back to sleep when I want. I just turn that switch off in my mind when I feel I have done enough thought loops.

The Business Owner
Owner of Tomfoolery jewellery shop in Muswell Hill, north London

How do you feel when you wake up in the early hours?
It’s always different I guess but I’m a massive morning person – I’m the type of person who jumps out of bed. I’m usually excited for the day ahead.

What are your first thoughts?
I like to get to the shop before anyone else, mainly due to getting nervous about staff waiting outside the shop in the morning. Apparently it’s a high target time for robbery and it’s when we have had most robberies happen (except being followed in store) but I just have to hope that it won’t happen and train my staff for the worst case scenario. So that’s on my mind.

Do you try to calm your mind or let yourself get carried away?
I do a little mindfulness and accept it comes with the territory of being a jewellery store owner…

Any other comments?
We are doing a new collection which I dream about most nights and – to be frank – I think a lot about money: what’s come in and, more stressfully, what’s going out. Also, there’s prep for the dreaded VAT bill. But the way to calm myself is just to crack on and get through it all… serving lovely happy customers is definitely the most therapeutic treatment for the stress.

The Office Worker
Izzy Goss, 34, is a senior art director in advertising, specialising in fashion

How do you feel when you wake up in the early hours?
I feel very alert. I’m pumped and ready to go.


What is your first thought on waking?
I have got to get moving now.

Even though I have set my alarm for 6.45am (wishful thinking), my toddler usually wakes me up before. On the rare occasion she has slept a little later, I am wide awake and ready to jump out of bed by 6.45. the alarm seems to be more of a ‘just in case’ rather than its more traditional role.

What thoughts might this then lead to?
To be honest I just go for it. I don’t over think it.

Possibly the busiest part of my day unfolds first thing… I have one hour to get the toddler up, dress her, dress myself, brush our teeth, hair, one min for basic makeup, pack toddler day bag, to the kitchen – food, hoping my toddler will eat, persuading my toddler to eat, begging my toddler to eat – and fast, run to the buggy, power walk to nursery. Run to train station. Catch rush hour train. Run to the office via a cafe. Arrive at my desk by 9am, sit, bite into a croissant and – relax.

I am aware it’s crazy busy with a toddler, rush hour commute, work responsibilities and deadlines, keeping the fridge full, meals for us, meals for my daughter. The pace only slows in the office. The moment I can leave, I pretty much have to run to nursery to pick her up then when we get home and an evening of mothering commences (dinner, bath, bed etc). I don’t think – I don’t have time – I just do.

This very very busy time won’t last forever. I am young, I have energy. I love my career I have worked so hard for. I love my independence financially and to be my own person – as well as a mother, which I adore. Above all, I love my little girl.

I am trying to make it work so that I can do both. So while I know that my daughter, myself and my husband are happy, my thoughts are practical; how to make it work for us all. If I feel cracks; stress for my little family, then thoughts would lead to bigger questions about lifestyle/family/work decisions. But touch wood: so far, so good.

Any other comments?
I have never been so busy but without question, have never been more fulfilled. I recently left the advertising agency world to help build and launch a new online fashion brand – Nobody’s Child. Its HQ is in Soho, it launched late last year and is growing well. It has been fantastic to be part of an exciting new brand, working with passionate people – there is a real creative buzz in the office.

The Menopausal Woman
Tracey Hastain, 52, business owner and mentor

How do you feel when you wake up in the early hours?
Hot and/or curious – hot because of the menopause, curious because I like to guess what time it is – not good when clock reads 12.30 or 1.30am… arghhhh.

What is your first thought?
What time is it? And “oh no my mind is going to go into overdrive…”.

What thoughts might this lead to?
Work, personal, do I need the bathroom…

Do you try to calm your mind or let yourself get carried away?
After tossing and turning I try and relax – I’m not stressed quite so much anymore about waking in the early hours, because I know I’m not the only one (thanks partly to the Early Hour). But also, there is no point in stressing if you do you feel worse in the morning. If you go with it, you stay more relaxed even if you are not sleeping. I have realised I wake up and carry on with my day OK and that usually these non-sleeping times go in phases and there will be a time when sleep is easier – it is about going with the flow.

Any other comments?
The wee hours or early hours are not times of the day we should be scared of – sometimes our bodies or minds just don’t let us sleep during those times but we can reschedule and create times when we can relax more.

Everyone is different and therefore we should all just look at a variety of ways that can help us achieve a reasonable night’s sleep, but in the end if you feel OK in the morning then maybe that’s just how your body functions. If not, then you should research ways that might help you achieve a level of sleep that works for you. As humans, I have realised that nothing in life is set in stone – we are who we are and we live, breathe, eat and sleep in all manner of ways.

Do you wake up in the early hours? And what are your first thoughts? Let us know in the comment section below or join our discussion about morning thoughts over on the forum

Image credit: coffee: indexthevortex.tumblr.combed: thebrickhouse.tumblr.com