3 AM is a strange time to be writing. Everything is dark. All the lights are off. It’s just me and my computer screen.
I’ve always had weird sleep patterns, which are worsened by my inability to nap. Basically, I get one shot at sleeping every 24 hours. If I get 8 hours in, great for me. If I don’t, I’ll be very tired that day.
I used to be a night owl. 3 AM was a lovely time–perhaps a bit late, but pleasant–for heading to bed. Lately I’ve become an extreme morning lark. Last night, I was so exhausted I lay down at 7 PM. I woke at 3 AM.
It’s odd to wake at 3 AM, feeling rested and alert.
So I’ve been writing all morning. As I sit in the dark room, bathed in the glow of technology, I’m considering how the perception of time is altered by the effects of day and night. Time passes just the same while we sleep, even though we’re not observing it. In fact, days pass normally in the Eastern Hemisphere while I’m asleep and unaware of them. But from my perspective, I fall asleep and then the next event is that I wake up. It’s like a short hop into the future–a subjective illusion about time itself.
3 AM is both night and morning, and the flavor of that hour changes depending on whether you’ve seasoned it with sleep first.