We’ve all had those mornings, haven’t we? We find our eyes cracking open before the alarm pierces through the tranquil air. The sun has barely even cast its rays upon the earth, not yet strong enough to sneak through the edges of the window. We’ve had too many of those mornings, mornings when the coffee just isn’t kicking in fast enough, when “five more minutes” is dangerously close to becoming another hour of sleep.

On the other hand, we’ve all had those nights, too. It’s well past midnight and sleep just seems to evade us. No matter which ways we find ourselves tossing and turning, we’re still enveloped in the land of consciousness. Sleep seems like a dream up ahead, so close yet so far. Our eyes are too stubborn to close and before we know it, those mornings are back again.

For all the grievances we have for waking up too early and all the complaining we do for struggling to fall asleep, we could certainly discover a better use for our time. We waste so much energy begging the numbers on the clock to admit they’re just messing with us. We go above and beyond to avoid accepting time for what it is.

There really is something sacred about those too-early-to-function morning hours. There’s a beautiful stillness before the roads become infested with frantic drivers scrambling to get through rush hour traffic. The air is permeated with songs from enthusiastic birds greeting the reemerging sun back into the world. The luscious fields of grass are spotted with dewdrops that glisten beneath early morning light. It’s a precious coexistence between humans and the quiet earth.

Then, of course, comes the chaos of the day, running from Point A to Point B without so much as a pause for a breath. This just repeats over and over again until we finally get back home to kick our shoes off, only to eventually find ourselves wide awake when we’re desperately trying to seize a few hours of sleep before the cycle resumes.

But those restless nights during which sleep is merely wishful thinking, those nights of tossing and turning, they have their own magic. We’re interwoven with the earth as our breaths become attached to the oxygen around us. We inhale the calming energy of sleep and exhale the stress accumulated from the day. During those moments of restlessness, we let go of the worries plaguing our minds during daylight.

It definitely feels as though early mornings and late nights visit us all too often. Whether we’re waking up early to work on something we didn’t quite finish the night before, or if we’re grabbing dinner in the pitch black, we’re constantly cutting our sleeping hours short. While it’s undeniable that sleep is valuable beyond explanation, we can also learn to appreciate our extra moments of wakefulness.

Or, you know, we could just double up on the espresso and white-knuckle it through the day. That’s always an option.