I am not a natural born morning person. Not even a little. I love my bed, and my bed loves me right back and in the past we had a fantastic relationship and spent more time together than we probably should have. But lately I’ve been distancing myself, seeing other inanimate objects, if you will. You see, I realized that the time I was spending rolling around in bed long after my alarm went off was time that I could be used to be productive and that I wasn’t actually as tired as I thought I was.
I’ve always been a self proclaimed night owl (in fact, in the early days of Mostly Morgan more often than not my posts were written at around 2 in the morning!) but after experimenting with trying to be a morning person I realized I was wrong – I’m not wired to be a night person, a bad sleep schedule lead me to believing that I naturally thrived at night.
Humans have been around ages longer than electricity has been – so most people are still wired with their same sleep schedules. Before electricity, people had to get their work done when there was natural light, so they woke with the sun and went to sleep shortly after dark. Now I’m not saying I get up with the sun (yet!) but I have drastically changed my sleep schedule in the past few months with very little consequence.
Why should I wake up early?
How to keep from hitting snooze.
For a lot of people – the biggest challenge is actually getting out of bed when their alarm goes off. I use a few different strategies to help me stay awake after waking up:
- Don’t keep your alarm in arms reach – mine is usually on my desk at the foot of my bed so I have to sit up and reach to turn it off. This helps so that I don’t just shut it off before actually fully waking up, which I had been known to do in the past.
- Drink a ton of water before going back to sleep. If you think that you’re still super tired and must sleep more to function, there is a good chance that you’re actually just dehydrated. Keep a big water bottle by your bed and force yourself to drink it before laying back down. Chances are you aren’t actually as tired as you think you are!
How to get to bed earlier.
This is another place where a lot of people tend to have trouble with. We’ve all been there – sitting at the computer watching YouTube videos and then all the sudden it is one in the morning and you still have a million things to do. Luckily, I have a few tricks for you:
- Close your laptop at 12:00, no excuses. This is my rule if I have class the next morning – and it makes going to bed a lot easier. If you implement this rule (and don’t cheat!) you will make sure to finish anything that you need to do on your laptop before midnight, and once it’s closed you’ll have far less distractions.
- As soon as you get home for the evening make a list of things to do, and then do them. Your list should include things that absolutely must get done that night, and a few things that you need to get done within the next few days. Now you have to do them before moving on to the fun stuff. This requires some self control, but I know you’ve got it in you!
- Install an extension like f.lux that will adjust your screen’s brightness and tone at sunset so that your sleep pattern isn’t messed up by the artificial light from your laptop. This one takes a bit of an adjustment period, but I swear by it! It’s better if you just avoid screens all together after sundown, but I know how impractical that is.
- Cut back on caffeine throughout the day – I know for a lot of college students this isn’t likely, but you should still try! Personally I really don’t consume any caffeine and when I do it’s in low doses, and this is a big factor in why I had so much success in fixing my sleep schedule.
First thing in the morning:
There are a few things that you can do in the mornings to help you get excited about being up at this crazy hour:
- I will reiterate the importance of drinking water – do it! You will feel so much better. Drink an entire bottle or big glass and you will feel good all day!
- Eat breakfast – we all know the importance of breakfast, but beyond it being important, it’s delicious. Morning is another opportunity to indulge in yummy food, so do it. If you’re in a hurry, I recommend oatmeal!
- Enjoy a morning beverage – my go to is non-caffeinated green tea, though sometimes I do enjoy orange juice. If you’re a coffee person, go for that instead! (But always hydrate before you caffeinate, or you’ll get dehydrated and that’ll make you feel tired!)
- Stretch – this is another one that is going to make you feel good, and I actually really enjoy my morning stretch. Usually it’s nothing extensive: I’ll touch my toes a few times and stretch out my arms and shoulders, but it makes me feel happy.
- Indulge in some ‘you time.’ Chances are that not many of your friends are awake, take that to your advantage. This can mean enjoying the sunrise, writing a bit, or whatever it is that makes you happy.
- Do a bit of exercise to get your blood flowing! I love pilates videos, but when it’s nicer outside I will go on short jogs, instead! As an added bonus, if you’re exercising during the day, going to bed at night will be easier!
I promise you that you will start to see a positive change in your life as soon as you take control of your sleep schedule. I am far less stressed, and I never experience the ‘mid-day slump’ that was part of my daily routine last semester. I also stopped taking naps almost completely, and as terrible as that might sound I don’t miss them. I used to need them to function, but now I am regularly getting an hour less sleep than I used to (eight hours as opposed to nine) and I have never felt more energized.
Are you a morning person? Would you like to be? Comment below!