My quest to be a morning person

dont want to get up

dont want to get up

I originally titled this post “How to be a morning person” and then realized that was a bit misleading, since I have no clue how to be a morning person. But I want to learn how.

I’ve always been a night owl. But as I’ve gotten older, I’ve been noticing I actually like those occasional mornings when I do get up early. I end up feeling more productive and more energized throughout the day – even though usually the only reason I got up early in the first place was because of an appointment I was unable to schedule for the afternoon (my preferred time for appointments). Which usually meant the morning would be a write-off. It didn’t seem to matter. I still felt more productive.

And I’m also finding it more challenging these days to stay focused when I’m working late into the night. This used to be something that came easily to me. Now? Not so much. (Apparently this can have something to do with getting older. Hmmm.)

The question, though, is how to wake up early on a consistent basis, without having to go to the trouble of scheduling morning appointments?

I decided to search online to see how I, too, could become a morning person.

As it turns out, there are a LOT of articles and blog posts out there on “how to be a morning person.” (Obviously I’m not the only one yearning to wake up earlier.)

I found some pretty good tips. Like, get more sleep (this sounds like common sense but apparently most people don’t get enough sleep, which makes it harder to get up early). And make your bedroom the right environment for sleep. There are also some  good ideas for making sure you get out of bed when the alarm goes.  (Moving your alarm across the room, for instance. And letting more light into your room in the mornings.)

My main problem, though? There are two, actually. First, because I work from home and my work is very deadline-driven, there are many nights when my office actually is “open” at midnight. And at 1:00 a.m. And 2:00 a.m. This problem is one of those vicious cycle kind of things, though. Obviously if I got up earlier and went to bed earlier, I’d still have the same number of hours in the day to do my work, right?

My other problem is that I tend to get my second wind right around 11:00 pm, when most people are thinking about getting to bed. From everything I’ve read, if I want to get up at, say, 6:00 or 7:00 in the morning, then I really should be in bed at around 11:00 or 12:00. That’s kind of hard to do when right around then is when I start feeling energized. Not that I want to go workout or anything like that. I just feel, well, kind of like I’ve just woken up and had a cup of coffee. Which I haven’t. (And anyway, I’ve been off caffeinated coffee for a few years now, so I can’t even blame it on the caffeine.)

Despite this, though, I’m going to give it a good try later in February, when work isn’t so chaotic and I have a chance of implementing a totally new sleep schedule. Wish me luck!

What about you? Are you an early bird or a night owl? Have any tips for me?

12 thoughts on “My quest to be a morning person

  1. Bernadette

    I’ve always been a morning person but it happens in the same way as breathing so I’ve no tips for you I’m afraid – for me it just “is”. I have occasionally tried to alter my natural clock – when I was younger and all my friends were staying out late and so on – but it’s always been hard work and I haven’t been tempted enough to stick at it long term. My job is flexible enough that I can make the best use of my peak operating hours – I tend to get to work at 7 or 7:30 – do a couple of solid quiet hours before the rabble starts then leave around 4:30 when I’m flagging – if I need to work extra I’ll do an hour or two at home after dinner but I try not to do this every night. On weekends I wake up at the same time (5:30 or 6:00) but use the time for reading or catching up with blogs. Or going for a walk – I love walking in the early morning.

    Reply
    1. Belle Wong Post author

      That’s the kind of thing I want to start doing – early morning walks. I see you wake up early consistently. I think that might be the key for me.

      Reply
  2. Heidenkind

    My mom (and me and my brother) are legit night owls. Like you I get my second wind around 11… And sometimes 3am after that. I’ve tried to be a morning person and it no worky. Waking up before 10am-9 during daylight savings-is excruciating.

    That said, my dad is a morning person, and I’ve realized that what separates night people from morning people is that morning people can lie down at any time, be like, “I’m going to sleep,” AND GO TO SLEEP. That’s amazing. That would never happen to me.

    Just remember morning people don’t really get any more stuff done than you do. They just get it done earlier (or later, depending on how you look at it).

    Reply
    1. Belle Wong Post author

      I used to be able to fall back to sleep if I woke up earlier in the mornings but I’m not able to do this as easily any more. It’s one of the things that make me wonder if I may be able to become a morning person after being a night owl for so long. My husband is like your dad, a morning person. It can make for a strange relationship sometimes when we’re both in our natural rhythms!

      Reply
  3. Kay

    Well, I am legitimately a morning person. I’ve always been one. Even when I was a teenager. I was always the one who got pranks played on me because I’d be asleep first. LOL

    Don’t know if I have any tips. I get up at 5AM, mostly because that’s when my husband gets up. His commute is long and he likes to get ahead of the traffic. I’m retired from working outside the home and could sleep in, but it’s easier to be on the same schedule as he is. And I think it’s correct to say that we earlybirds don’t really get more done, we just get it done at an earlier time. We have a daughter who is a nurse in a hospital and she’s always worked nights. Her life is opposite from ours. It’s hard to know when to text or call her and not wake her up.

    Maybe make the transition a little at a time? Setting the alarm ahead by half an hour or 15 minutes and gradually make the change. Good luck!

    Reply
    1. Belle Wong Post author

      I think making the transition gradually is a great idea. A part of me wants to jump in and make a grand switch but I’d probably adjust faster to gradual changes.

      Reply
  4. Sarah's Book Shelves

    Haha – I like this post even though I’m the complete opposite of you! I’m a morning person and, even when I was in school, I’d set my alarm for 5 am to study or finish a paper rather than work on it late at night. My brain literally doesn’t function past 8 pm. Even my husband can look at me and tell I’ve mentally shut down for the night…I couldn’t get anything done at 11 pm no matter how much money I was being paid! So, kudos to you for being able to work late at night! It is an asset at times!

    I go to bed around 9:30-10 and usually read in bed until around 11. Then I’m up by 7:00, but could get up earlier if need be. I’m at my most productive in the mornings and then usually take a 30 min nap after lunch while the kids are napping. Of course, the kids sort of require that I either be a morning person or be completely miserable! Also – a morning workout helps me wake up.

    Reply
    1. Sarah's Book Shelves

      PS – Just read the other comments and I totally agree that morning people don’t get more done than night people…just get their most important things done at a different time that you do. I’m useless past 8 pm and you’re just getting rolling! I’ve also read that people are kind of one or the other and you should just know yourself and try to time your day so your most important work happens when you’re at your best.

      Reply
    2. Belle Wong Post author

      I really like the idea of a morning workout. And naps! I wonder if napping might help in terms of making the transition to a morning person.

      Reply
  5. Ti

    I am physically unable to sleep past a certain time and that time is usually 7 am. I wake at 4 normally so 7 is really sleeping in for me.

    My second wind comes around 2 pm and then again around 7 pm but I am ready for bed by 9 most nights. At work, I get a ton of stuff done between 6 am-8 am. The rest of the day I sort of just exist.

    Reply

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