sleep smarter

How I Became A Morning Person

I am not typically a morning person by anyones standards. If I wake up early, it's usually out of obligation or necessity. I would prefer to sleep half my day away and lay in bed until noon and just stay up late at night. That routine was disrupted in 2014-2015 when I was working for a large pharmaceutical company because I had to be at work between 8 am and 8:30 am. So I had to be awake, dressed, car parked, and at my desk by that time so I had to be up pretty early do do that. In graduate school, it didn't matter what time I got to work as long as I stayed long enough to get the work completed. However, in the company I was working for, people don't stay past 5:30 pm on a typical day. Definitely a big change for me. 

Anyway, I adjusted and I guess over time it became a habit because I was doing that for 12 months straight. Even on weekends when I would try to sleep in, I couldn't. But then I had to return to graduate school to finish my PhD and initially there was no change in my schedule. But over time, I started to sleep a little later at a time. And I stopped coming in around 8 am so that I could show up closer to 10/11 am. 

I was fine with it for a while and then another change came along; I moved in with my fiancé. Suddenly, I am in an environment where someone else has to be a morning person and i'm struggling to get out of the bed in the morning. So essentially, I decided to try and get up around the time she did so that I could get my day started and we would get home roughly around the same time in the evenings. 

It was a struggle, but I'll tell you what changed.

First, let me say that sleep is important to the human body on a variety of levels. For specifics and more in depth info that you likely don't even know, I would suggest that you check out the book Sleep Smarter by Shawn Stevenson (health and nutrition expert). 

I mention that because he has talked about ways to get better sleep and one of the ways he discusses is to make your room pitch black at night. And there are different ways to achieve that. 1) Get some dark curtains that exclude light from your room. Or 2) get one of those sleep masks that goes over your eyes. I ended up getting a mask because I actually like to leave my window blinds open. 

The reason I like to leave my blinds open and sleep with the mask on is because when I wake up I would rather lift the mask and my eyes get the shock of morning light. That light is going to send a signal to my brain, through my optic nerves, that it's time to get up. 

I found that I have been sleeping better through the night and that I have way more energy when I wake up. This has propelled me to doing more with my mornings that I didn't usually do, such as maybe cleaning the kitchen before going to work or going for a jog outside before getting ready for work. Like, I just had more energy once I got up. And when I woke up early, it wasn't even like I wanted to stay there in bed. Once, I took the eye mask off and the light from my window hit my eyes, I was awake. 

So that's how I ended up changing my sleep schedule to one of a morning person.

If you're interested in more reading, Michael Hyatt has written a general post on how to become a morning person, which I think you should check out if you're interested.

Additionally, Shawn Stevenson has a health and nutrition podcast on iTunes called the Model Health Show that you can check out. He discusses the benefits of sleep from a scientific perspective in various episodes. One that you can get started with can be watched on YouTube here:

 

As always, feel free to comment on your thoughts of this article and also how you've become a morning person if you weren't originally one. I'd love to hear what others have done.