I wouldn’t say I’m the complete opposite of a morning person. After all, I currently wake up at 6:15 three times a week to go to the gym before work – but I always feel rubbish and often sleep past my alarm (especially on Fridays). I feel more like an evening person pretending to be a morning person. It seems just setting your alarm early doesn’t make you an early riser.
Yesterday was my first day back at the gym, and therefore my first early morning, after a few weeks of laziness. It really wasn’t fun. I felt grumpy, tired and my workout was pretty bad. So I used the rest time between my sets to do some reading around methods of becoming a morning person. Here are my findings:
Most people who want to wake up early tend to just set their alarm at the time they want to wake up, count back about 8 hours and go to bed at that time. But this strategy will usually fail. Instead, you should fix the time that you want to wake up, but let your body figure the rest out. In other words, don’t go to bed unless your tired enough to fall asleep. This seems logical to me, as the body is obviously pretty good at dealing with routine – my Dad has told me in the past that he can’t get past 10am without his morning “constitutional” (if you get his meaning), and that’s certainly only the product of routine. Also, it seems the jury is still out on exactly how much sleep we need with scientific reports varying from 4 – 10 hours, quite a variation. It makes sense that the number or hours you need each night will vary depending on how strenuous your day has been in the same way we don’t alway eat the same amount of food each day.
So this is my plan:
- My alarm is now set for 6:00 everyday. I used to wake up later on non-gym days, but I need to establish a routine.
- I don’t have a bedtime anymore. I’m just going to stay awake until I feel I can’t stay awake anymore. I’ll probably use that last hour of the evening to do some reading and when I get to the point of not being able to read more than a page or two without dropping the book and nodding off, it’s time for bed.
- Get all the stuff I need to do in the morning done the night before. This includes making lunch, finding clothes for the next day and packing my gym bag. This way, the morning isn’t going to be stressed or rushed.
- This is probably going to be easier said than done, but I plan to get out of bed as soon as my alarm goes off. Once I’m awake I’m going to find something to do like check Twitter, do some reading or watch the news. This activity should be enough to kick start my day and not be too taxing that I dread waking up.
And that’s it! I think it’s going to be hard at first as my body establishes it’s rhythm – I’m sure there will be a few nights with no more than a few hours sleep. But the plan seems logical and hopefully it’ll be worth it in the long run.
After all, I know it’s only day 2, but I managed to wake up at 6:00 this morning to right this post, and I’m feeling pretty good.