When I started thinking about this post, I was going to call it “I’m not a morning person.” That sort of felt like the voices talking so I decided to be more positive. In Start, Jon Acuff talks about being selfish with your time at 5am. In most households, no one else is awake at that time so you can use 5:00 – 5:30 as your time to become awesome. When I read that line, the voices started going crazy!
“You aren’t a morning person! You are a night person! Who wants to get up at 5am? That’s just silly!”
I started to really think about it. Usually by the time things start slowing down in our house after dinner and clean up, it’s about 7:00. By 7pm, my brain is winding down for the evening. Even if I do try to write a blog post or study, I work more slowly at that time. Plus, there are usually three other adults floating around the house so it’s not usually a quite environment. I decide to try this 5am thing.
With my current job, I usually wake up around 5:45 to leave the house around 6:30. I get to school around 7:15 and use that time to work on prep for my first class, which starts at 8am. That is my schedule Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays. On Tuesdays and Thursdays, I take an 8am Calc II class. I generally wake up a bit later since the commute is shorter and I just need to get to class for 8am (when teaching, I need some time to get into teaching mode which is part of the reason I get to school at least 45 minutes before class begins). On the weekends, I wake up whenever, which is not great for my weekday early wake up.
This morning, I set my alarm for 5am. That was silly since I had gone to bed at 11:30. Creating a sleep deficit on the weekend is a terrible idea. This morning, I woke up at 9am. It will still throw off my sleep a bit, but it’s much better than when I was waking up at 11am.
I did a bit of research this morning about becoming a morning person. First, it will not be an overnight change. I need to do some learning about myself before I can make the leap. The first thing I need to do is learn about my current sleeping habits. What time do I really go to bed? What time do I wake up if no alarm is involved? The research I did recommended tracking your habits for two weeks. Ideally, you would want to do a week where you are on vacation with no alarms but I don’t have time for that at the moment and have 8am commitments five days a week. So I’m going to try to change my habits while learning about them.
Once that is done, I will try to set myself up to sleep 7 to 8 hours a night, which means I am going to bed at 10pm at the latest. Wow, that’s early. Early to bed, early to rise makes a chicken dance or something right? But seriously, when I think about what I am doing after 10pm, it’s generally not very productive. I’m watching TV or playing a video game. I might be reading but that is not often. If I wake up early, I can free up time and read earlier in the evening. Watching TV or playing a video game might be relaxation, but sleep is the best relaxation.
I am a worrier at night. I think about all the things I need to get done. To help with that, I started a to-do-list for each week. I have everything down on paper so when I start to worry, I can just remind myself that it is on the list and I don’t forget to do it. If I start worrying about other things, I will take a few minutes before bed and listen to the voices to see what they are saying, write it down and make fun of it. That’s a good adventure before bed!
I know I will not become a morning person overnight (ha!) but I will get there. The lure of having 30 minutes to an hour of uninterrupted time to work on my goals when my brain is fresh sounds awesome.