Thursday, April 16, 2015

Can You Become a Morning Person?

I have accepted since the age of 12 that I am two things that are distinctly tied together: (1) A night owl and (2) a sleeper.  I cannot get enough sleep.  A 12 hour night, though I have not had the opportunity to put one in the books for a long time, is child's play. I can take a nap just 30 minutes after waking up.  I can take a nap multiple times per day and still be able to sleep at night.  Sleep is a talent of mine if not a outright character flaw.  The night owl thing just makes it worse because I am my most energetic and my most alert at night.  I've gotten better over the years because of work and family responsibilities but there was a day in the not-so-distant past that I could not imagine going to bed before 3AM.

Marrying a morning person and having three kids will cure you of that habit real quick, if having an 8-5 job doesn't.  So now I have a more reasonable bedtime but I feel like I am still always fighting this inner impulse, that left unchecked, would revert right back to the old days. I have always admired people that can get up early, get things done, and have energy at those hours.  But because those types are so chipper when I am anything admiration might come across more like gruff disdain.  But I assure you somewhere deep under the groggy, grumpiness that is hating being awake right now is a part of me that wishes I had your super-powers in exchange for mine.

So I searched the How To section of Youtube wondering if anyone had tips on How To become a morning person and is such a thing even possible?  Several suggest YES and go on to give tips like:

1. Find something that motivates you to get up in the morning.

2. Gradually set your alarm earlier by increments of 15 minutes until you get to the goal time for waking up and let your body get used to it slowly.

3. Go to bed earlier.

Those are good and I've even employed two of the three in order for me to have woken up early that last two days to get a 2 mile run in before getting ready for work.  But I might add this to the list:

4. Stop accepting labels about yourself, especially ones that are self prescribed and ones you want to change.  

I tell my kids when I hear them saying things like "I am just not good at that." to change their thinking.  Stop declaring things over yourself as though they are true because if you don't, you will accept it as truth and it will become reality. I realized when I started this experiment that I was guilty of doing the same thing and maybe taking my own advice would be key in accomplishing this goal.

Will this last long?  Who knows? Two days isn't long enough to declare victory yet.  I can tell you I will still take naps and I will still sleep in when I can.  But the journey of reprogramming 28 years of accepting that I am NOT a morning person has begun.

Wish me luck!