I finally figured it out! For years, I have wanted to become a morning person. Not necessarily the person in the office who is screaming and laughing at 8am as soon as you walk in the door, but maybe the one who gets out of bed on the first alarm, gets a workout in, eats breakfast and has a minute to breathe before running out the door for the day. Something about waking up calmly has always sounded so appealing to me.
For most of my life, I overslept. I snoozed my alarm 12 times before getting out of bed. When I finally did get my butt up and out of bed, I was usually met with the abrupt realization that I now had only 25 minutes (or less) to brush my teeth, get dressed, do something with my hair and get out of the house.
Every morning this cycle continued I would kick myself. Even now, I think about all of the missed workouts, skipped breakfasts and days started in a mad rush. The price I paid for a lack of time for myself in the morning usually led to feeling sluggish, moody and lacking motivation throughout the day.
Some of the things I really wanted from this morning time were:
- Getting a workout in before the distractions of the day set in
- Eating breakfast; to fuel my body for the day and stabilize my energy levels
- 5-10 minutes of calm where I could meditate, read or journal
- The ability to start my day with some intention!
I tried it all. Setting multiple alarms, laying my clothes out the night before, turning a light on right away, etc. etc. etc. So what actually stuck? What helped me become a morning person? ..becoming a NIGHT person! But not in the traditional, night owl kind of way.
Before I could worry about getting up and out of bed in the morning, I had to focus on getting my butt INTO bed much earlier. Point blank, I was not getting enough sleep. No wonder I was so tired in the mornings. I was getting to bed too late. Or, if I did manage to get to bed on time, I would spend hours rolling around thinking of ALL the things I needed to do the next day. I would think about every possible situation or conversation that could potentially happen and how I would handle it (most of which never actually happened in real life anyway). It was like hours of spiraling with seemingly no relief… which led to feeling exhausted in the morning. According to a recent Gallup poll, 40 percent of all American adults are sleep deprived. 40 percent!!!
In Arianna Huffinton’s book, “The Sleep Revolution,” she states “We sacrifice sleep in the name of productivity, but, ironically, our loss of sleep, despite the extra hours we put in at work, adds up to more than eleven days of lost productivity per year per worker, or about $2,280. This results in a total annual cost of sleep deprivation to the US economy of more than $63 billion, in the form of absenteeism and presenteeism (when employees are present at work physically but not really mentally focused).” So if you’re looking to become a morning person, first focus on becoming a night person.
Some tips I found helpful in getting to bed earlier & in turn, getting up earlier:
- Create a nightly routine full of relaxing activities (read, light a candle, journal, take a bath, deep breathing)
- Set an alarm on your phone to go off each night that reminds you it’s time to put your phone away and start your nightly routine
- TURN YOUR ELECTRONICS OFF – at least 30 min – 1 hour before bed. You’ve heard this before but I’m saying it again because it is SO important.
- Write out your tasks for the next day so that you have less to think about while falling asleep
- I learned that I hold a lot of tension in my physical body. I feel much more relaxed if I take 10-15 minutes to stretch or do some yoga before getting into bed
- Start small. Try getting to bed just 20 minutes earlier, gradually increasing until you can fit in the recommended 7-8 hours
Try it out & start catching some Zzz’s! Let me know how it goes!