Wednesday, May 5, 2010

Why Yes, I Am One of Those Annoying Morning People....But I Wasn’t Always One.

Ready to think I’m crazy? Maybe you already think I am, if that is the case this will just help confirm it. LOL! Well if crazy is what it takes to support my healthy lifestyle then I say crazy is a title I am proud to wear.

Anyway, I get out of bed 4 hours before I have to be in at work in the morning. And on weekends I’m out of bed at the same exact time I am during the week. Here is the kicker....I normally wake up before the alarm is set for 5am, refreshed and ready to start the day. 


This was not always the case for me. I was known for staying up late and struggling to get out of bed in the morning. Back then I was thankful my “commute” to work was all of 30 seconds. I would peel myself out of bed with about 40 minutes to eat, shower, dress, and stumble over to my office. Some mornings it was closer to 20 minutes if I played the snooze button game with myself.  I would always feel rushed and be still half asleep for a good part of the morning. Thank goodness college students are notorious for being late sleepers, because if I had to have one of those meaningful conversations with them about their behavior I would have made no sense.

As I was progressing with my journey towards better health, I realized that there had to be a better way to structure my life so I didn’t feel so rushed in the morning. I didn’t know it at the time, but making the choice to change my sleep patterns so I could get up early would bring many benefits to my life.

Some of the Benefits I Experience from Getting Up Early

  • I have time to cook and eat a nice healthy breakfast.
  • I also have time to pack a mid-morning snack to take with me to work.
  • I get my workout for the day finished before I have a chance to get distracted by other time commitments.
  • I get a chance to watch the news in the morning, which means I’m much more in tune with what is happening in the world around me.
  • I walk into work feeling relaxed and ready to actually work.
  • I finally am taking time for myself every day.
  • I don’t feel like I’m sleeping all my weekend hours away.
  • I am accomplishing so much more in my personal life than I ever did before. 

So Just What The Heck Am I Doing In Those 4 Hours Before Work?
  • Cooking and eating breakfast – I’m a hot breakfast girl so that means cooking is involved
  • Studying for an hour for my Lifestyle & Weight Management Certification
  • Getting in an hour workout
  • Checking email, Facebook, blogs, etc.
  • Watching the local morning news & some of the Today Show
  • Showering and getting ready for work
  • Packing my mid-morning snack (I get to take lunch at home so I don’t have to worry about packing that)
How I Get the Sleep I Need and I Am Still Be Able To Get Up Early
Below are some rules I try to follow. Sure there are some times that the rules get broken, but just like my other healthy choices it is about being as consistent as possible. If I had to guess I’m at about a 90% compliance rate but it took time to work up to that. It takes real discipline to fight that urge to have sleep patterns like most Americans do but it is totally worth it in my opinion. I added the rules over a period of months because I found that trying to change too much at once lead to me making no real progress.
  • Go to bed at the same time every night and get up at the same time every day (days off included)
  • I don’t sleep more than 8 hours. Any more than that and I end up feeling more tired.
  • I make sure I get at least 7 hours. Less than that and I end up cranky.
  • I don’t use the snooze button on my alarm. I set it for the time I want to get up and I just do it.
  • If I choose to take a nap in the afternoon I limit the time to no more than 30 minutes.
  • I don’t watch TV, read, or use my computer in bed.

Resources on Sleep Health
Sleep Habits: More Important Than You Think
The Better Sleep Council 
10 tips for better sleep

Questions for You:
  • Are you an early riser or a night owl?
  • If you want to be an early riser what is keeping you from doing so?
  • If you made the transition what tips do you have for someone who is looking to be an early riser?

Quote of the Day: “Sleep is the golden chain that ties health and our bodies together.” ~ Thomas Dekker

9 comments:

  1. Good for you! I'm an early riser for the shift I work. I work swing shift and get home from work about midnight. Usually awake by 8am. I love to do all my exercising in the morning. I totally despise the snooze button. I've stayed with people who use it constantly. GET UP ALREADY!! ;-)

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  2. Wow! GREAT blog! So glad I found you.

    I am not a morning person..yet. I WANT to change and be one. I actually need to. I'm more of a night owl, although truthfully, lately I'm very tired by 10-11, forcing myself to stay up till 11-11:30

    I think what's keeping me from making a change is the negative voice inside me telling me "oh yeah right..you'll never stick to it..you'll never follow through..I've heard that before"

    Really, for my sanity..and health...I NEED to get up early to pray/meditate, get in my cardio, prepare for the day, answer emails etc.

    You've inspired me to try to come up with a plan to make this happen. Thanks!!!

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  3. You are so similar to me in this regard!! I used to stay up late, and wake up as late as I possibly could, then sleep in until ten on the weekends. Now I am up by 7 am (never 5:30 am....) and don't start work until about 11 am (then work until about 6 or 7). I could easily sleep in longer, but I am now SUCH a morning person! I bounce out of bed ready to start my day. I do a nice breakfast, read blogs, do a workout, and watch the TODAY show just like you!! I love it.

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  4. Great schedule you have and thanks for the tips! I'm a night owl. I always end up going to bed too late then snooze away the alarm in the morning. No fun. HA!

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  5. You are crazy, but early morning people rock!

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  6. This is a very interesting blog and so i like to visit your blog again and again. Keep it up.

    Sharon

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    ReplyDelete
  7. I love this post! I am desperately trying to become a morning person, but what I have yet to be able to do is get my workout in before work in the morning - which I think is totally the recipe for success to get it done before the rest of the day sucks all your time up. Thanks so much!

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  8. I'm so glad to hear someone else say this. I really believe it is better for your body to stay on the same schedule days of work and days off. You point out a lot of the advantages and how to accomplish this schedule. hope it will inspire some people to try it.

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