I promised the lovely Angie that my first proper blog post (as opposed to book admin) would be about getting up early when I’m a night-owl rather than a lark. And then I saw this post which seemed to tie into the theme.
I have never been a morning person but I’m usually up before the alarm goes off at 6:30am. This is something that is really against my nature – at University I was nocturnal! – but it is necessary to maintain my health. If I rise early, I tend to have a ‘feel good’ day. If I lie in then I’m lethargic and dull for the rest of that day. An extra hour or two of slumber is, in my opinion, too dearly bought.
It wasn’t actually that hard to train myself to get up early. The secret is in the night before. I worked out when I wanted to wake up, calculated eight hours back from there and said, ‘That’s bedtime.’ And I stick to it as much as possible. My body now knows that bedtime is about 9pm and it needs to be asleep by 10pm.
A good alarm clock was also essential when I was learning. And it had to be across the room so I couldn’t switch it off and immediately roll over and go back to sleep! Knowing that my upstairs neighbour is very sensitive about noise had me leaping out of bed to switch the buzzer off!
And I learned by persistance and sheer bloody-mindedness when bedtime and waketime are in my day. Now it’s pretty much second nature. I get between 7 and 9 hours of sleep a night and I wake up feeling refreshed and happy to start the day. On the days when climbing out of bed is a bridge too far I ask myself whether I’d prefer more sleep and feeling lousy for the rest of the day to getting up and working through the tiredness. Sometimes I choose one option and sometimes the other 🙂
I believe there is actually evidence that, when we get up early, our brains produce more cortisol and that’s what makes us feel good. It’s kind of nice to know my ‘peculiarity’ has its roots in science. And that little fact should make it easier to resist family pressures to stay up late to socialise – and then pay the next day.