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How to become a morning person...please help!!!

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Old 03-24-2009, 11:31 AM   #1
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Default How to become a morning person...please help!!!

Earlier this week at work, I found out that my shift is changing. As a proud member of the night owl's camp, I am absolutely TERRIFIED. I have never been a morning person, but I must become one in the next week and a half.

I will admit I have gotten better about it in the last ten years. My freshman year of college, my first class wasn't until 12pm. I didn't get out until 5pm, but I was fine with that. I didn't mind being up until 3 or 4 in the morning, reading, studying, whatever. As an adult, I have adjusted to hours of "normal working people" (i.e. 8am to 5pm), but if you give me the opportunity to sleep in until 9 or 10, I'll take it. I'll even choose sleeping in late over food - which is huge for me.

So next week, I'm supposed to be at work at 6:45. I have a 35 mile commute, so I need to be up at 5:15 and out of the house by 6am.

Help me!!! Suggestions, thoughts, anyone? I know I need to go to bed earlier than 12am, but it takes more than that to help me adjust. I also move extremely S-L-O-O-O-W in the morning, so anything that I can do to make this transition easier will be well worth it!
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Old 03-24-2009, 12:55 PM   #2
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A few years back I had to start leaving for work at 5:30am. I am a night owl too and even worked the graveyard shift for years (LOVED it!).

The biggest and hardest change was going to bed early. To get up at 5:15 (personally, I would change that to 5am) you really need to get to bed around 9pm and be asleep by 10pm. For me that was HUGE. I had to restructure my socializing and my TV time.

Also, because I am so slow in the morning, I needed to be super organized and have my clothes, stuff I need to take with me & my breakfast and lunch ready the night before.

In order to re-set your body clock, it is important to keep this kind of schedule as close as possible on your days off. Getting up at 5am on your day off does seem like a crime against nature but I've learned that it can be a very relaxing and peaceful time of day. You can get all your chores done and be finished by mid-morning with plenty of time to enjoy the rest of the day...or take a nap.

Good luck!
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Old 03-24-2009, 01:07 PM   #3
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i definitely agree with having all your stuff ready to go! I make sure my clothes are hanging ready and everything is right in the same spot because I'm going to be a zombie that early! I have my water bottle filled, my lunch ready in the same spot in the fridge or freezer, I also allow myself some time to sit and stare at my laptop before i have to go out the door.
hopefully you'll adjust after a while... i never did. :C
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Old 03-24-2009, 01:20 PM   #4
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I was able to switch from a night owl to a morning person. Now I love mornings and the peaceful time before other people get up.
I think all the above points are great. Keep organized, make sure you have a good breakfast, as opposed to rushing out the door. And most importantly, keep yourself in check. I have met so many self proclaimed " I am not a morning person" people who are nasty in the mornings, because they allow themselves be Try to smile and enjoy the sunshine and a good coffee.
Good luck.
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Old 03-24-2009, 01:39 PM   #5
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As a night owl still struggling to live in a daylight world...

If you drink coffee, get a coffeemaker with a delay brew feature. Set it up the night before and set the delay for 4:45am so that you have fresh coffee when your alarm goes off. The smell of fresh coffee helps too.

I daudle with clothes and lunch and such so get all that laid out and choose and pack your lunch the night before so that it's just grab and go.

I struggle with going to sleep at a time when I'm wide awake and getting my second wind. So I've had to give up all caffeine for a week so that I am tired enough in the evening to fall asleep.

Most of all, RESIST the urge to stay up late and the "I'll just do this one more thing" syndrome that will keep you up way past your new bedtime.

Good luck !- it's not easy to change but you do what you have to. I also think once a night owl, always a night owl. I still fall bad into my old habits on the weekends and during vacations.
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Old 03-24-2009, 02:01 PM   #6
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that's about the time i get up... as with you, my college classes were never starting before like 9am... i preferred the later. i am still not a morning person, but i've worked 630-4 for about 3 years... your body eventually gets used to it. i know people will probably wave their fingers at me for suggesting this, but i took OTC sleeping pills around 7 or 8 to make sure i was asleep by 9 so i could assure myself that i'd be up at 5... now i'm just tired that early (which really puts a damper on weekend festivities, but it's ok my BF is the same way so it's ok) and can fall asleep on my own around 930/10. i wake up at 515 everyday in order to get "presentable" for work and pack my lunch before leaving the house around 6/610.

i'm going to try to get myself up earlier when the BF doesn't stay over at night to try to do a workout video in the morning though... now THAT is going to be a challenge... this will start on thursday hopefully... we shall see

good luck sweetheart! you'll get used to it in no time

ps: set your coffee maker up the night before so it's ready for you when you walk downstairs (or to the kitchen) in the morning... saves me about 10 mins of standing there waiting for it to brew
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Old 03-24-2009, 02:05 PM   #7
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Way back in the day, when I was in high school and college, I loved staying up late and sleeping in. But, once I was out in the working world, I was in the 8-5 working world, so no sleeping in or staying up late.

Now it has been a long time since college (about 22 years), but I have transitioned into a bona fide morning person. It really is a great time of the day, quiet and low key. Just recently, I joined a gym that is open 24 hours so that I can work out before work. That means getting up at 4:45. Tough, yes, but it can be done!

Now, my suggestion is to really try to wind down about an hour before you go to bed. If you have to do something, make it something easy. But, if you can watch a little TV, read a book, etc, it will relax you and allow for easier sleeping. Then, you won't have to try to wake up early and be tired from lack of sleep.

You can do it!!
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Old 03-24-2009, 02:05 PM   #8
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Default Evening yoga

You could a short evening yoga routine to help you destress before going to bed. There are good ones on YouTube.com.
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Old 03-24-2009, 02:20 PM   #9
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Thanks for the excellent suggestions everyone. Right now, my game plan is:
  • Wake up every day (weekends included) at 5:00am.
  • Read a book at least 30 minutes before bedtime, at 9:30pm. Be in bed asleep by 10.
  • Get rid of the "I'll do just one more thing" syndrome (I'm notorious for this one). If it ain't done by bedtime, then it's not going to get done. Period.
  • Cook dinner and eat dinner earlier (I currently eat dinner between 8 - 9pm).
  • Prepare everything (gym clothes, breakfast foods, lunch, work clothes) the night before.
  • Honestly, I might have to take some sleep aids or get some sleepytime tea until I get used to my new bedtime. I am currently programmed to be wide awake at ten pm.
  • Do a little yoga after my nightly bath to help me relax.

  • Lastly, have on a happy face when I get to work.

I am open to any more suggestions anyone else may have!
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Old 03-24-2009, 02:34 PM   #10
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It may help if you:

- listen to some soothing music while having a nightly bath
- either drink a glass of warm milk or drink a cup of hot chamomile tea about 15-30 mins before bed.

I agree that reading a book before bed may make you sleepy as well...I know it works for me!

Good luck
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Old 03-24-2009, 02:52 PM   #11
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The one thing that keeps me getting up at 5:30am is knowing I had tons of sleep the night before, and that I have a healthy breakfast waiting. It gets my butt out of bed.

Also, this sounds weird, but lifting weights keeps me awake! Just a few curls in the morning, and I finish my circuits at night.
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Old 03-24-2009, 05:00 PM   #12
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sounds like you have a good plan. another thing to remember is that you will adjust to it. before my husband started his current job about 2 months ago he was a seconder shifter for 8 years and was rarely out of bed before 9 on the weekend now he is rarely in bed until 9 on the weekends. you may not adjust that quickly but it will happen. the first few days are usually the hardest.
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Old 03-24-2009, 10:12 PM   #13
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Best advice I ever got for getting up was by someone on 3FC (but I can't remember who): when the alarm goes off, get up! Don't hit snooze, don't lay there trying to squeeze out 5 more minutes. Get up instantly. The longer you put it off, the more painful it is.

It's very true.

ETA: I get up between 4:45 and 5:15 most weekdays, but I do sleep in when I can. No qualms whatsoever. Get up at 5 am on a Saturday? Not this girl! I cling to extra sleep when I can have it.
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Old 03-25-2009, 08:53 AM   #14
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I was a night owl until I got my first job. Before that I would stay up until 2-3am and not get up until 10. Now I have to get up at 5:30 to make it to work on time. I go to bed around 10 every night, even on the weekends. That way I can sleep later on Saturday and Sunday, and actually get extra rest.

I also agree with the getting up instantly comment. Figure out how much time you need to get ready, set your alarm for that time, and when it goes off, spring into action! I also drink a coke zero right after breakfast to help me wake up, but then most people drink coffee, so the caffeine aspect will probably take care of its self.

It also helps me to eat breakfast pretty quick after I get up. I usually eat around 6:15, something high fiber and high protein (usually Kashi Go-Lean Crunch cereal, it is SO delicious!)

You probably are programmed to be awake at 10pm, but honestly if you are getting up at 5am every day your body is going to quickly decide it is ready for bed earlier. (unless you are like my Dad who is capable of functioning on 3-4 hours of sleep for days on end, it is like some kind of weird superpower!)
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Old 03-25-2009, 10:58 AM   #15
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Your game plan looks good.

just wanted to throw in there that I too used to work evenings, and nights and loved it because I hated getting up in the mornings but once I took a day job now that's all I want because you have so much more time to do things in the day. It will take a couple of weeks but now I even wake up BEFORE my alarm clock goes off, usually about 15 minutes or so. I just lay there until it goes off but I do this even on weekends. I do have insomnia so I take something to help me sleep but I am ALWAYS in the bed by 10:00 and I get up at 6. It will be hard at first and I am sure you won't like it but evidently you will wake up and decide you like it.
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