August 19, 2009

Can a Night Owl become a Morning Person?

My husband falls asleep right away (despite drinking caffeinated sodas and playing computer games at night), and wakes up perky. I’m jealous. Our daughter seems to be following in his footsteps (thankfully). My father is a morning person and over the years has mentioned that my mother, sister and I are not. He states this fact in the nicest way possible (bless our hearts). My uncle (mother’s brother) is a night owl extraordinaire. So, see: it’s genetic.

Or is it? I really wish I could fall asleep right away and bounce out of bed. The few times that this happens, it’s wonderful! I feel rested, and I feel like I can get so much done. It’s not like I am staying up horribly late anyway.

In fact, I have a number of friends that feel the same way (maybe that’s the problem – my friends are night owls too). A quote in an article by Deepa Ranganathan sums up my feelings:

When I told my friends I had found a way to transform myself into a morning person, they responded in one of two ways. The night people leaned in as if I were about to reveal the location of a stash of pirate gold. The morning people simply regarded me with pity and wonder. "I just don't understand why it's so hard," said one friend, a Danish medical student. "I can get up anytime I want."

So, what would it take? Not Just Laura chronicles what she did and advised me to take small steps.

There are some obvious steps like setting and keeping an earlier bedtime. Except that, again, I don’t think 10:00-10:30 pm is all that late. Don’t eat big meals before bed (no problem) or drink caffeinated beverages late in the day (this I know not to do). Avoid alcohol (done), exercise (I avoid it completely most of the time), and mentally stimulating activities (hmm, that one is a little harder). Avoid too much light at night including TV and computers (I’m good some – but not all – of the time). Take melatonin four hours before bed (never tried this).

Morning requires consistency too, for instance, waking up at the same time (helps if you go to bed at the same time). Get out of bed and take a walk (now, wait a minute!). Just like we need to avoid too much light at night, morning light helps us wake up.

I’m sure that general healthy habits help the situations too. Eating well and regularly, exercising, avoiding stress, and actually getting enough sleep.

And last, but not least, pray.


Mary333 said...

My husband is just like yours! He can drink caffeinated tea, soda, or coffee and be out the minute his head hits the pillow! I'm jealous, too! Not me, I have to fight for every minute of sleep I can get. No caffeine after 11:00 A.M.

Diana said...

Someday I hope to be better. ...And here I am on the computer at 9:15 pm. *sigh*

Anonymous said...

Thanks for the mention :) And I really do mean it about those baby-steps :)

Angie @ Many Little Blessings said...

I really need to get better at this too! It would be really nice if we could start school bright and early, rather than at 10 am.

Diana said...

Oh, I am trying, although I admit that I have yet to bounce out of bed and go for a walk.