From Night Owl To Early Bird: How I Became A Morning Person

The other day my wife suggested to me that I operate on a different time zone to everyone else. And that's pretty true in our household where, whether it's a week day, holiday, weekend or any other day, I will invariably be up and active while the rest of them are still in sleepsville.

Now, I don't know how other people do things and what time they get up and go to bed, but whereas a few years ago the thought of getting up early was a complete non-starter, now I can think of nothing worse than missing the best part of the day. There was a time when I went to bed late-ish and struggled to get up in the morning, with it seemingly taking me a good couple of hours and many coffees before my brain kick started.

If I had to get up early in those days it meant an evening of stressing about trying to get enough sleep, a few hours lying in bed thinking how tired I would be the next day and then a long, long day with a foggy head and an ongoing urge to yawn.

Recently I was talking to a client who wanted to move from staying up late to getting up early and being more of a morning person. He wanted to get up while it was quiet and have some time where he could read, study, meditate, exercise or whatever other positive thing he wanted to do before all the challenges, distractions, interruptions and noise of the day took over. And so we talked about how I managed to make the transition to becoming a morning person after years of insisting it wasn't even humanly possible for me to that.  

Become A Morning Person Hypnotherapy In Ely

 

Becoming A Morning Person

A few years ago, the morning to me was just about getting up and getting ready for work before heading out of the door. My getting-up time shifted with what time I planned to be at work, so if I was going in later, I got up later. I would do anything else, like exercise, in the evening and then shower, eat, watch something, read and finally, go to sleep.   

If I had to get up early for something I struggled to sleep and got up feeling groggy and with a cotton wool brain in my head. When I started getting up really early to commute to London, I must have looked so bad after two days that they suggested I do some of my work from an office nearer to my home so I would have less travel time. I can even remember having conversations with people at my evening bootcamp about how I would never be able to get up early and go to the morning camp; I just wouldn't be able to do it (let alone try and exercise at that early hour)!   

Of course, if you've been a regular reader of my articles you'll know that I do now go to the morning bootcamp and, whereas I'd only ever run in the evening, that is now a morning thing too. While the family snooze, I'm up, getting ready and then out to bootcamp or for a run (sometimes even before the milkman has been). By 7.30am or 8am I'm all done and getting on with the rest of the day.

As an example, today I was up at 6am, out running by 7am and back in time to shower, get ready and enjoy a three mile round trip walk in the sun to take my daughter to school.

being a morning person hypnotherapy ely 

With my hypnotherapy work getting busier and busier into the evening, and several evening bootcamps a week, my night owl routines started to become a bit of a problem. I was just never home in the evening (and with little kids, the dinner time, bath time, bed time routine can be the most taxing and labour intensive part of the day!).

And so it became a decision point; either I had to quit the exercise I loved so much so I was home to see my kids grow up, or I had to switch to morning bootcamps. And, of course, there was no decision to be made really so morning bootcamps it was to be! 

I'm not going to lie, the thought of having to start getting up at 5.30am in order to jump and squat and lift and move did not fill me with excitement. Knowing what I was like in the morning, I really doubted whether I could even move at that time, let alone do high intensity exercise.

But here's the first thing you need if you want to become a morning person - you have to have strong enough reasons to make a change and that will get your butt out of bed at early o'clock. Without strong enough motivation it won't happen, or you won't stick at it. For me it was about keeping exercising or having to pack it in and that was enough for me to change. For my client who wanted to become a  morning person it was all about having time to meditate, to think, to study and to do the things that are meaningful to him.

If you're going to get up early then you need to go to bed earlier too. You have to adjust your bedtime. For a few nights this may get a little messy, after all, your body is used to a certain pattern and routine. The first night I tried (before my first morning bootcamp), I was awake even longer than if I'd gone to bed at the time I usually would. It played on my mind and I kept thinking about having to get up, about being tired and about having to get through the day both mentally and physically worn out after not only getting up early but also an intense workout.

If you are tired for a few days and it takes a few early starts to get your night time routine how you need it then just accept you will be a bit more tired and get on with it. Your body will adapt and you'll start being able to sleep earlier to match your new routine.

And if you are going to bed earlier then you need to look at your wind down routine too. If you are used to watching screens in the evening, for example, then you need to bring forward your switch off time so you have a good 45 mimutes to an hour for your brain to unwind before you plan to sleep. You may also need to look at caffeine intake, alcohol use, any late evening work you may have been doing and other aspects that support good sleep. If your reason to get up early and change your routine is strong enough then ditching a bit of TV (or watching it another time on catch up) shouldn't be too much of a burden.

And finally, get everything ready for the morning the night before. Before you go to bed you need to have already decided what you are doing with your early morning the next day. If you decide in advance you can just get up and get on with it without wasting time lying in bed wondering what you might feel like doing (and so running the risk of having an unintended snooze). If you need to get things ready, like your running kit, then have them laid out to save time and get things moving more quickly.

It really can be that simple to switch form being a night owl to a morning person. You need a strong enough reason to make sure you get out of bed, you need to adjust your bedtime routine and times, you will benefit from making decisions and getting prepared the night before, and you can just accept that the shift in your routine may take a few days and may mean a bit more tiredness at first. Yet the rewards of getting and getting stuff done before the rest of the day are well worth anything you need to do or experience to make it happen.

Some days I wake at 5.30 am and positively leap out of bed filled with energy and enthusiasm. On other mornings I have to push myself and remind myself how much better I will feel after I've exercised, and how much worse I would feel if I skipped training. Personally I find lighter spring and summer mornings easier to get up when it's lighter, and winter mornings when it's cold, dark and icy a little tougher. Yet if you make it a habit (and forget any thoughts about whether you 'feel' like it) and just do it then you get stuff done.

On warm Spring days like today it's great to run while it's light and cool and every where is quieter. I even saw a deer while I was out running. And best of all, having got things done early, you get to relax more in your evenings with no wishing you'd found time in your day to do the things you want to do, and no pressure upon you. 

To your health and happiness,

Dan Regan

Online Skype and Zoom Hypnotherapy  

Face-to-face hypnotherapy in Ely & Newmarket

 

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