The transition from night owl to morning person was the most tiring and yet satisfying venture that I have ever undergone. When I was younger, I used to be a night owl. I loved to stay up late. I remember staying up in to the late hours, my face buried in a book. I would often wake up to find the book (most often Harry Potter) next to me on my pillow, inviting me to continue reading. Sometimes I would stay up late to jump from link to link on Wikipedia, devouring a bunch of facts, or go from site to site on StumbleUpon. Other times, I would just lay awake and think about my hopes, my dreams, my fears, and everything that had transpired so far.
But I wasn’t completely happy as a night owl. What I did not like about staying up late was the natural consequence of sleeping in. Often, when I would stay up late, I would sleep in until noon. I didn’t like sleeping in so late. I felt lazy, sluggish, and useless. Getting up late gave me the impression that half of the day was already over. It made me feel as if the world moved at such a breathtakingly fast speed while I was sleeping. I felt as if I had missed out on all of the biggest world innovations and creations that took place while I was sleeping.
Because I didn’t like this feeling, I finally resolved to do something about it. I decided to one day, I didn’t know how or when, but one day I would become a morning person. I would wake up early — and what’s more, I would enjoy it. I wanted to obtain that similar feeling of peace and serenity that Buddhist monks get when they wake up early to meditate. I also wanted to obtain that feeling of high energy and accomplishment that writers get after waking up early to finish writing another chapter.
That one day finally happened a few years ago when I was in my late twenties. I had finally transitioned from night owl to morning person. It wasn’t easy, and it involved a lot of caffeine and tired, heavy eyes. But as with anything that is worth doing, it was doable and I am glad that I was able to transition. This is how I went from night owl to morning person in surprisingly not a lot of time at all.
How I Went From Night Owl to Morning Person
1. Going to bed early
This may sound cliché, but in order to wake up early, you have to go to bed early. I recommend that you go to bed at the same — or close to — the same time every night. Choose a time that ensures that you are getting your body’s required number of sleep for optimal functioning. While some people can function at four or five hours of sleep (my hat’s off to you), others simply can’t. Some people (like myself) require a good eight to nine hours of sleep, otherwise we start to experience the negative effects of sleep deprivation, and no one wants that.
Once you know how many hours of sleep your body requires for proper functioning, you can then determine when you would like to wake up, and go to sleep. I suggest that you set an alarm on your phone, other mobile devices, or a clock to help train your body to wake up. Since I wake up in the wee hours of the morning, I find that I have to set not just one, but five or six alarms to help me wake up the next morning. By having a consistent time for going to bed and waking up, your body will acclimate and you will soon automatically wake up at that time.
2. Having a morning routine
After waking up, it is important that you have a morning routine. Instead of waking up to simply lounge around the house or on your bed, it is best if you have a morning agenda. By jotting down what you hope to accomplish that morning, I find that it will give you the motivation to wake up. Who wants to wake up at three or four o’clock every morning just to do nothing? It will be easier to wake up if you have a plan and a deadline for when you want to complete your tasks for the morning. Click here to get ideas on what you can do during those early morning hours.
For example, when I wake up super-duper early in the morning, the first thing I do is to go to the bathroom and then make myself a cup of coffee or tea, or sometimes I may simply opt for milk or iced water. This has become such a habit by now that I require a morning beverage to fully wake up. And then, once that is done, I can start doing what I need to do.
3. Being consistent
I mentioned this above, but I wanted to reiterate the significance of being consistent. The transition of going from night owl to morning person won’t be as effective if you choose to just sometimes adopt this routine. The key to doing this long term is to do it every day. By adopting the same sleep and morning schedule every single day, you are giving your body the optimal time of rest to function properly, while also giving you the energy and stamina do what you got to do.
One thing that I love about being consistent with this sleep schedule is that it allows me to feel confident and even successful. I have never liked just sleeping whenever, or waking up whenever. That sort of schedule has always made me feel disorganized and useless — these are qualities that I don’t particularly enjoy embodying. But by having a consistent routine, it affords me the opportunity to feel as if I am getting things done. It lets me know that yes, I can do it. And if I can do something as simple as sleeping optimally, then the entire world is open to me.
4. Eating healthy
One of the reasons that people fail to sleep properly is because they are not eating healthy, or choosing options that are quick, easy, and convenient — in other words, fast food. Whenever I eat fast food, my body feels sluggish and heavy. I also find that fast food is exactly that. It is not very filling, simply going through my body without letting it absorb the nutrients. Ever since I started cooking more at home, I find that I feel full longer. I also feel confident, knowing what is in the food that I put into my body. Fast food, or even restaurant food, might be convenient, but let’s face it, we don’t really know what’s inside of it. When you think of it like that, then it kind of makes you lose your appetite for quick and easy convenience foods.
I find that by eating healthy, I am able to fall asleep better, stay asleep for longer periods, and wake up feeling refreshed. This has been a total game changer for me. By eating balanced meals spaced throughout my day with food containing vegetables, fruit, and some sort of protein, I feel more energized and motivated to complete my morning tasks. It is never a good idea to go to bed hungry, but to eat just enough to give you a feeling of fullness without overdoing it.
By going to bed early, having a morning routine, eating healthy, and sticking with it, I was able to transition from night owl to morning person. Ever since I changed, I haven’t looked back. I love being a morning person simply because of the opportunities that it gives me. For one, it allows me to complete the tasks that I set for myself. For another, it lets me to have a schedule that I can stick with. It also lets me to get enough sleep without those negative feelings of worthlessness and laziness. It makes me feel productive. Because of how it has given me these positive feelings, I am so glad that I chose to become a morning person. It is amazing how I managed to fit this transition from night owl to morning person seamlessly into my daily routine.