Tuesday, February 28, 2012
I never will be a morning person.
This is something about myself that I've accepted I cannot change. I'm a night owl through and through.
Even as a child, I was aghast when my friends told me they woke up at 6 am on weekends just so they could watch cartoons. First of all, cartoons suck. Seriously, I was never into them, even as a kid. Second of all, sleep is way more important. Third of all, why are you waking up WHEN IT'S STILL DARK OUT? That's not natural!
As a teenager and college student, I loved sleeping in. This is probably pretty normal behavior for adolescents.
People told me, "Oh, once you get a job, you'll never be able to sleep in. Your body will automatically wake up early, even on weekends." or "Oh, once you get older, you'll become a morning person."
I'm 33. I still like to sleep in. I freaking HATE mornings.
Seriously, do NOT talk to me in the morning. Do not try to coax me out of bed. I will be mean to you. (I'm sorry about that, but I just can't help it.) Also, if you utter the phrase "Good morning, sunshine!" or "Rise and shine, sleepyhead!" within my earshot, I *will* punch you.
I've learned over time that my body's clock prefers for me to sleep between the hours of 4 am and noon. Yes, I realize that this schedule does not work with society's expectations, so I've spent much of my adult life trying to fight it. But I am most productive between midnight and 4 am. That is when I catch my second wind and my creative burst.
When I worked in an office, this was obviously a problem. I was always trying not to be late to work. I slept through my alarm quite a bit. I turned the alarm up so loud the neighbors complained, and I still slept through it when it was blaring away right next to my face. I got a second alarm clock. I slept through that, too. I had bosses and co-workers who were extreme-morning people. Why is it that morning people always turn their noses up at night owls as if we are slackers? Just because I get into work later does not mean I don't work just as hard once the sun starts to set.
(Oh, and hey, morning people? At least my bedtime is not equivalent to that of a baby's!)
Part of the problem may be that I don't drink coffee. I made it through five years of architecture school (and many many all-nighters including staying awake in the studio for 72 hours straight) without a single cup of coffee. I tried taking a no-doze once and it made me feel like a strung-out jittery crack addict. I never did that again. I stayed awake through sheer willpower and by chewing spearmint gum (and the occasional cookie).
I guess what I'm saying is that my sleep habits suck and they have for a long time. Even when I do get up "early" I don't know what to do with myself because my brain does not seem to fully function. I sit around and stare at the walls until it becomes a more appropriate hour for getting things done. Sometimes I allow myself the luxury of reading a book in the morning. But guess what happens? I end up falling asleep.
So, as my 30 Day Challenge for March, my goal is to set a regular sleep schedule, get up "early", and have a bedtime. This is going to be harder for me than it sounds...
Alright, morning people, here is my schedule, so please don't laugh at me (I apologize for that crack about a baby's bedtime. Also, I'm sorry if you like cartoons):
8:00 am Out of bed! Seriously, no snoozing!
11:00 pm In bed. Do something relaxing, like read a book. (Or drink wine.)
12:00 am Lights out.
I realize that a wake-up time of 8 am is much later than most people get up for their day jobs. I realize that some people get up early and do things like *run* and *work-out* and still get to work before 8 am. I am not those people. Also, baby steps...
Now here's my problem. Like I said, when I get up early I don't really function well and I don't know what to do with myself. I'd like to start working earlier in my studio, but I feel like I need an hour pre-work to get going. What should I do with myself during this time? Suggestions?
What do you morning people (or recovered night owls) do to start your day? How do you find momentum to keep going through the morning? HELP.