Wednesday, April 27, 2016

Surviving as a Night Owl in a Morning Person's World

I have met extremely few people who actually identify themselves with being morning people. Despite this, the world runs on a morning person's clock. Yes, okay, there are late night parties and midnight movie sessions and really the only acceptable time to eat Taco Bell are during the hours thereafter midnight. But classes start at 8am and work starts at 9am and if you want to fit in getting ready, working out, eating breakfast, and transporting yourself to your responsibilities you have to wake up at least an hour before those times. So yes, this is a morning person's world. Why? If so many of us are night owls or simply hate waking up before 10am, why have we decided to do things earlier? We aren't farmers anymore and studies say that schools who start later have higher achieving students.

Think for a minute, though, about the morning people that you know. Those who are morning people seem to be this mystical species consisting only of people who have their lives completely together and actually like drinking kale for every meal. It's like you can't be a dysfunctional morning person. You can't like the destructive lifestyle if you like waking up early. It just doesn't happen. Productivity occurs in the morning. You're supposed to work out in the morning and waking up when the sun rise's is supposed to somehow be healthier. No one is commended for staying up until 6am but many are commended (if not looked at as crazy) for consistently liking waking up at 6am. Whatever the reason, I'm here to help you out if you, like me, are not a person who liked getting out of bed.

1. Get eight hours of sleep.
No. Seriously. I used to go to sleep whenever I wanted. In high school my sleep schedule consisted of me going to bed anywhere from 12am-3am and having to wake up and get ready before my 7:25am choir class. I was also a raging mess in high school. Not that I'm not still a huge hot mess, but at least I'm not tired all the dang time. I used to take naps so much and sleep away my day after school. Naps are good, don't get me wrong, but I was taking like three hours naps twice a day. It was bad. I know everyone has different times that they need to sleep to feel refreshed so maybe you don't need eight, but get what you need. I get at least eight hours, ideally nine each night. Even with the 9am I had last term.

2. Drink water when you wake up.
I used to read this on those health blogs and always roll my eyes because it just seemed unnecessary, but it's actually one of the easiest things you can do. Lately, I've been super bad with this one and I can definitely feel it taking a toll. Depending on your weight, height, and fat to muscle percentage you're supposed to drink around two liters of water each day. You really don't realize how much water this is until you're only half a liter in and it's already dinner time. Drinking a full glass of water right when you wake up boosts your metabolism after a restful night and gets you a head start on that two liter a day thing. To make it even easier, leave some water next to your bed each night so it's there when you wake up!

3. Set your alarm a bit earlier than you actually need to.
Maybe this isn't the best/healthiest tip but it's definitely a realistic lazy person tip. I have an app that sets my alarm with a half hour window and wakes me up when I'm most awake during those times based on my movement. It's called Sleep Cycle, if you're curious. Point being is I typically wake up a half hour to ten minutes before I actually need to get out of bed, giving me time to continue laying down in light sleep or allowing me to check my phone and not having to just jump out of bed. By the time I actually have to get out of bed, I'm ready to go.

4. Plan out your day the night before.
I make sure to check my planner and my iPhone's calendar (which I keep everything in) the night before so I know what I'm doing. This gets me excited for whatever I have planned or makes sure I'm prepared for any exams or other responsibilities I have. I'm never caught off guard and it helps me feel super prepared for the day!

5. Meal planning!
I'll talk more about why you should do this in step six, and admittedly I'm still working on this step myself, but it seriously helps. I don't mean you need to be like those health bloggers and meal plan for the next three months in advance, but something that really helps me is making sure I know what's for breakfast. Having a frying pan and eggs ready with some chopped up veggies always gets me excited to wake up because I know my food will be ready within minutes. Even leaving out my favorite cereal and making sure I have milk in the fridge for the morning is better than nothing.

6. Don't leave things to the morning.
Sometimes I skip this step too and it always throws me off. I think I'll have time in the morning to do things and while yes, I might, it just leaves me in a rush. Pack your backpack or work bag the night before. Figure out a basic sense of what you want to wear and check the weather to make sure that outfit works. Back to the meal planning thing, if you don't figure out what you want to eat or have something ready to go in the morning and you're in a rush, you might just skip breakfast altogether, which is obviously a big no no. Basically, make sure the only things you have to do when you wake up in the morning are getting ready, eating, and walking out the door. No finishing homework an hour before class, no leaving your school supplies laying around all night. Be prepared in the morning and you'll thank your past self.

There you have it! If you're a night owl like me, I wish you luck and I hope these steps help you survive out there.

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