Friday, February 17, 2012

think: a question.

photo: google images


almost every morning before i get out of bed i look through my instagram feed for a few minutes while my brain and body slowly wake up. they are mostly pictures of people's breakfasts, morning commutes and bed-heads. one picture this morning was labeled, "5 am." it was a view from the stair-master and i immediately felt guilty.* 5 am and she was already logging time at the gym! at 5 am in my world, i was just settling into my rem sleep. 
*it takes next to nothing to make me feel guilty about something. in fact, if i'm not feeling guilty about something i make sure to find something to feel guilty about. and then i feel better. guilty, but better. 

i think i've always been a night person. some of my earliest memories are of sharing a double bed with my older sister. we were probably 4 (me) and 6 (her), and every morning my mom would come in to wake us up for school. she'd sing this little song as she flickered the lights and opened the blinds, 

oh, how i hate to get up in the morning! 
oh how i hate to get out of bed!
but the hardest part of all,
is to hear the bugle call,
yougottagetup, yougottagetup, yougottagetup in the morning!

we would whine and complain and hide under the covers. at that age, my sister was much worse about responding to the "bugle call," but as we got older, into high school, i was the one being dragged out of bed each day. i'd hit snooze an average of 6 times until my sister finally came into my room and yelled at me to get in the shower. oftentimes, she would come back to my room, only to find me post-shower, wrapped in a towel, asleep in my bed. needless to say, we were consistently late to school. we perfected the art of doing our makeup in the car and, to this day, i can apply perfect eyeliner while driving. (i could write another post entirely on my lack of punctuality, but i'll try to stick to the topic at hand...)

anyway, seeing that instagram picture this morning reminded me once again of how much i wish i were a morning person. i'm envious of those who are content to call it a day at 9 pm, get a full night's rest, and wake up to the glorious, early dawn. ever since piper started school, i've had trouble finding a workout schedule that works for me and it's driving me crazy. i have to figure out a plan. at this point, an early morning workout is the only thing i can come up with but since i'm not a morning person, i'm nervous to even try. 

so, my question is: is this something you can even change about yourself? how engrained is it within us? (i know this probably sounds a bit melodramatic, clearly this is not some deeper philosophical or spiritual issue, but humor me...) is it simply a matter of self-discipline or will it be a constant battle for me if i try to change? one of my favorite teachers, mentors and dearest friends always said, "twenty-eight days makes a habit." do you think that's true in this case? honestly, there's no way i could commit to going to bed at 10 pm for 28 days in a row, i'm way too social for that. but maybe i could commit to going to bed at 10 pm like, 5 days a week? 


i guess i'm just curious--have any of you "changed" yourself in this way? 
do you think it's worth a shot? 

16 comments:

  1. i wonder the same thing...but i'm inclined to say it can't be changed...i'm the biggest hater of mornings ever! i literally feel nauseous every morning when i get up. i've tried to become a morning person because of all i could get done, but to no avail...in fact i'm laying in bed right now! ha! good luck!

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  2. I actually have successfully done this. I wanted to do spin classes at my gym but the only way I acutally make it there is if I go straight from work and given that I leave work at 5 and the spin classes are at 7pm it just wasn't happening. So finally when we had our time change this fall I chose that as the week I would start to go to the gym in the morning before work. It made the transition way easier because my body didn't feel like I was getting up earlier. My internal clock thought it was still 6:30 not the ungodly 5:30 wake up necessary to accomplish this crazy gym in morning fiasco. So I just had to really rally through the whole angel on one shoulder, devil on the other situation when my alarm went off each morning and now it's just habit. However, all it could take is one late night on a 'gym night' (like school night but for the mature ;) ha) and this whole triumph could come crashing down.

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  3. I hear ya! I am an incurable night owl, and am completely worthless at getting up on time, and therefore, getting places (work, church, etc.) on time. I hate this about myself, and have tried EVERYTHING to change it. I had a brief glimmer of hope one semester in college when I had two running partners that would literally drag me out of bed at 6 am, but since then I've been back to my old sleeping-in ways. If somebody has found a way to cure themselves of this, I would LOVE to hear it!

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  4. I've been asking people this same question for about ten years now! I think we are who we are unfortunately. My husband's eyes pop open early and I could sleep until noon. {{sigh}} It's frustrating because I would LOVE to become an early riser, but like Ann said I actually feel nauseous if I get up too early.

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  5. It can happen! I was never a morning person growing up...school started at 7:35 and there were several days that I got up at 7:15 (I showered at night:) ), threw on clothes, brushed my teeth and ran out the door. I always slept in all through college, too. I made sure to never have a class before 9 am, and even 9 am was avoided if at all possible. However, once I started working, that all changed. I HAD to get up or risk being fired. Once my commute changed and I was taking the Metra into the city, I found myself getting up even earlier...we're talking 5:30 am. Although the though still makes me cringe, I can do it every day now and function like a normal human being. I do go to bed much earlier than I used to, though...Midnight used to be considered early, and now 10 pm is late...and since I've been pregnant, we're talking 9 am, I'm ready for bed :) But you really can do it if you put your mind to it. I think the harder part to adjust to will be going to bed earlier. You just have to force yourself to do it...I guess for me, the threat of losing a job worked. Maybe get a workout buddy and know they are depending on you to be there? Good luck!

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  6. I'm with your mentor... 28 days makes a habit. It comes down to "Just Do It". Don't make it an option, make it a lifestyle. Change is not easy, but ALWAYS possible if you're willing to put in the effort. Your insticts will probably always be to stay up late and sleep in, but habits and insticts are two very different things. Make getting up and going to the gym a habit. Change is HARD, but possible!

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  7. I've always been a night person, ever since my middle school years and maybe earlier. So, if I can do it, you can do it. It gets easier after one week. Once you make it everyday (I mean 5 days, weekends don't really count) for ONE WEEK, then you're golden.

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  8. Every word in this post could have been my own. I wish I could change. I don't work now, but even when I did and had to get up really early, I would catch a second wind and end up staying up later than I should and the vicious cycle would continue- hard time waking up, tired all day, stay up too late...If you are able to change you will give me hope. Good luck and keep us posted!

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  9. You just need to have another baby. Then you'll be forced to wake up early and you can choose when to start your day. 1am, 4am, 6am... But seriously, I used to be a night owl. Then Jeff's work schedule forced me to go to bed early and get up early. Then I had babies and I'm back to tired all the time. But it did work for awhile.

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  10. Was Seth a morning person before he joined the military? If not, there's your answer. :) Either way, I think you can do it. I did, and it was a job that was most likely the catalyst for the schedule change. I had to get up for school before that, but I always hated it. Now I would rather be up early. I get a lot done: I read and tweet and I love cereal and it's quieter. But before you do anything, you gotta wanna. Give yourself a motivation and stick with it for a month. Then I think it'll be a habit and your preference. Of course, on the other end, you need to go to bead earler. :)

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  11. hmmmmm....call me and I'll give you my advice. I was definitely not a morning person and made the decision to change. You're as stubborn as I am :o) so I know you can do it to. xxxooo

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  12. OH dear, I hear you Bethany. I am not a morning person either...I can function if I have to but I'm just not. I'm a nighthawk. I'm much older than you and while I now can't sleep til 10 a.m. or anything....I still don't jump out of bed in the morning ready to begin. I have spent my life being envious of those who can.

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Just say it!