Are you a morning person or a night owl?
I am a lark.
I don’t know when I realised this, the first time I recall being aware of it was when, for one of my first jobs I was working in a local pub. However many shifts I did try body never adjusted to the late evenings. This was the moment I knew that I couldn’t work these type of hours long term. It just didn’t agree with me. I couldn’t sleep in and I was constantly fatigued.
I have known that I was like this but not really known why until recently. Its a fact that some people just function better in the mornings and others find it hard to wake up and are much more alert in the evenings.
Its all to do with our circadian rhythm (body clock to you and me) and its quite fascinating that most people actually sit somewhere in the middle, having a body clock that is just longer then 24 hours.
Natural larks (like me) have a shorter one, less than 24 hours which makes them wake earlier and night owls have a longer one meaning they have a tendency to sleep longer.
Whatever you are you need to work with it. Don’t try to fight it.
Instead plan the times you need to be productive, use your brain or exercise when you have the most energy and are at your best.
Trying to do important tasks at times when you are too tired or can’t concentrate well is just counter productive. It just ends up taking longer or what you produce in not your best work.
Plan what you can get done realistically in a day and do the difficult things or things you need you creativity for it when you are at your best. Use the other part of the day for easy tasks or your relaxation time.
What if you just need to function in the morning?
Sure there are key things you can do to help you more awake and alert I such as:
- Get to bed early nights
- Regulate your body clock with the same bedtime each night
- Don’t snooze your alarm. Get up when it goes off
- Have an evening wind down routine to help you sleep better
- Include drinking water and exercise before you get ready for your day
- Have a cut off time for screen use in the evening
If you are a night owl helping yourself to deal with mornings could bring you so many benefits to do with lifestyle and health, but it also just helps you get more things done earlier and then have more time to do whatever you want or just chill out and enjoy the day.
I used to find being a morning person a frustration because I wanted to lie in like I thought the rest of the world was doing at the weekends. This was back when I had very little energy for anything and my well-being wasn’t all that great.
I have now found so many better ways to manage my energy levels with exercise, eating well and listening to my body and also reducing and even cutting out alcohol completely. This has made the biggest difference but its not just one thing. If I never exercised I would be very lethargic. Having good energy levels is a combination of all these things.
Now I fully embrace my morningness.
If I wake up I don’t try to lie in. I just get up and get things done knowing that when I have done all the essentials on my to do list my day is my own. I love love love it. When I wake super early I feel l little big like I am one step ahead of the rest of the world. The quiet and calmness of the morning somehow settles me. I’m a little hooked on it. My secret geek is coming out again.
If you are a morning person and haven’t fully embraced it then think about what activities you do when and make some small changes to take advantage of being this way. Life will become that little bit easier.
It's true the early bird really does catch the worm.