It was probably a Monday morning. I mean, I can’t really tell you for sure because this happens so often now. The alarm went off at 6:15am. Not an unreasonably early time of the morning. I mean, I used to wake up at 5:00/5:30am NO problem. Before my husband can even finish saying “Snooze?”, I’ve already reached for my phone and turned on my second alarm that will let us sleep another 15 minutes. And that is when it hit me: Am I not a morning person anymore?
I have been the definition of a morning person my whole life. My best working times are from approximately 6:00am to 3:00pm. (3:00pm is pretty static in this equation.) I’ve thrived in mornings. I deliberately chose morning classes in college. Night classes sound like death to me. (And I had to do them off and on for a year during graduate school. They are still death to me.) So, what happened? When did I stop being a happy morning person and turn into a troll of a human?! The worst part is that I’m not turning into some night owl. Granted, we are going to bed later than I would like (which is like 10:30pm by the way) but I’m not really burning the midnight oil here. This whole situation made me think about the last time I felt genuinely “rested”. (Whatever “rested” means anymore.) It was probably when I had first started working at my first job. I was living by myself, about 10 minutes away from work and away from most of my friends. I didn’t really have anyone or anything distracting me and was not involved in any activities outside of my 8-5 job. I was literally going to bed between 8:00-9:00pm and would wake up filled with energy at around 6:30-7:00am. I was getting a lot of sleep, I know. But I felt really really good.
Somewhere in my life, I forgot to always listen to what my body is asking of me. I started staying up past when my body said sleep and forcing my body to wake up when all it wants to do is curl up in bed. And I’d bet I’m not alone. Getting your body back on track is not easy but it is so important. Here are some tips I’ve found and hope to implement:
- Kick the snooze button to the curb! It is incredibly important to create consistency with your sleep schedule and snoozing is just about one of the worst things you can do. Find the time you want to wake up and commit to it.
- Say no to electronics. We are terrible about watching TV in bed, checking our phones as soon as we wake up etc. The bed needs to be returned to a place where electronics aren’t allowed. And the best part of this is you can commit some of that time to reading, which is something we do not carve enough time out for as it is!
- Exercise. Getting a great workout can be a powerful way to get better sleep. But this is a tricky place to be. The less I exercise, the more I feel tired and don’t want to exercise. Don’t let yourself get in a similar rut. Find something that works for you. I’ve written about friends of mine doing Beachbody and would recommend their program. You can also look for blogs or YouTube channels like The Balanced Life Sisterhood where you can get short video workouts. But commit to finding something!
- Find soothing options. Lavender essential oil can do wonders! You can put it in the diffuser or just put a few drops behind your ears. You can also consider listening to relaxing music or doing some sort of meditation. Drinking some chamomile tea can also do wonders.
- Try melatonin. When we are really struggling to get on a sleep schedule, taking some melatonin can really help. I would definitely recommend this if you are traveling across time zones specifically!
What are your tricks for staying on a good sleep schedule?