Notes from a terminal night person

Some people are morning people. You know who you are. You wake up with a smile on your face like it’s totally normal to be up before the sun. At an hour when the songbirds are just beginning to warm up, you are glad to be alive, grateful to be present for yet another  glorious day. And just like you wake up ready to face the world with nary a cup of coffee, you shut down just as quickly.

Have you ever seen a morning person at night? They are easily mistaken for a drunk person, the way they go from completely alert and animated to passed out in a matter of mere seconds. Perhaps it’s only natural that they shut down so forcefully, considering they’ve been completely awake since practically the day before.

Night people, on the other hand, discover that things are just getting good around 10pm. When everyone else is sleeping, night owls are the most creative, productive… dare I say, brilliant? Morning people might guffaw at this proclamation, but how would they know what’s going on when they are fast asleep, oblivious.

But I confess: I’ve always wanted to be a morning person. I’d love to know what it’s like to wake up feeling rested and alert. I envy those who can put an early morning workout on their calendar and know that it’s definitely going to happen. The idea of leisurely sipping a coffee from my favorite ceramic mug, with plenty of time instead of rushing around to find the lid to the travel mug two seconds before I absolutely need to leave is heavenly. But it’s just not how I’m made. Believe me I’ve tried. If living with a 6 month old human alarm clock that goes off daily between 4:30 and 6:30 hasn’t made a morning person out of me yet, I don’t know what will.

Are you a night person, too? If you are unsure, here are some guidelines that may help you decide:

You May Be A Night Person if…
– You take at least an hour to wind down before shutting off the light. Your winding down ritual may include checking email, going through the Val Pak coupons, setting up your French press for the next morning, laying out tomorrow’s outfit, checking email again, loading the dishwasher, taking out your contacts, brushing your teeth, checking email again, giving the bathroom sink a wipe, and reading a chapter of your book.

-You congratulate yourself all day long for waking up anytime before 7am.

-Your first thought upon waking is “SNOOZE BUTTON.”

-Going to bed anytime before 10:30 is a huge deal, generally reserved only for special occasions such as any night during the last trimester of pregnancy.

-You secretly think getting tired anytime before 11 is a sign of weakness.

-You think one of the best things about being an adult is setting your own bedtime.

I am curious, is it possible to re-wire yourself to become a morning person if you are not naturally inclined to be one? Have you had any success with this?

10 thoughts on “Notes from a terminal night person

  1. Jenni says:

    Considering I am reading your blog at 10:26 PM after just chatting with you on gmail, and still have to do five other tasks before getting to bed, I think I am a night owl. I congratulate myself when I wake up before the crack of 10! Snooze is my favorite button, period. But compared to my husband-to-be, I am a morning person…and he is a bat.

  2. Pam says:

    Jenni- The crack of 10! LOL!.Love that you just called Daniel a bat. Dan is.. I don’t know, whatever animal wakes up the earliest. I’m sure I’ve never actually seen one.

  3. Katie says:

    I’m a morning person, but I have the makings to possibly be a night person. Maybe not. I do think snooze when the alarm clock goes off, but my alarm goes off around 5:00. I haven’t slept until 7:00 since my 5 year old was born…I try to get to bed around 10:30, but lately seem to have trouble settling down. I prefer to run in the morning, but not at the crack of dawn, though I detest running in the evening whole heartily. I have heard that people can sort of make themselves morning people by using these crazy light alarm clocks. Apparently, it’s not natural to wake up before the sun, so these alarm clocks shine light in your face. I suspect though, that you’d also have to try to get to bed at a reasonable hour for the full effect.

  4. Mel says:

    As you know, I love my mornings!! Saturday between 6:30 -9:00 am is my absolut favorite time of the weekend. I think you are wired one way or the other…even with a 6 month old as a wake up call.

  5. Nicole Stokes says:

    I agree with Mel. Although, if you really want to give it a try, since it sounds like the baby alarm clock could be taxing on your amount of sleep, try winding down earlier. So if you want to be asleep by 10 start your wind down routine by 8:30. I would recommend reading for a lot of this too since that always seems to make me sleepy. Though, it is worth noting that I am exactly like your morning person description and get maybe 1 page in at night before feeling like someone has literally drugged me. Mike is definitely a night person. It is really best not to talk to him for the first 30 minutes upon his waking 🙂 But I know that with frequent changes in his work schedule he has had to try this tactic. He just plans to go to bed a lot earlier. This may not help you to be perky in the morning but at least you will be getting more hours of sleep. Hope it works 🙂

  6. Pam says:

    @Katie- I tried an alarm clock that lights up and I ended up returning it. It was not useful…@Mel- I agree, it’s how you are wired. And it runs in your family:)@Nicole- I agree I should start winding down earlier but it’s so HARD when you feel like there is so much to do and you finally have some free time when you can do it.

  7. Jennifer Harrison says:

    I am a full blown morning person. When I wake up (during triathlon season) the FIRST thing I think about is my workout and getting it done before anyone else is up. This morning I woke up before my alarm (4:50am) to go and swim Open water with my group. I mean, that is not normal.And, I consider 9pm LATE at night. I am brain dead and am most productive work-wise before 3pm.I think people can “train” themselves but ultimately I think we are wired one way or another. :)Hope you are well !!

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