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Tuesday, February 27, 2007

early to bed, early to rise?

anyone else out there have trouble going to bed early? i get soooo caught up in e-mailing, planning my next day, reading, and internet surfing that it is hard to pull away. however, last night i went to bed at 11 and tonight i plan to go to bed at 11:30.

i know we're all different - some are morning people, some are night owls, and then there's everything in between. during last night's teleclass, one of the girls noted how she has started going to bed around 11 and getting up around 7 and that the shift has made a big difference in her life.

a couple of weeks ago i had a 7am meeting on a friday so my alarm went off at 6:20am. ugh. i don't usually schedule meetings before 10:30am! well, i was amazed that i wasn't tired all day and during the noon yoga class i was taking that day, i realized that i'd been up for 6 hours already. wow, big shift.

soooo, i'm trying to make the shift. i know it is supposed to be better for our natural rhythms so i'm willing to give it a try. any of you out there have a tale from the dark side? were you able to transform from night queen to rise-with-the-sun queen? or even rise-at-8am-queen? how'd you break the cycle? and, have you found the shift to be enhancing?

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Anonymous said...

Hi Kimberly,
Can you tell by the time I'm writing this, that I haven't really made the "early to bed" shift? :)

I've been going to bed around midnight or 1am and waking up at 6:30am or 7:00 am latest. Not ideal I know, but believe it or not, I'm not all that tired during the day. My theory: after sleeping only 5 or 6 hours a day, I would naturally be tired by 9 or 10pm and therefore, go to bed earlier.

Alas - all that is happened is that my body seems to be just fine on 5-6 hours of sleep.

Sorry not much help on this one....
Susie in Seattle

Anonymous said...

I have made the shift, although my hours may be a bit extreme for some. I wake up at 4:25 am so that I can go to the gym and get in a full workout (cardio + weights - or power yoga or a long run) before getting ready for work. I changed my schedule when I first met my husband so that we'd be able to spend our evenings together. And, because I love working out so much, getting up early to do it doesn't bother me because I know I get to do something I love! I also give myself plenty of time to have a couple cups of coffee in the morning before heading off to the gym... it's kind of become my time for me - before anybody else in the world is awake. You should try it! :o)

Anonymous said...

Kimberly, check these articles by Steve Pavlina out. Simple concepts, but they help you make the shift.

part i

part ii

When you are implementing this, you really do feel like you're "up before the world is awake" and you can get so much done in the a.m. I am a natural night owl, so when I follow this it does create quite a change in my life.

Best wishes

Sharon Tessandori said...

Hi Kimberly,

I am also a lover of the early morning. I fell in love with the stillness and quietness of the morning a few years back when I was training for a marathon. I would get up early and get my runs in, in the morning. I have to say that to this day, greeting the sun during a run has been one of the most magical things I've done for myself. And still to this day, even if I'm not out running while the sun comes up, I can just as easily be lying in the bed, reading on the couch, or enjoying my breakfast and I still get that feeling of calm, stillness and quietness... much like a good yoga practice or meditation session.

Good luck ;-)

Anonymous said...

I used to be the biggest night owl-- but two years ago I moved into a new apartment with big windows and tons of light-- I don't ever draw the curtains or blinds, so I've started waking up "naturally"-- before my alarm even has a chance to go off, which I love-- I hate having an alarm wake me up, I love to let my body wake up when it is ready instead of being jarred out of sleep. I find that sleeping in a room that will become lighter and brighter as the sun comes out makes all the difference in the world. Those times when I have closed my blinds, I will just sleep and sleep in the morning, but if the light comes in, it will wake me up gradually and gently. Now I usually wake up between 7-8am and go to sleep around 11ish. Its funny, even though I feel like this is a natural thing that's happened and I am going with it, I sort of resent it... I always connected sleeping late and sleeping in as being independent and free-- I always made a connection between sleeping late and being young and creative and rebellious... I hope waking early won't turn me into an old fogey! But, my big big tip is: keep your blinds/curtains open and let your body wake up naturally, responding to the light-- I set my alarm for the absolutley latest I would need to get up, in case I keep sleeping, but I haven't needed it. And really, this change happened without me trying-- I was the biggest night owl ever-- really prided myself on going to work at 10-10:30 and staying up 'till 1-2am. But, the sun rising in my room wakes my body up and I just have to do what my body wants!

Anonymous said...

I've always been a morning person even back during my single girl partying days. I could be out until 3am and still be up at 7am if need be.

However now that I'm a wife and a mother, I find that I can still stay up late but not usually later than 11. It's seems to be the only time I can get things done. (once the kid has gone to sleep)

Regina said...

I love the night time- it's my private time! Having said that, I do feel better when I go to bed earlier. Also, I read something about certain hormones that were released upon resting and only between the hours of 10 and 12 at night, so if you go to bed late, you miss those hormones!
I think as we are made up of mostly water, we tend to shift our connections with the moon as we need to...
Great post!

Christie said...

I've been a sleeper my entire life. I'm not a morning person or a night person. Actually, I peak from 11am to 2pm. I had many roommates throughout college and after the first few made mention of my sleeping habits (wake up at noon, a 30 min nap at 3 and to bed by 9:30) I began to warn new roomies from the get-go that they need not be concerned. I'd tell them, "I have an unusual sleeping pattern. I just need more sleep than others. Don't worry if I take a nap between classes or hit the sack early or sleep in late on the weekends. There's nothing wrong with me, I'm not sick, I don't have mono, I'm not depressed, I don't have a drug problem." They would always thank me for the heads-up and assure me it was cool. Then, like clockwork, six months later I'd get "the talk." I'm concerned that you're sleeping a lot. Are you sick or stressed?" (Sigh.)

I always believed that as you get older your sleep cycle changes naturally. I came to this determination early in high school when all the old people I knew were up before sunrise and I couldn't drag myself out of bed until 2pm. Surely enough, without trying I naturally found myself unable to sleep passed noon on the weekends through college (though still napping as mentioned above) and then in the years following college I napped less and began waking naturally by 10am. Now, at almost 29, my natural sleep cycle has me waking around 9:30, rarely includes naps and I'm ready for sleep by 11pm.

(Of course work and obligations rarely allow me to enjoy my natural sleep cycle)

Miss Olivia said...

It's easy to make that shift when you have 8:30 classes some days and 8:00 run dates the other days! I find now that even on the weekends I am up by 7:30. The tough part now is resisting the urge for an afternoon nap :-)

Alicia said...

I actually made the shift in college and it's stuck. I had a job opening the gym at 6:30 am. I basically got paid to work out so early, and it was great to be ahead and have one item off the list before classes at 9.
I've tried to keep that schedule through my work life and it's hard to get up but rewarding to go home and have the whole evening free.

Anonymous said...

Kimberly, this would be a great idea for a podcast! My whole life, I have been a sleeper. I remember being 8 years old, and yelling at my younger siblings on Saturday morning, because they were ruining my "sleep-in day".
I love sleep. What can I say? There are people who say "you have plenty of time to sleep when you're dead", but that is so morbid, and feels like some kind of guilt trip.
I don't stay up late every night. On weekdays, I head to bed anywhere between 9:30- 11:00, and I always read before going to sleep.
However, I have never been one to get up early. I hit the snooze button until I really really have to get up, even if it means not doing my hair that day, and wearing a ball cap to work (thankfully, I can get away with that).
I'd love to find a good solution to becoming a morning person, becuase I'd like to do my yoga practice in the morning so that my evenings are free.

Anonymous said...

I second the suggestion of sleeping in a room that will become increasingly light as the morning begins. I always, always, always wake up "early" without needing an alarm if I keep my curtains open. Its great! And, the opposite is true as well, if you really want to sleep in (and have a more difficult time being roused by your alarm) then you should make sure that your bedroom is very dark and won't let light in as the day begins to get brighter. Really, light is the key!

benslove622 said...

I thought since I am a college student plus resident assisant I would never be able to go to bed early. However it works! I am in a noisey building so I fall sleep before they get noisey! I wake up in the morning, 8 am usally. I love it! I can get so much work done in the morning! I feel wonderFULL and refreshed!