Becoming a Morning Person, Part 2

(Read part 1 here)
I have become a morning person. I didn’t think that was possible after 45 years of NOT being a morning person. And you know what I have discovered? I actually like it.

Rising with the sun allows me to…

  • Write and review my goals for the day.
  • Read my Bible passage for the day while it is quiet.
  • Meditate on my priorities and my plan of attack.
  • Write a blog post, journal entry or a few pages in my next book.
  • Have a full conversation with my husband without interruptions.
  • Make breakfast for the family (okay, I still don’t do this very often).

Early morning is also a great time to exercise, but I don’t. I’m a walker and I prefer my 30 minutes outdoors when the sun is up and the air has warmed a bit. You can take the girl out of California, but you can’t take California out of the girl.

Here is how I became a morning person:

In my last post, I mentioned how I have struggled with basic sleep over the past 4+ years. I was getting so tired of being tired. I knew I needed to make a change and up until Christmas of 2012, I had not been willing. But I reached a point of utter exhaustion, physically and emotionally. I didn’t like who I was becoming, the mom that was tired and often had a headache.

I gave up 3 things:

  1. 1. coffee after 4pm
  2. 2. TV after dinner
  3. 3. late nights

These are separate things in and of themselves and yet part of one single thing – a desire to spend time with my teens. When my teens became teens, I wanted to find something that we could do together. They liked to watch late-night TV (usually detective shows or period dramas). This was something we enjoyed together.

But I wanted to be a better me, so I gave these things up. I replaced them with:

  1. 1. very little beverage consumption after dinner
  2. 2. extra reading with my younger children before bed and extra reading for me
  3. 3. earlier bedtime for me

After reading to my younger children, I do get extremely tired. I decided this was my body’s way of telling me that I was ready for sleep. After tucking my kids into bed, I head for bed myself. My goal is to be in bed by 9:30pm and then read until I am ready to drop off to sleep, usually around 10:00. I am finding that if I do not force myself to stay awake through this sleepy time, my body follows its natural rhythm and actually stays asleep all night.

Here are things that I had tried before that didn’t really work for me:

  • GABA (it’s supposed to calm down your brain for those of us that worry)
  • Melatonin (it works for some people, but I didn’t notice a difference)
  • Camomile tea (this just makes me have to get up in the middle of the night to go)

I have experienced some pleasant side effects in addition to sleeping most nights all the way through from 10pm to 5 or 6am. My teens are coming into my room and sitting on the bed to talk to me before I go to bed. Sometimes I stay awake longer than my body tells me I should, but these are priceless moments and I wouldn’t trade them for sleep. And this time is way more quality than watching TV together.

The Lord has been good to me in giving me something better than the thing that I was not wanting to give up. Besides, I think that late night TV watching is a stimulus for over-active brain activity as your mind tries to sort through all of the images and ideas that were presented to it just before bedtime.

Well, this is my journey to becoming a morning person. In a future post, I will go into even greater detail about what I have come to love about the hours between 5 and 7am. These are magical hours. And sunrises are just as nice as sunsets… so I have found out!

Question: Are you a morning person? What do you love about morning?

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This entry was posted on Tuesday, February 26th, 2013 at 7:14 pm and is filed under Health, Lifestyle, Parenting. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. You can leave a response, or trackback from your own site.

  • heidijo59

    Great post. I’m still a 12pm-8am person. I still have an hour in the morning before my son gets up, so it works for me. I don’t drink coffee or watch TV, just work on my 4 part time jobs whenever I can squeeze it in. It’s just for a season while I have a child in college but it’s what I need to do right now.

    I’m happy that you are able to make this work for you. We have used therapeutic valerian oil to help my daughter get to sleep and have been very happy that it is a natural remedy that really works. I just put some on the bottom of her feet each night.

  • Laura Johnson

    I think I’m still sleep deprived from when my children were infants. I don’t know how you’ve caught up with six kids! Thanks for sharing what is working for you – I often ignore the “tired” messages because I want to keep reading a good book. I need to try to listen a little more intently to that.

  • Lisa

    Wow, thank you. I’ve always been a morning person and have loved being awake in the morning. A few years ago my husbands job has had him away from home alot and staying up late hours. The only time I got to see him was to stay up late with him or when he was gone it wasn’t easy going to bed alone. We also had our third child six years ago when I was 38 and we had teens at the same time. The baby made sure I still did mornings but then I turned 40. Ditto on all the stuff you said. You are so right about those shows, though I love some of them, I just can’t watch them anymore. There is always some woman or child at the hands of a crazy person and trying to work it out keeps me up all night. I have also found that I get tired while reading to my little one and if I go past that tired phase I end up awake till 2 or later. I also find that I’m not as organized and the day just slips away. Thanks again I know that there is still hope for me to go back to the mornings. There is nothing like having a cup of coffee on a cool day watching the sun come up!!

  • Cynthia C. Cutright

    I am not a morning person and for as long as I can remember I have been a night owl. A very late late night owl. As I write this I have been up for 22 hours. Neither me or my three boys have a set schedule. Nor are we on the same schedule. Most days I sleep when and where I collapse. I have also slept for two to three days without waking. Typically though, I sleep about five hours a day. The one thing that has remained constant in my sleep cycle is I do not feel rested. I remain tired throughout my waking hours which causes me to be cranky, disorganized, and unproductive.

    I’ve tried many herbal and home remedies without success. I have been to a sleep clinic where I was expected to go to bed at 9 pm and wake at 6 am. That didn’t happen. Eventually I was prescribed medication which helped me fall asleep but I still was not rested.

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