A Night Owl's Guide To Waking Up Early

A Night Owl's Guide To Waking Up Early

How to get yourself up early in the morning if you are a night person.
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I am a natural night owl born and bred. It has always been natural for me to stay up until 2 or 3 am, only to be shaken awake in the morning before noon. I love my bed, and I often spend time there for as long as possible.

With the burden of being a college athlete and a full-time student, practices are conveniently placed at 5 in the MORNING! This means my alarm usually goes off at 4:30 am. 4:34 am. 4:36 am. 4:40 am. and 4:45 am. I have perfected the art of going to sleep in my workout gear and getting ready in 7 min to ensure I can sleep in as long as possible.

This isn't the best or smartest way to go about getting up in the morning. So I've done some trial and error on the best ways to get up in the early morning and how to help keep your inner night owl under control

1. Drink Water!

Before you go to sleep, drink water. When you wake up right away, drink water. Feeling that midday snooze, drink water. There are so many benefits to water, and we should take full advantage.

I have come the the conclusion that if I drink a bunch of water before going to sleep, when I wake up in the morning, I'll have to pee so bad that I'll be forced to waking up and getting out of bed. Plus once I'm up and have gone to the bathroom, if I drink more water, I feel refreshed and more willing to start my day. There are so many benefits to drinking water, especially with staying awake and and being attentive. Drink water. Just do it. Okay?!



2. Completely Prepare Yourself for the Day Ahead

One of the best parts about being habitually nocturnal is getting to cozy up in bed and watch Netflix or read, but fight the beckoning call to bed, and get your shit together. What ever your early morning brings, chances are it requires some extend of preparedness i.e. clothing, makeup, breakfast. Get all your things ready for tomorrow the night before while you are still wide awake, then cozy up in bed.

Chances are you will wear yourself out and make it easier to fall asleep, too. Pack your lunch, set out your clothes, print all materials you need for class. If you are going to workout, make a water bottle and already put protein powder in your Blender Bottle for convenience later. The more you can get done the night before, the easier it will be to wake up in the morning, while capitalizing on a few extra minutes of ZZZ's.



3. Say Goodnight to Social Media

Along with the 21st century emerged the addiction to social media. I love social media, so much that I sleep with it every night. Being a night owl adds another little perk to this addiction because everyone you would physically socialize with, has gone to sleep. Now you're scouring through America's Got Talent videos on Facebook or swiping and talking to the only people who are up this late at night on Tinder. Hashtag booty call? Hashtag thirsty?

There is some compromise with falling asleep with social media: give it a bed time. How late I stay up on any given night varies by the amount of fun I'm having from the glowing screen, but your devices deserve to go to sleep, like the rest of us! Set an alarm for 15 min before you want to fall asleep overnight, and try and keep it consistent during the weekdays. My phone's bedtime is 11pm. I have no trouble falling asleep soon after I shut off the bright screen, and neither will you.

However, some nights I lay restless even after and I toss and turn over analyzing everything. Take this time to reflect. Think about a mantra you can tell yourself when you go to sleep, as well as one to help you get ready in the morning. At night I always recite to myself, "Have the power to accept the things you cannot change, change the things you cannot accept, and the knowledge to know the difference." This tells me that what ever happened today, I cannot change, and I will get a fresh start in the morning. Then, while I brush my teeth and wash my face in the morning, I pay homage to Pr. Barack Obama with the mantra "Fired up! Ready to GO!" This really gets me pumped and ready to conquer the day. Find something to tell yourself to set the tone for your sleep the night before. Or you could always sing your iPhone a lullaby.


4. Change Your Alarm

The human body is smart. So smart in fact that it can become accustomed to ignoring frequent sounds, like the fan or your dad snoring down the hall. Eventually your alarm will be added to the list of the brain's "please Ignore" list whether the time it goes off or the sound it makes. Change the time of your alarms by three-ish minute increments, but do not set them too late.

Also change the sound that will be awaking you from slumber. I usually pick a song or something really obnoxious. Currently I wake up to "Trumpets" by Jason Derulo, but my other alarms have the typical alarm sound and bird chirping to really get my conscience flowing. It doesn't really matter what you change it to, but you should definitely mix it up when waking up. Side note: when picking a song, find something upbeat and positive because ain't nobody wanna wake up to I hate world music.

These are just a few fool proof ideas to help get your booty to sleep at a decent time and awake at a great time: the butt crack of dawn.

Cover Image Credit: Guo Guiyan

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To The Person Who Feels Suicidal But Doesn't Want To Die

Suicidal thoughts are not black and white.
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Everyone assumes that if you have suicidal thoughts that means you want to die.

Suicidal thoughts are thought of in such black and white terms. Either you have suicidal thoughts and you want to die, or you don't have suicidal thoughts and you want to live. What most people don't understand is there are some stuck in the gray area of those two statements, I for one am one of them.

I've had suicidal thoughts since I was a kid.

My first recollection of it was when I came home after school one day and got in trouble; and while I was just sitting in the dining room I kept thinking, “I wonder what it would be like to take a knife from the kitchen and just shove it into my stomach." I didn't want to die, or even hurt myself for that matter. But those thoughts haven't stopped since.

I've thought about going into the bathroom and taking every single pill I could find and just drifting to sleep and never waking back up, I've thought about hurting myself to take the pain away, just a few days ago on my way to work I thought about driving my car straight into a tree. But I didn't. Why? Because even though that urge was so strong, I didn't want to die. I still don't, I don't want my life to end.

I don't think I've ever told anyone about these feelings. I don't want others to worry because the first thing anyone thinks when you tell them you have thoughts about hurting or killing yourself is that you're absolutely going to do it and they begin to panic. Yes, I have suicidal thoughts, but I don't want to die.

It's a confusing feeling, it's a scary feeling.

When the depression takes over you feel like you aren't in control. It's like you're drowning.

Every bad memory, every single thing that hurt you, every bad thing you've ever done comes back and grabs you by the ankle and drags you back under the water just as you're about the reach the surface. It's suffocating and not being able to do anything about it.

The hardest part is you never know when these thoughts are going to come. Some days you're just so happy and can't believe how good your life is, and the very next day you could be alone in a dark room unable to see because of the tears welling up in your eyes and thinking you'd be better off dead. You feel alone, you feel like a burden to everyone around you, you feel like the world would be better off without you. I wish it was something I could just turn off but I can't, no matter how hard I try.

These feelings come in waves.

It feels like you're swimming and the sun is shining and you're having a great time, until a wave comes and sucks you under into the darkness of the water. No matter how hard you try to reach the surface again a new wave comes and hits you back under again, and again, and again.

And then it just stops.

But you never know when the next wave is going to come. You never know when you're going to be sucked back under.

I always wondered if I was the only one like this.

It didn't make any sense to me, how did I think about suicide so often but not want to die? But I was thinking about it in black and white, I thought I wasn't allowed to have those feelings since I wasn't going to act on them. But then I read articles much like this one and I realized I'm not the only one. Suicidal thoughts aren't black and white, and my feelings are valid.

To everyone who feels this way, you aren't alone.

I thought I was for the longest time, I thought I was the only one who felt this way and I didn't understand how I could feel this way. But please, I implore you to talk to someone, anyone, about the way you're feeling; whether it be a family member, significant other, a friend, a therapist.

My biggest mistake all these years was never telling anyone how I feel in fear that they would either brush me off because “who could be suicidal but not want to die," or panic and try to commit me to a hospital or something. Writing this article has been the greatest feeling of relief I've felt in a long time, talking about it helps. I know it's scary to tell people how you're feeling, but you're not alone and you don't have to go through this alone.

Suicidal thoughts aren't black and white, your feelings are valid, and there are people here for you, you are not alone.

If you're thinking about hurting yourself please call the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1-800-273-8255 or visit suicidepreventionhotline.org to live chat with someone. Help it out there and you are not alone.


Cover Image Credit: BengaliClicker

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Take A Break, Trust Me, You Need It

It was something I didn't know I needed. And I feel much better from it.

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I recently went on a little mini vacation. Where'd I go, you ask? Nowhere.

That's the best part.

Thankfully, I have a full-time job with great benefits. One of them being paid time off. I recently used all of my PTO, plus the two days I get off a week, which turned into a long and well-needed mini staycation. I stayed at home, slept, caught up on my programs, did some homework, and decluttered.

And you know what? It was something I didn't know I needed. And I feel much better from it.

I wasn't sick. I was mainly just stressed out and overwhelmed. It was like getting the rest I didn't know I was lacking. It was like having all the time in the world to do whatever I wanted, whenever I wanted. No due dates, no deadlines. No time crunches, no schedules to follow (except my school one).

I'm not telling you to take a week off work and school. But, if you have that opportunity—PTO, spring break—then take advantage of it.

You don't have to go on some extravagant vacation either. Doing something as simple as staying in bed all day, watching Netflix, and spending time with your loved ones is just as relaxing.

It also taught me the importance of self-love and taking care of yourselves. I was stressed, and I feel like I'll never be fully "de-stressed," but for a while, I was able to sit back and smell the roses. I was able to recollect myself, spend some time on me.

Sometimes, you just need a day. Whenever I feel like I need a day off, whether it be with work or school, I usually feel bad about it. I feel awful missing class, or having to call out sick to work. I eventually get over it, though, because at the end of the day, I'm taking care of myself.

Missing one day won't kill you. Take care of your mental health.

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