It’s been 7 months since I went back to work full time. My routine has changed with my day starting at 7 am on weekday mornings. I know for parents with school going children, this seems late. But for someone who is a night owl, 7 am is pretty early.
The good thing is, if you do something consistently, it becomes a habit. I may not enjoy waking up at 7 am, but my body clock knows that this is the new norm and so it automatically wakes up at this time each day. Some days I need the additional help of my alarm clock to get me out of bed, other times I can roll out before it goes off.
There are a number of advantages to waking up early. Here are 3 things it has done for me.
1) Eat Better Food
This is a big deal. I’ve always been the type to skip breakfast, resulting in me making bad choices for lunch. I’m normally famished by lunch and over eat, causing a late afternoon sugar crash. Now I have home cooked breakfast every morning. Most mornings it is bacon and eggs. Some mornings it is tuna omelette. The important thing is I start my day with a protein filled breakfast, so my lunch does not make me a grouchy monster on the afternoon.
2) More Productive Hours
I used to say that I do my best work in the middle of the night when no one else is awake to disturb me. I’ve discovered that I can achieve this same result by getting into the office early as well. I take the express bus into office, generally getting in at 830. This gives me 1.5 hours of quiet time before someone else gets in. It’s easily the most productive 1.5 hours each day.
3) Have Better Sleep
A surprising advantage of this new morning routine is feeling more rested when I get up. Instead of staying up late, I generally feel tired by 10.30 pm and am in bed before midnight. Although this means I am averaging 7 hours a night, but I find myself feeling more refreshed in the mornings. Maybe it’s the time I am getting to bed, maybe it’s waking up with the sun. Either way, I feel better.
So while I am still a night owl on weekends, I find myself transitioning to become an early bird during the week. It is actually not that bad.
Image from http://www.sleepjunkie.org/
P/S: This interesting read sheds some light on how being a night owl or early bird may be entirely genetic: http://www.sleepjunkie.org/genetics-may-determine-if-you-are-a-night-owl-or-early-bird/