Full disclosure – I’m not a morning person or a night person. I can get up early but it’s a struggle and I can stay up late but that’s also a struggle. Before I had a baby, I generally slept from midnight to 7am and that’s about perfect for me. I still try to sleep in that time but I have to be a bit more flexible these days because I have an adorable little gremlin who likes to dictate my sleep patterns for me. She’s lucky she’s cute.
I know someone who’s NOT a morning person. Mr Smaggle. He SUCKS first thing in the morning. Watching him wake up is painful. It’s like watching a baby lizard clumsily hatch out of his egg and experience the world for the first time. A quick shower and coffee get him going but before then he’s pretty bloody useless.
I don’t think you can make yourself a morning if you’re not one. Some people are creatures of the night. However, if you want to function in society, you’re going to have to be awake and using words in the morning at some stage in your life.
If you’re really not a morning person, here are a few things that may well help you fake it.
1. Avoid using your phone for the first hour after you wake up
I totally banned my phone from the bedroom years ago. Pre-bub, I’d set my alarm and leave my phone in the lounge room to force myself to get out of bed to turn it off. I’m wasn’t allowed to bring my phone back to bed with me, otherwise, I waste the first 20 minutes of my day mindlessly scrolling through Facebook. I’d usually reset my alarm and have another ten-minute snooze, then get up properly. I still don’t have my phone in my room – I leave it in the loungeroom to time my breastfeeding sessions and so I can listen to podcasts while I feed my girl. I’m just totally out of the habit of having my phone beside my bed and it’s so freeing. A person who is happy to see the start of a new day, won’t waste the first 20 minutes of the day stuffing around on Facebook. Don’t let your phone steal your morning. Turn it on aeroplane mode and don’t touch it until you absolutely have to. You really don’t need to see a 20-year-old with rich-girl hair and giraffe legs posing with an enormous ice cream cone she’s not going to eat on the streets of New York before you reluctantly head off to work. How is that going to make you feel positive about your day? It won’t. Save the Insta-scrolling for later in the day when it’s less likely to make jealous-grumpy and ruin your day.
2. Turn on the lights and open the blinds the moment you wake up
When I first get up, I do a quick spin around the room, opening the blinds and turning on the lights. Then I have my ten-minute snooze (if the wee one lets me!), which isn’t a deep sleep because it’s too bright to doze off completely. After ten minutes, I feel right as rain to get up and start the day. If your house is dark and cozy in the morning it makes it very difficult to get out of bed. Don’t make your morning leap out of bed harder than it needs to be. When your alarm goes off, the lights go on. That’s the rule.
3. Actually go to bed early
Even if you’re not that tired, if you go to bed as early as possible it will make you much brighter in the morning. I used to wait until I was falling asleep on the couch before I went to bed but now I always go to bed after my girl’s 10 pm feed, otherwise, I just won’t get near enough sleep. I try to get 8 hours of sleep overnight in between feeds but that means I need to be in bed for at least 10 hours to achieve that, so I need to be very strict about dragging my butt off the couch and going to bed. Choose the hours you’re going to spend in bed each night and stick to it. Your body will start figuring out pretty quickly that those are your rest hours. You don’t have to sleep that whole time but if you’re in bed, at least you’re getting some rest… or if you’re like me, spending some quality time lying in the dark coming up with witty comebacks for that bitch who called you fat in year three.
4. Invest in a wake-up light
Years ago Mr Smaggle and I bought a Phillips wake up light and it’s the best thing we’ve done. It makes getting up so much easier because it mimics the gradual light of the sun rising. We used to live in a rather dark apartment so, it became essential for us having a restful wake up in the morning. I know it sounds totally whack but it makes me less angry to wake up in the morning. It’s awesome. I also use it to go to sleep when I’m reading as it will gradually dim over time and I’ll be sleepy by the time it goes out. Of course these days I don’t set an alarm because I have a tiny human alarm that wakes me every few hours but anyone not in that situation needs to get a Phillips wake-up light. They’re extremely awesome. Hot tip: Take the time to learn how to use it properly. I just winged it for ages but then I figured out how to make the radio come instead of the alarm and for different sounds to gently wake me up. Don’t be a loser like me and assume you can just figure it out – I missed out on a lot of awesome features because instructions annoy me.
5. Engage your pleasure centre
Plan something lovely for when you wake up in the morning. If I’m not going to the gym in the morning, I’ll often allow myself 20 minutes to sit and crochet while I listen to a podcast and bub has her morning nap. It’s such a lovely and calming way to start the day and it makes those early morning feeds much easier to get out of bed for.