Waking Up is Hard to Do

Unfortunately (or fortunately, I don’t know his life) I do not wake up in the morning feeling like P-Diddy. Instead, I wake up in the morning wishing I could go back to bed while still enjoying the pleasant calm of being up before everyone else. I’m a morning person but I suck at getting up in the am. It’s like being the extraverted introvert of morning people.

I’m serious, I love the morning the most. In an ideal world I would wake up at 5:30am, do my workout, shower, read the paper and enjoy hanging out with B before heading off to work. Lately, I haven’t even gotten myself out of bed for my 6 am run/yoga sesh let alone up early enough to check the news and panic about the orange monster. I want to be better at mornings. I don’t know if I’m just exhausted or if I’m reverting back to my lazy post grad self but it’s time to kick this sleeping in habit. To assist me in this coming home to mornings, I turned to my bff on all questions, Google.

Obviously to get up early, I have to go to bed early, which I usually do but I haven’t been actively applying all of my healthy sleep habits which has resulted in monstrous mornings.

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Monday (Going the Extra Mile)

To jump back into this I’m starting easy and using an old tactic, placing my alarm on the other side of the room. It’s times like these when I wish I had invested in “clocky” when he first came out.

Hardcore fail. Placing my alarm on the other side of the room was unsuccessful. Apparently the 20 thousand times I wake up in the middle of the night to pee has trained me to solve the problem and climb back under the duvet.

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Tuesday (Meditation)

Meditation always makes things better in my book.  Monday night before bed I meditated using my Calm app that I am obsessed with. Meditation definitely did not hinder my sleeping abilities but I still struggled to fall asleep. When my alarm (ie phone) went off on the other side of the room (consistency) I went and grabbed it then brought it back to bed with me like a crying baby. Four snooze attempts later I was up. Another epic fail.

Wednesday (You Have to Have a Plan)

At this point I was a little discouraged. What I used to do with ease I now could not muster. According to one of the many blogs I ready on waking up in the AM successfully having a plan was key. Tuesday night I visualized waking up Wednesday morning ready for my morning run. Wednesday morning I looked at B and said “Let’s be bed bugs instead”. This bed bug barely made it to her bus on Wednesday.

Thursday (Let it Go!)

After feeling shitty about myself on Wednesday day I decided that evening to let it go (see I told you I meditate). If I love mornings as much as I think I do I should be able to get up and enjoy them, not beat myself up over the ones I miss. Wednesday night I decided I didn’t need to get up early on Thursday to work out (but I could if I wanted) I just needed to get up with my alarm and greet the day. I could wake up and read Harry Potter (my favorite past time of all time), do some light stretching, get in a full HIIT workout or meditate (BUT NOT FALL BACK ASLEEP). Thursday morning I tried. I tried really hard. I hit snooze three times but by 6:45 am I was up. I didn’t get a workout in, I didn’t get any reading or writing done, but I had time to make my lunch because I forgot to #mealprep  AND I had time to have my coffee. Better than most mornings. Maybe all the stuff about slowly starting to get up earlier really does work…

Friday (Accountabilibuddy)

Thursday evening a catastrophic accident threw a wrench in my morning plans. There was a tragic weight lifting accident at the gym and my beloved iPhone did not make it out alive. Unfortunately, my iPhone is my alarm. Fortunately, I live with another human and he has a fully functioning iPhone and is naturally a morning person. Unfortunately, he sucks at tough love. Friday morning I once again slept until 6:50…which is better than 7 am…right?

Saturday (Consistency)

On weekends normally my rule is to get up by 8:30am BUT the internet told me that I need to get up at the same time every day if I want to be a successful morning person. Friday night, after an hour and a half trip to get my phone after work, I set my alarm for 7am. At 3am I woke up and changed my alarm to 7:45 am because I like to self-sabotage my success. Saturday morning I woke up, naturally at 7:30 am. Not proud but definitely not disappointed.

Sunday (Consistency)

Sunday is the day of rest. Since I had failed all week I threw myself a pity party and turned off my alarm. Naturally, I woke up at 7:30am.

Monday (Try Try Again)

I went to bed on Sunday happy after organizing my linen closet (I know, I live a riveting life) optimistic about Monday morning. I woke up Monday morning feeling like crap. You can’t win them all.

By Tuesday I had a cold that lasted until I went to SF on Friday…

Google failed me. I failed. I failed miserably. Does this mean I’m not a morning person? Maybe! But I’m going to keep trying and keep you updated as I do.

If you have any tips on waking up in the morning please leave them in the comments. I’m in desperate need….

Early to Bed, Early to Rise: How I Fall Asleep Before Midnight

Unfortunately, the internet is right about sleep.

If you Google healthy sleeping habits you will find that screens, late night snacks, lack of exercise and stress all contribute to the neverending sleep struggles. The sleep struggle is a vicious cycle of being too sluggish to get good habits forming during the day and then not tired enough to get enough shuteye during the night. The body is a fickle monster when an average person is having sleep struggles.

Many people attribute their sleep struggles to mental health issues (me), external stress (me) and their sleep location (me, I hate those fucking birds on my roof). Not getting adequate sleep can take a slightly stressful situation from manageable to crying in a bathroom. Here are my tips for becoming a morning person…or just sucking a little less at mornings.

 

  1. No snooze button… I know, I know, it’s the most tempting button in the world but it is HORRIBLE for you. The snooze button let’s your poor sleepy body, who stayed up way too late last night eating Hot Cheetos while googling meal prep ideas for your #healthy life, think that it can get another REM cycle when in reality it just gets a little relaxed and then BOOM GET UP GET UP WE ARE UNDER ATTACK…oh..that’s just the alarm again. Stopping the snooze is hard but not impossible and the best way to stop the snooze is to get enough sleep…vicious cycle.
  2. To help you stop the snooze the best thing you can do for your body is put it on a bedtime routine. I have established a bedtime routine that consists of drinking hot tea or a Calm packet (magnesium is wonderful as a sleep aid), climbing into bed and turning off screens by 9:30, trying to fit in a meditation with my Calm App and reading until I am sleepy. As a bookworm this can be dangerous so I often set a 30 minute time to make sure I’m checking in with myself by 10pm to see if I’m sleepy. I also like to turn on my sea salt lamp and diffuser with a relaxing scent like eucalyptus or lavender. Making bedtime a cozy time that I look forward to is most of the fun.The toughest part of this comes in the morning…even if I’m awake until 3am panicking about work or listening to the drunk neighbors yell at eachother I always get up around the same time. I never let myself sleep one hour past my normal wake-up time of weekdays or two hours past on weekend. Not oversleeping has helped shake that sluggish feeling that prevented me from waking up for my morning workouts.
  3. I wake up a lot throughout the night due to noises and changes in light. That’s why I highly recommend buying a sleep mask and some cheap earplugs to keep around.
  4. Habits throughout the day. I have two strict rules, no caffeine after lunch and no staying stagnant all day. Even if it is just a walk I have to get some form of exercise in to wear myself out. If I stay caged inside all day and don’t at least do a yoga or PIT28 video I struggle to go to sleep at night. An object in motion does not always stay in motion; sometime’s she stops moving and sleeps like a baby instead.
  5. Don’t put pressure on yourself to get it right the first time or everytime. Some nights my routine and lifestyle changes work perfectly, sometimes I stay up until midnight pondering the meaning of life (literally, what the fuck are we doing here). The important thing is to not stress over the inability to fall asleep…the stress will just keep you up even later. I love using my Calm App when I can’t sleep. I turn on a 35 minute deep sleep meditation and let the app take me the sleepy town.

There are so many ways to create and maintain healthy sleep practices but the most important thing is determination, faith in your body and a little discipline. Having health sleeping habits is just one of the many ways I have learned to prioritize myself and practice self-love and gratitude. Sleep is my way of thanking my body for making it through the day.

What are some of your sleep struggles and how do you combat them?