Journal

I Used To Be A Night Owl

I USED TO BE A NIGHT OWL.

Pretty much my entire life I was nocturnal. While everyone was sleeping I was wide awake, writing. I was more productive at night (until dawn). When it’s dark outside and quiet, I was in my zone. I was kicking.

But when my dog got sick that required me to wake up early to give him medicine everyday, I was forced to reset my body clock. And it was quite a challenge.

The transition from being a night owl to becoming an early bird had been hard. Trying to sleep early and waking up early had been quite an ordeal. I always had to lift myself up just to get my body out of my bed. I was up but a part of me was still lying in my matress.

I had to deal with the frequent yawning, lack of energy, thirst for coffee or something that would keep me awake and zero productivity. I had become demotivated. As if suffering from a withdrawal syndrome, I’d felt sick.

But as days went by, I’ve slowly overcame the “withdrawal” stage. I’ve eventually regained my energy and motivation in work. I have accepted that I had to start to be a morning person for a number of reasons that would benefit me–my health, primarily (because I’m not getting any younger). 

And now I am a reformed night owl. An early bird now, that is. Now I can get to see the sunrise and revel in the morning fog. I know mornings have always been beautiful. While I’m still attracted and drawn to the dark, starry evening sky, I’ve discovered that basking in the morning sun could be equally satisfying and fun.

If you’re interested to shift, as well, here are a few tips to keep yourself awake and resist the urge to go back to bed after waking up in the morning:

1. Eat a big breakfast. I was used to not eating breakfast then because I woke up at lunchtime but now that I can, I try to eat well. If your stomach is full, you’ll have the energy to keep yourself awake during the daytime. 

2. Walk or jog and bask in the sun. I walk my dog in the morning and get our free dose of vitamin D courtesy of the morning sun.

3. Eat banana. I’m not sure if a banana is a stimulant but ever since I eat two bananas in the morning, I don’t get sleepy in the next few hours.

4. Get down to work and aim to accomplish something. After walking my dog and eating breakfast, I sat down my desk to start working with a cup of hot milk tea.

5. Take a break. Breathe and take a minute to relax. If needed, take a 10-20 minute nap. Napping is actually recommended, they say. Just be sure to set an alarm so your nap won’t turn into sleep.

6. Exercise when you feel like you’re starting to feel drowsy. Even a five-minute stretching will do.

7. Keep yourself busy. If your mind is preoccupied with work or something else, falling asleep will be the last thing on your mind.

8. Do not look at your bed. The bed can be enticing. But do not bite. This had been hard for me because as a work from home writer, my office is also my bedroom so my bed is a few inches away from me and it could be really distracting. 

9. Think of sleeping as a reward which you can only get after you accomplish something. Mind-condition your own.

10. Listen to music. Preferably, lively upbeat music. Not only it will keep you awake, it can also help improve your mood.

Good morning! 😊

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