Since high school, I’ve heard rumors floating around that going to bed early is healthier than staying up late and sleeping in.
And also that having a different sleep schedule on the weekends is bad. But I’ve always been a night owl. And I’ve always enjoyed sleeping in. Not only was I often incredibly productive late at night, but going to bed early just seemed lame.
I heard murmurings about circadian rhythms, daylight, and the importance of hitting the hay before midnight (or you’d be turned into a pumpkin), and I thought to myself: Did the people in those studies own thick curtains and wear eye covers and ear plugs to bed? Probably not.
But recently, I somehow finally became convinced. I should switch to being an early bird.
Maybe it was reading this article likening sleeping in on weekends to experiencing jet lag (which slows down your metabolism and can eventually lead to type 2 diabetes, fyi).
At any rate, I was suddenly motivated to shift all my late night activities (i.e. novel and blog writing) to the morning! Last week, I decided to make the shift, though I must admit I had my doubts. Was this kind of drastic life change possible? Was it worth it? Was it actually necessary? (My schedule only requires that get up early on Sundays. Does one day really matter? My body was telling me yes..)
To be honest, my productivity did a plummet last week. I did very little novel writing. More sleeping, but less creating. It didn’t seem to be working. I couldn’t make the shift. Perhaps changing who you were just wasn’t possible.
I was about to give up, when the solution hit me: I needed to get up even earlier. That way, I would have enough of a chunk of time to write before I did the rest of my morning routine.
Moral of the story:
Going to bed early is not lame. It’s awesome. And getting up with the sun feels amazing! (Once you can actually force yourself to get up.)
Second moral of the story: Changing yourself is possible. Let’s not resign ourselves to being who we were yesterday.
Third moral: Sometimes the reason we fail to solve a problem is because we’re only willing to go halfway. We are only willing to dip our feet into the water when what is needed is a full body dive.
Well, I’m diving in all the way on this one, and I encourage you to come with me! (Whatever water that may be for you, though I really do think this regular, early sleep schedule is a good train to jump on.)