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Has anyone ever been successful in changing from a night person to a morning person?
August 19, 2007
7:02 pm
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My natural clock has me set to the tendencies of a night person. No matter what I do during the week, wake up early, to bed early, I snap back into sleeping late (or being exhausted and taking naps) on my days off. Will power just isn't enough. It's hurting my mood.

My therapist says she's the same way, she believes that a lot of depressed type people are. That it's just very difficult to be a morning person when you are depressed because it magnifies the darkness of your mood, everything is amplified in the morning, and at night there is some peace... when you can make time for yourself without others around to make demands, or distract you from things that are important to you.

I agree. I also read an article by a doctor once who said that it's about as easy to change your natural biorhythms as it is to change your shoe size- some people are just night people and have to make minor adjustments to live in the "day" world, but will never do it as effortlessly as true morning people.

This is just one more thing I've wished I could change about myself for a while. When I was younger, I didn't care so much- young people have a more laid back lifestyle, I was an artist, with similar friends, we lived a night life that was full. We did some of our best work at night, had a lot of fun at night. Unfortunately, as an adult, in my job and with my lifestyle, this is impossible.

Being a night person is compounding my loneliness, problems with energy and productivity, getting back into physical shape, and countless other things. I wish I was a vampire.

Help. I tried going to bed early. I still have trouble in the mornings and on the weekends.

-ella

August 19, 2007
8:17 pm
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sad sack
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Hi,

Just wanted to drop in and say that I have, in fact, changed from an evening person to a morning person.

For the first few decades of my life (I am 51 years old now), I was a night person. I would stay up really late - the later the better. When I was in college, I would stay up all night listening to the radio (no cable back then). I would go to bed when my mother was getting up to go to work. I would wake up at around the time my dad was getting home from work. I loved sleeping late. On weekends, my entire family were late sleepers. If someone dared to call before 11am, we were annoyed and could not believe that someone would be so inconsiderate to call so EARLY!!!

But then I entered the wonderful world of work. And slowly my sleep habits started to change. I was forced to go to sleep earlier because I knew I had to get up at around 6 o'clock. I had no choice in the matter. The days of sleeping late were behind me. Then as the years progressed, I could no longer sleep late (even if my life depended on it). Now I naturally am a morning person. I always wake up early and dont even need an alarm clock anymore. I just cannot sleep past 7 anymore. As a matter of fact, I am happy if I can even make it to 7. I usually wake up even earlier than that.

So that is my story. In my case, my job forced me to switch time schedules. So you see, it is possible.

Good luck to you.

Sad

August 19, 2007
8:27 pm
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Rasputin
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Ella~

Funny coz I love going to bed no later than 10:30 pm; otherwise I would be lousy and less productive the following day. I am a morning person and even when I stay up late, either by choice bc of reading or being at party or feast or whatever, I tend to be drained and exhausted the following day that I have to oversleep to get over it. So consider yourself lucky for that.

Here is my take, set your clock one hour earlier b4 you usually wake up and do your usual stuff such as taking a shower, getting dressed for the office, grooming etc and just sit in a meditative silent way. During this time you can also fix yourself a breakfast, drink your coffee and prepare your own lunch for your working day.

Try this and your won't regret it ever!

August 19, 2007
11:05 pm
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StronginHim77
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I am a night person. My mind is positively FLOWING around 7:30 - 8:00 PM. I have been this way since I was a teenager. Now I am 57. I married a man who was a morning person and insisted that I change my life around to "normal hours." It was impossible for me and one of the reasons I finally left him. I am what I am.

Over the decades, I have raised two children, run a business with my late husband and worked for corporations which required my presence EARLY in the morning. I did it. But always returned to being a night person whenever possible.

Since my youngest child finished high school, I have peacefully resumed my night hours. When I have to get up at 7:30 or 8:00, I feel lousy for the rest of the day, even if I have gotten a full night's sleep, the evening before. It just doesn't work for me.

- Ma Strong

August 20, 2007
12:15 am
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Sad Sack-

Wow that worked for you? How long exactly did it take before you weren't miserable?

I've been in the working world for quite some time now!

Darn.

August 20, 2007
12:17 am
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Rasputin-

Believe me, I try to wake up early! I used to GO to work an hour early. But I just fizzled out and couldn't do it anymore.

sigh. I MUST beat this. Now I'm up late doing homework that could have been done by now if I woke up early this morning.

August 20, 2007
12:22 am
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StronginHim-

Maybe the worst of it is that I feel that there is something "wrong" with how I am. Maybe I need to get over that. Sure it would be EASIER to be a morning person for how I live. But I've got to stop berating myself for being the way I am, that makes things so much harder. Well, acceptance is something I'm a BEGINNER at in many ways!

August 20, 2007
10:34 am
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ella -

Everyone has a different body clock. There is nothing wrong with that. No shame in it at all. Even my psychologist (and another therapist) supported this. Both said the same thing: we each have our own, inner body clock. Usually, it is nearly impossible to change it. We are what we are.

So, don't feel guilty. I sure don't. This is who I am. End of story. Besides, somebody has to work the night shifts! And I had a real advantage when I had to be up at night with sick kids, fretful babies or late-night corporate crises!!!

August 20, 2007
11:51 am
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mzrella - one technique I've read about, although haven't been able to yet try myself, is to "practice" getting up with the alarm.

I don't know if this is your particular problem, but I am a chronic snoozer. I always run late in the mornings b/c I hit that snooze button until the absolute last minute.

I read where this guy turned his bad habit of snoozing around by taking one of his days off, and he'd lay down with the alarm set 10 or 15 minutes from then. When it went off, he'd instantly rise from bed and go about some normal activity for about half an hour, after which he'd repeat laying down with the alarm set. He did this several times throughout the day to "practice" getting up to the alarm. It didn't matter whether he drifted off to sleep or not while lying down. The point was to retrain his body's automatic response to the alarm clock. His theory is that if you do it enough times while fully conscious, your unconscious will eventually pick up the same habit.

I really need to try it out myself, but I also know a BIG part of my problem is not going to bed early enough. I could start getting up with my alarm, but I still wouldn't be getting enough rest. But maybe if I can fix one, it will start the ball rolling to fix the other, and maybe it doesn't matter which one I start with.

August 20, 2007
12:12 pm
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SadMike
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I'm both a morning person and a night person. I can shift as easily as breathing between both.

I've always thought I was a bit weird but it sure has helped with some of the jobs and work that I have. I find that I'm quite able to function early in the morning and late at night and I love it.

I also find that late in the evenings - 10:00 pm and onward, I also do some of my best writing and studying. I get into cleaning moods late at night sometimes. I've had jobs that required me to work all night and I was just as mentally capable then as I was in the morning.

My ex wife was a night person. She couldn't function early morning like me, but I could always function late at night like her.

I wish I had some good advice for you, mzrella, on changing that. My ex never wanted to change that nor did she.

August 22, 2007
10:33 am
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soofoo
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I believe that night person, morning person stuff is almost entirely related to hormones.

I was a night person. Like middle of the night. In college I slept 4am till 12 noon or 1pm. I scheduled my classes to accomodate this. Then I got pregnant and almost instantly started getting tired at about 9pm and conked out at 10:30pm. I had four children in 6 years. My sleeping patterns changed with my hormonal changes, but I stayed pretty much in the am- person range. Now my youngest is three and I'm back to night owl. I am so happy around 8pm. This is when life is good. Till I eventually go to sleep. I wake up to the pitter patter (thump thump) of little feet around 7am or so. And every day I wake up and feel terrible. If I let myself, I will just lay in bed and ruminate about bad things that have happened to me or could happen to me. I think life sucks in the am. I've learned that life doesn't really suck at 7am and drastically improve at 8pm, that I'm back to the ole night owl. Having been both, I think it's easier on you if you are a morning lark.

There has been research that suggests that teenagers are naturally night owls because they were physically the best candidates to protect the tribe at night time from predators. So it's an evolutionary adaptation. If that's true it would make sense that sleep is related to hormones as there are great hormonal changes during adolescence.

I believe it is related to hormones, but I don't know exactly how, or in what levels. I have had success with yoga (to balance my hormones) and there are herbs that are good for endocrine health.

August 24, 2007
3:01 am
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Anonymous
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Guess what, Ella, Im having the same problem. I teach classes at night and depression makes me very sleepy in the morning, too. My feeling is we won´t change unless we get better from depression. It seems that as we get started with projects and activities that get us engaged, then we start to really wake up.

What I mean is that maybe you like your job consciously but unconsciouly youre not happy and want to escape.

Now look at me. Here it is 3:57 am and Im alert as could be. I did sleep already but had to get up. This early morning the problem was that I took a muscle relaxant and then some similar medication and my body felt like it was going numb, so I awoke every time I began falling asleep deeply.

Taking the wrong medication thoughtlessly is my indication that things arent going well. Otherwise I wouldnt take the second med that messed up with the first one.

The best I can say is "be gentle with yourself". Things like these dont change easily.

hugs,

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