Changing my sleep schedule in time for school was a major concern. I had to go from extreme late night hours to reluctantly getting up for my city’s 9-5. I could wax poetic about my former night owl schedule and how awesome it was to write, bike around, hang out with other night owls, and *have the entire quiet world to ourselves. *
BUT this isn’t the blog post for that. This post is about how I forced myself to morph into a pretend morning person. In reality, this was a hella boring process that involves checklists and routine repetition and habit building. But I’m writing it down anyway, so that future Loraine can be impressed with the effort that went into this change.
My partner and I used to work in retail, where you’ll often see “Opening” and “Closing” checklists. Opening lists ensure that your store is presentable and efficient before you face the public. Closing checklists allow you to clean up the mess of the day.
I used this same philosophy to create my own sleep / wake checklists. Since I know that I am a grouchy, raging and forgetful hellbeast first thing in the morning, I decided to take care of everything possible before going to bed.
At night I :
- Pack everything I need for class (my list is itemized to the very last pen so that I can forget NOTHING)
- Lay out my entire outfit for the following day
- Prep my bicycle to roll out the door
This minimizes the amount of crap I’m fumbling around for half-awake the next morning. No more panicked scrambling for a lost wallet or keys.
This is supposed to be really short and simple, because I’m essentially sleepwalking during these first 30 minutes of “awakeness.”
- Get dressed
- Eat breakfast
- Brush teeth
- GTFO (while yelling “love yous” to Erin and the cats)
Do yourself a favor and go watch What We Do in the Shadows, a comedy about vampire flatmates
You know how they say exercise is supposed to help regulate sleep? Well yeah, it’s true. You also wake up real fast after plummeting downhill when it’s 40-something degrees in the early morning + wind chill.
Yay, It Worked
I started testing my new sleep schedule about two weeks before school began. Getting started was a little rough, involving lots of interrupted sleep. But so far, the new daytime routine has stuck – probably because my school schedule is incredibly exhausting. Overall, this morning schedule hasn’t been terrible.
Bonus: Screen Glow Control
After hearing my classmates talk about F.lux, I decided to install it on my computer in the hopes that it would curtail my digital night owl ways. I also found this sweet iOS Low Light workaround for my iPhone, which I can activate with a triple-press of the Home button.