The Making of a Morning Person

The Last Way I Planned to Spend my March Break

I hate the morning. Somewhere in high school, I started despising the AM, and now I’d prefer a timetable to 11-7, staying up until 2AM reading, writing, and chilling. But then I read an article by Steve Pavlina, who turned himself from a night owl into a morning person.

I recognize the value of this; many times I have risen so late on the weekends (and when I was self-employed) that I couldn’t run errands because shops and services closed at 5pm. And it’s a self-perpetuating cycle: getting up after lunch leaves you wide awake at 2am, meaning you stay up later, and get up later yet again.

This Steve fella managed to get up every morning at 5am, regardless of when he went to bed. My goal: to try the 5am wakeup for 30 days, and see if it sticks.

This is day one. The ironic thing is that I was up until 2am last night reading about this, and some of the Steve’s other exploits. Then, I got up a few scant hours later, at 5am.

I treated myself to a breakfast of bacon and eggs, listened calmly to the news, had a nice long shower, got ready for work, read some internet feeds, and left the house with lots of time to spare. It was very civilized. Perhaps too civilized….

When I got home from work (the last day before March Break– woo-hoo!), I tried a technique from Steve’s documentation of his move to polyphasic sleep: 20 minutes naps. I set my alarm for 30 minutes, and got into bed. I crashed almost instantly, and woke 4 seconds later to the sound of the alarm. Hm. That doesn’t seem right. But 30 minutes had definitely expired on the clock. I tried it again. This time, I had a great dream, and woke to the alarm feeling much more rested, but still not entirely rested– remember I was working on three hours sleep. So I repeated this technique until 7pm, and by that point, I was refreshed, alert, and had several very vivid dreams.

Then I went and played poker. To give you some idea of how interesting Texas Hold ‘Em is, consider this: in four hours, I played fewer than 10 hands, winning only three and still finishing 3rd out of nine starting players, which meant I got my entry money back. (Better than usual.)

I got home, and left my alarm set for 5am. On a Saturday. Part of the deal is that you must get up at 5am (or whatever specific time you pick) every day in order to build up the habit. I’m going to keep this up for the entire break (10 days, including today) so I’ll be ready to implement it on work days, too. You can follow my experiment here.

Wish me luck!

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