The Myth Behind the “Morning Person”

The Myth Behind the “Morning Person”

Sleeping Student

Ever since I was little, I have always been considered a “Morning Person.”  I would wake up at 5 am every morning before going to elementary school so that I would have time to read for an hour or two.  I suppose I was a bit of a nerd.  I used to take great pride in this, and still do to an extent, because for some reason it made me feel more grown up and “beyond my years” as a 12 year old.

What’s always been funny to me about this is that often when people talk about being a Morning Person, they speak of it like it’s something a person was born with.  Now, I can’t say that being awake early has ever been particularly difficult for me, but to my knowledge, it’s also not something that is inherent in my biological makeup.  Rather, being a Morning Person has a lot more to do with ritual and having good sleep hygiene.

Many people ask me what I do that makes it so much easier for me to wake up at 7 am on a daily basis without a problem.  I think that when people ask this question they expect a response like, “Oh, I wake up and go on a jog.  It always wakes my body and mind up.”  I did in fact try this technique for a short time.  It was absolutely miserable.  If I remember correctly, it only lasted for about 5 days.

The answer is incredibly simple:  I go to sleep at a decent hour.  I always have and, hopefully, I always will.  For me, sleep has always been a priority, regardless of how much homework I have or what is on TV, or even what party is going on around the block.  At 10 or 11 when I’m starting to feel drowsy, I get ready for  bed, have a cup of tea, and read a chapter or two of a book.  For me, this ritual works extremely well, but again it is not for everyone.

Sleep is a unique thing.  Some of us need a lot of it, some of us need less.  Some of us sleep in increments, some of us sleep in a solid block of time.  Some of us wake at the drop of a pin and some of us can sleep through a natural disaster.  Just because my sleep ritual works for me, doesn’t mean it works for everyone, which is why learning about good sleep hygiene is so important to your health and well-being.

I can assure you from experience that there is no magic formula that results in one becoming a Morning Person.  Sometimes it’s all a matter of what is in your head, other times it’s a result of an old mattress, or even as simple as sleeping on the wrong pillow.  Regardless of what the the issue is, if you spend enough time addressing your sleep problems, there is almost always a solution.

Cheers and sleep well.