Getting up in the morning can be the worst part of the day for a college student, but then there are “those” people who somehow wake up with energy. They sing in the hallways at all hours of the morning. They walk into their 7:50 and greet the professor with a big smile on their face. Then they say that they don’t even drink coffee. How do they do that?
There are two kinds of people in this world, morning people and night owls. Morning people enjoy getting up early and typically don’t like staying up too late. Night owls are the opposite; they are able to stay up really late, but they also prefer to sleep as late as they can on any given day.
Deb Bender, PA-C, from Health Services says, “Sleep patterns tend to be primarily driven by our circadian rhythms or internal clocks. It seems likely that these internal clocks are genetically set. These circadian rhythms seem to fluctuate over a person’s lifetime. Children tend to get up earlier in the morning but by the time a kid hits their teens, they tend to need more sleep and to sleep in later in the morning. As a person ages, they often trend toward waking earlier in the morning again.”
There are some benefits to being a morning person. Sandra Hayden, professor of physical education, health, and kinesiology said, “Some benefits would include time to yourself before the craziness of the day begins. Having quiet time is much easier and accomplishing tasks on your to do list happens much quicker when you aren’t competing with the many distractions as the day goes on. This gives you more time to enjoy the rest of the day. Morning people tend to be more excited about their life, optimistic about their goals and productive in their pursuits.”
Here are some tips on how to become a morning person from realsimple.com: Don’t hit the snooze button and have a way to reward yourself when you get up. Have your morning routine laid out and ready to go the night before. Prepare yourself to go to bed earlier by quieting noise around you and dimming lights. Make protein part of your breakfast to give you energy in the morning.
Can a person go from being a night owl to a morning person? Bender said, “I am not sure that a true, full-fledged “night owl” can turn themselves into a “morning person.” Certainly getting to bed earlier will help a person get up earlier. Most adults need between 7-9 hours of sleep at night, so modifying their schedule to incorporate the goal of getting in that much sleep will help.”
Here are some tips both Bender and Hayden have to making mornings easier: Allow for natural light in the room in the morning by sleeping near a window or even using a light box. Try to work in some exercise in the morning, even if it is just a walk. Have a plan of something you can accomplish in the morning if you wake up earlier. Try to get to bed earlier to get a full night’s sleep and keep off of electronics before bed.