Two months ago, I started talking about how I wanted to become a morning person. I like the quietude of the morning hours and the opportunity to ease into the day. However, I also like the middle of the night. Everyone else is tucked into bed and I feel cocooned by the darkness outside.
Though there is a rub. I can’t enjoy both sanctuaries of solitude and be on the same schedule as Joe, potential jobs, or extracurricular activities that I want to pursue. I realized that I needed to take control of my sleep impulses so I created the Sleep Step Down Schedule.
Goal: To make a 7:00 am wake up time and energetic one.
During the first stage, I set my alarm for 9:30. Which makes most people guffaw and then accuse, “9:30 is a luxury for me. I feel like I’ve slept in if I stay in bed until then.” Whatever.
I chose 9:30 because I had a tendency to get out of bed — on a work day at least — 9:30ish. Since evening out my wake up time didn’t seem restrictive I thought that it gave me a better chance of arriving at 7:00 am with some dignity. Each week or two I shave 15 minutes off the alarm time. And I am pleased to announce that I am now getting up at 7:45 and feeling confident about the path to and sustainability of 7:00 am.
Admittedly, in the beginning it was difficult. I became more aware of the mid-afternoon slump and discovered the physical churn of digging deep. But then I found that if I mucked through that hour, I would again become more alert as the day wore on and then naturally wind down. Slowly, my evening routine and bed time has eased itself into an enjoyable groove. Ending when I turn the light off at about midnight.
I feel like I’m taking ownership of an important part of a person’s life: the manner in which a person transitions in and out of sleep. And this achievement gives me the feeling of capability.