2020 has been, I don’t need to tell anyone, a weird year. There have been days when moving from the bed to the couch has seemed a herculean feat, days when the effort of pouring a bowl of soup from a can has been similar to the work put in to make a five-course gourmet meal. There have also been days when things have gone swimmingly—exercise, cleaning, work, play, all sorts of productivity in a single 24-hour period, with minimal doomscrolling in between. It was in anticipatory hope of a strong of days like that which made me decide to sign up for NaNoWriMo once more.
If you had walked into my bedroom at dawn a decade ago, you probably would’ve found me wide awake, book in hand. Not because I had gotten up early to read, but because I hadn’t ever gone to bed the night before. My “ideal” sleep schedule, in between bouts of insomnia and the forced early mornings of school, was around 6am to 2pm up through college.
Obviously, this is not sustainable in adulthood for people who don’t work the graveyard shift. It wasn’t really sustainable in school either, to be honest, but I got by. At the time, I was more than happy to be as nocturnal as possible, and I would never have thought I’d ever be anything but a night owl.
I look back at that sleeping schedule in horror now, much as I imagine my teenage self would look at the idea of waking before 8am on a Saturday. Where once I relied desperately on my blackout curtains to keep out the sun as it rose high in the sky, now I regularly beat it to arise–on purpose! Without even having to!
Becoming a morning person wasn’t an overnight process, though. Here are the steps I took to give my mornings an energising boost: