"But I'm not a morning person" / I need a new sleep schedule

This is sort of a GQ & IMHO in one, so it’s going here.

First of all, I’ve been putting it off for 25 years, and I am way overdue. I need a new sleep schedule. A CONSISTANT one. I have flex work hours, so I can show up at 7AM or 10AM and it won’t make a difference, so I usually come in when I wake up. However, this flexibility has caused me to get lazy, both in sleeping in and ignoring my other responsibilities, and I need to get myself onto a nice wake at 5:45, get into work at 7 EVERY DAY, leave work at 3, leaving me the rest of the afternoon and evening open (rather than getting home at 7PM, thus ruining my evening, having me stay up to midnight just to get everything taken care of, and then sleeping in the next morning), and getting to sleep around 10pm, giving me roughly 8 hours.

Do most of you stick to consistant sleep/wake schedules, or do you vary day to day? And what about weekends…that’s where I REALLY screw myself over for the work week, since I tend to be out late on the weekend.

On a related note, there’s been the slogan of “I am/am not a morning person,” and for most of my life I’ve really fallen into the “am not”…although I have discovered that I am WAY more productive with my day on days when I get up early. Is being a morning person or not psychological, or just an attitude?

I think it’s mostly attitude, although I’ve found that, as I get older, staying up late becomes less attractive all around. Consistency works best for me. I don’t sleep in much on weekends, even on the rare occasions when the kids don’t bounce out of bed at 6:30.

Give yourself something to look forward to first thing, like a nice yoga session, or a cup of coffee ready and waiting.

I used to say I wasn’t a morning person, too, until I had a sleep study done. It’s not the same as your case, but I found that I was tired all the time, even though I “slept” 12-15 hours.

Now that I have my CPAP, I am a morning person. I get up around 6 am every day, and go to bed around 10 or 11. Even on the weekends. On the weekends, I like being up before dawn, having the house to myself for a while. Stepping outside, hearing the birds wake up, sipping coffee. Morning is a good time of day!

With my class schedule this semester, I usually get up at 6:30 three days a week and 8:00 the other two. It always feels strange on the 8:00 days, like I should have gotten up earlier, and sometimes I wake up before my alarm anyway. I’m usually up until around midnight doing homework, so I don’t get quite enough sleep, but I feel better getting a consistent amount of sleep at a consistent time than trying to “catch up” on the weekends. (I usually don’t sleep much past 8 on the weekends, even without setting an alarm.) My roommate last year would stay out until ass o’clock in the morning every night and make up for it on the weekends by sleeping until 4 or 5 in the afternoon. Trying to do that would mess me up quite a bit.

I have a regular & consistent schedule that does not involve me getting up early! I hate getting up early. I get up at 7:30 or 8 or as late as I can push it to still be showered and dressed and on time for work at 9. I sleep at 12 midnight every night. On the weekends, I’ll push it to maybe 1, and sleep in until about 9 AM.

Rarely I do stay up really late on the weekends, and will maybe sleep till 11, but I never sleep later than that anymore.

Mon-Fri usually go to bed between 8 and 9pm and get up at 7:30am. On the weekends I stay up until 11 or 12 and I get up around 7am. I’m always up earlier on the weekends than on work/weekdays.

Good luck, chief.

As an insomniac myself, I have absolutely no idea what a sleep schedule is; I just lie down and hope for the best. For example, last night’s kip was was follows: dropped off about 02.00, awoke 04.30 after tremendous nightmare; watched TV until 07.30 and then miraculously slept until 09.25.

The nearest thing to a schedule (and I am pronouncing it “shed-yule”) was up until January 2004 when I had a job: no matter how much or how little sleep I had had, I always got out of bed at 05.28 to give me exactly enough time to do what I had to do before catching a train at 06.27. On Saturdays I never set my alarm but always rose about 08.00. On Sundays, the alarm was (and still is) set for 07.27 to get me to the Church on time.

I am certainly not a morning person. I just got a new job last week and I have to be there at 8:00 am sharp. On top of that, it is about 50 minutes away. I have to get up by 6:30. You morning people may laugh but that is serious business to me. After my first week ending last Friday I went to bed, woke up on Saturday a couple of times to use the bathroom and eat something and then went back to bed. I woke up for good 10:00 am Sunday morning. Hopefully, I will get more used to it over time.

I had a job one summer where I had to be there at either 5 or 6 am. I never did get used to that and everything was shot all to hell.

But heah, I can stay up for days at a time if I need too and I will be happy to come over and fix your computer at 3:00 am.

I think that hard core morning people and devoted night people should realize that they do have something in common. They agree that 4:00 am is a great time to be awake.

I think whatever you do, consistency is the key. If you bounce back and forth between staying up late, going to bed early, waking up late, waking up early, you get really out of whack.

I wake up early during the week, and now that I wake up early on the weekends too, I find that falling asleep Sunday night isn’t as difficult. If I sleep in Sunday morning, how on earth can I get to sleep at a reasonable time that night so I can be awake and at work on time?

So whether it’s late or early, just stick with it as close as you can.


I’ve been an insomniac since I was 4 years old. I currently have a job where my start time is either 2:30 in the morning, 5 am, or 3 in the afternoon.

All this and a six-month-old too :wink:

I suggest you use an alarm clock every day of the week. It may be brutal, and there will be times you really, really don’t want to get out of bed-- but force yourself. It’s the only frigging way.

I went through a similar transition. I was not a morning person, but I had to get up three days a week to teach physics at 8 AM (yes, that is as awful as it sounds, for everyone involved), and I noticed that on the off days when I got up early, I’d get a bunch of things accomplished in the morning, and generally feel more alert and happy all day. When I slept in to pamper myself, contrary to expectations, I felt dopey all day long.

I don’t know what happened, exactly. I tend to give most of the blame/credit to just being older. When I was a teenager, I had to get up at 5:30 AM for six years, and it just sucked ass any way I tried to do it, being consistent on the weekends or not.

Nowadays, I still get up at 6:30, and then I have a half hour to putter around and clean the kitchen before I get on the bus.

My recommendation is to make sure you get some exercise at some point during the day. That helps you fall asleep at night. And like cher3 says, treat yourself with something nice, especially on days that you don’t have to be up, like the weekends. I used to get a latte and hang out in the coffee shop grading papers. After a while, I found that the mundane benefits of getting up early were reward enough.

As for weekends, I’m afraid the best advice is not to stay out late. At nine thirty or ten o’clock, I announce to my friends that I’m turning into a pumpkin, and I go home. They point and laugh, but then I get up at 6:30 the next morning, go for a run, then hit the farmers’ market early and snag all the good produce. Mwah ha ha! No early-season raspberries for you, party animals!

Attitude. Definitely attitudes. During ruts in my life, I couldn’t wake up & feel refreshed no matter what–just no motivation; the amount of sleep didn’t seem to matter… It was always like “ugh I don’t want to wake up now.” And I kept pushing back my sleep schedule, since sleeping in also made me feel not-tired-enough-to-sleep-on-time. Vicious downward spiral.

My lowest point was 3 years ago in grad school; I also was waking up at 1 PM.

I’m JUMPING to wake up at 5 AM these days… And not a hint of tiredness. There are so many things to do… And more importantly, I want to do them!

Well, Day 1 of my new schedule.

I over-compensated and got up at 4:30 today, actually got out of bed at 4:38 (I wanted to sleep in more, but I told myself “DAMMIT fusoya, no more of this!!!”), left my house at 4:55 (NYC busses run on one hour headways and subways on 20 minutes at this hour, so I didn’t want to take any chances), grabbed some breakfast at the 24 hour deli, and my bus to LIC showed up just as I walked out…and then my
subway train to Grand Central showed up about 5 minutes later, getting me there 45 minutes before my train to work was due to leave…Grand Central is an interesting place at 5:20AM, since technically it isn’t supposed to open until 5:30, but I guess they don’t enforce that very well. Anyway, I ended up taking the 5:37 (the first outbound train of the day!) and got to my office at 6:45…you should have seen the look of shock on my building’s security guard’s face when I showed up at that time! It’s 9:30 now and I’m already getting tired, so I don’t think I’m going to worry much about falling asleep early tonight.

I think that getting up an hour later, at 5:45, to get me to work at 7:15, should work out pretty well. DST ending next week should help too.

While I have to admit there is no way in hell I’m jumping out of bed at 5 AM, I do understand this mindset. As you get older, and 40 hours or more of your week goes to work, plus however many hours to housework and forget it if you have kids, you tend to wake up earlier more often, just to have enough time to do all your fun stuff, too. Otherwise…it’s all work, work, work.

I have a job that requires me to be in the office by 5:30 am. This necessitates going to bed by 8 or 9 at the latest so I can be up by 4. Having spent four years of college waking up at 8 at the earliest and more usually 10 or 11, this took a while to get used to.

These days I’m groggy, but I don’t have much trouble being up at 4. What’s odd, though, is that I’ve been working this job for over a year now, but my sleep schedule hasn’t actually shifted. On the weekends, or if I have extra days off, within a day or two I’ve reverted to my old sleep schedule. I blame my friends who keep me up as late as they possibly can. :slight_smile:

It has given me a certain flexibility, though, since I can wake up at 8 or 9 one day and at 4 the next and not be more than a little lethargic.

Well that sure was fun. Day 1 into my new sleep schedule, and I get laid off.

Looks like it’s back to sleeping in for me :smack:

seriously though…my division got laid off today. I’d start a separate thread about it, but I’ve already sat through 100 of them in MPSIMS over the years.

Ouch. Sorry to hear that.

I was going to say that as I get older I can get up in the morning easier than I used to be able to do, but I still don’t like it. I do try to keep a fairly regular schedule and that does help.

Sorry again.

Geez, sorry to hear that, fusoya.