How does getting up early affect you?

When I was in elementary/junior/high school, I had to get up early to get to school on time–about 6:00, to be out waiting for the bus at 6:45.

During these years, I think I was chronically underslept. Even if I went to bed at 9:00, I was still sound asleep when my alarm went off, I still drowsed through every class, and I still slept through my study hall. Getting out of bed in the morning was absolute agony. It almost hurt, physically.

When I went to college, I began to sleep 12-8 or 1-9 instead. When I sleep these hours, I wake up refreshed and ready to get out of bed. I am awake all day. I can listen to boring lectures and read boring texts without falling asleep. I got so incredibly smarter in college–and though I know that one’s mind is still growing etc. at that age, I do think that the lion’s share of the reason is that I was sleeping hours that were more comfortable to me.

I actually went through grad school and am trying to get a professorship, because I don’t want to face a lifetime of getting up at 6 a.m. for an office job.

Who else here has my experience? I mean, surely I must be the odd one out–if everyone hated getting up early, then the world wouldn’t get up early.

I view getting up early as a stunt for myself but I have recently been told to get to work two days a week at 8 am and I have a 1 hour commute. I don’t think some people get it. I can’t just go to bed early and get up early. Hatred for the morning is an absolute, fixed value. The only way for me to recover is to sleep until noon or so on Saturdays. If someone manages to trick me into not getting that weekend sleep (hard to do), I will get physically ill in short order. People that know me have seen it enough to know it as a fact.

I had to be at school at 8:00 and I would literally pass out in class several times a day. I needed even more sleep and sleep later when I was a teenager. Teachers did everything from dropping books beside me to hitting me in the head with rulers but the best they managed to do is get a squinted eye acknowledgement before I feel back to sleep. What could they do? You can’t force someone to stay awake if they physically can’t.

My mother is a well-guarded international speaker and author on teaching methods. She believes that typical school hours are cruel and unusual punishment for young people at an age when they have no power to avoid it and can tolerate it the least. I agree.

If I get up way earlier than my usual, I get sick to my stomach. Not throwing up, but unsettled and twisted in the stomach.

I’m a morning person, so getting up early puts me in my element. It’s staying up late that hoses me over…

I’m a complete night owl. Early hours are painful.

For the last two years I’ve been working an early shift from 5:30 am to 2 pm each day. This meant I had to get up sometime between 4 and 4:30 am to get to work on time. I’d go to bed between 9 and 10 pm. Despite doing this every weekday for so long, I never adjusted properly; I always woke up tired and sluggish, but I’d never really be ready for bed by 9. On the weekends I instantly reverted to going to bed around 11, and because of all the sleep I lost during the week I’d invariably sleep at least 10 hours and usually 12. This shifted my sleep schedule significantly such that I often couldn’t fall asleep on Sunday night until midnight, meaning I’d be terribly tired on Monday and the cycle would begin anew.

Out of desperation, I got my boss to change my schedule two weeks ago to 8 to 5, and the difference is simply staggering. I’m no longer painfully tired, I don’t feel like I need to close my eyes for 10 minutes at my desk, my bones no longer feel like they’re grinding against each other (my neck actually makes a very discomforting sound when I haven’t gotten enough sleep) and I actually want to go to bed early enough to get a full 8 hours of sleep instead of 5-6. It just feels more natural. The downside is that I have to deal with the rush hours, where before I had little traffic to deal with, but I consider it a fair price for keeping my sanity.

Oh, yes, and in college I made dead certain I got classes that started no earlier than 10 each day, and frequently not until 11. Those were the best years of my life as far as being awake and alert goes. There were a couple of semesters where I had classes at 8 and 9 am, and I could not get better than a C in them because I couldn’t stay awake.

I manage to get up early for work (though, fortunately, not super-early), but I catch up on sleep on the weekends. I really don’t understand people who get up early on weekends, but I guess they don’t understand my staying up till midnight on weeknights.

I hate it. I utterly hate it and cannot adapt.

If left to my own devices I will wake up late around 9 or 10am and go from there. I am at my peak between 7 and 10pm and quite happily will stay up until 3am.

Unfortunately I sometimes have to get up at 3am. I think slower, react slower, get confused more easily. I have to stand up to drive because I can feel myself zoning out and I am less good at judging speed and distance (I drive a train). My digestion is shot and I can’t eat without feeling nauseous but I also get the runs. I don’t think I even speak to people until several hours into my shift. Naturally, if I start early I also finish early and it’s a real battle not to just go home at 11am and fall asleep right away.

On the weekends, I sleep in, too. I’ll get up at 0700 instead of 0400…

The most functional years of my life so far were when I was sleeping from 2-10 my last couple of years in college. I’ve tried adjusting to more traditional sleep schedules any number of ways, and it just doesn’t work. My body doesn’t like mornings, period. If I wake up at 5am for something, I’ll be exhausted (to the point of falling asleep if I sit down or stop moving) all day… until about 7 or 8pm when I’ll wake up, nice and alert, and be unable to fall asleep until at least midnight. Which will just make me that much more exhausted the next day. If I go to bed at 10 or 11 and turn the lights off, I don’t fall asleep until midnight or 1. It’s just the way I am, and unfortunately the world is full of demented people who like mornings :frowning:

Also, add me to the list of people who routinely sleep 10-12 hours on weekends, barring some unusual emergency (2am to noon has become a personal favorite).

I think they’re seeing now that teenagers have very different sleep scheduling needs than adults. I too used to be chronically exhausted back then most mornings, dearly wishing I could stay in bed until 9 or 10. Nowadays, I’m usually awake and ready to get going by 5 and only rarely sleep past 7 or so even on weekends.

Seconded. And it’s hard having to wait 3 or more hours until “everyone else is up” just to go do something. By 9:00, a good portion of the day is already over!

It makes me crave coffee the way zombies crave brains (and with about the same level of intellectual capacity).

Left to my own devices I’m a night person (or was). Back when I was a college student I’d regularly stay up until 1am or 1:30am; then for a while I had a job where my regular hours were 9:30-7:30 with a 25 minute commute, I’d sleep in until 8:15 or 8:20. After that I had another job where I worked mostly 9-6 with a 15-minute commute (I walked to work) so I could get up at 8:15.

Recently though (for the past year and a half), I’ve been pushing myself to get in to work at 8am so I can reasonably leave by 6pm, as the alternative is to stay later to finish everything up. If I only came in around 8:45 I’d end up leaving at 7pm and not getting home until practically 8pm. This wouldn’t have bothered me in the past, and I did that for the first 4 years or so that I’ve been at this firm, but now I have three small children, with the school-aged one (the eldest) having to be in bed by 8:30. I’d like to spend time with them, so I have shifted my schedule earlier.

And you know what? It really wasn’t so bad. So I went to bed earlier, by 10:30pm or 11:00pm, and got up at 6:30. That’s 7-1/2 to 8 hours of sleep on a weeknight, not bad at all.

For the past six months I’ve been getting up even earlier, as I’ve taken up going to the gym and hitting the treadmill for 30-45 minutes four or five days a week. The way I’ve been able to squeeze that in is to do it in the morning, since if I plan to go to the gym at lunchtime, 72.36% of the time something else comes up that squeezes it out of my schedule, but if I do it before I even show up at the office, it’s done and out of the way.

So now I try to get to bed by 10pm and get up at 5:30am (which would have been absolutely, totally, and in all other ways inconceivable to me just last year), and I tell you, after 10 minutes of running I am fully awake and alert. I’ve lost 45 lbs. since May doing this and am now in the best shape of my life. It feels great.

So my advice would be, if you’re forced by circumstance or other factors to move your “natural” schedule earlier… You might try 15 minutes or so of running before your morning shower as a way to kick-start yourself in the morning. And you just might find yourself in better physical shape, too!

I am very much a night person. No matter what time I get up in the morning (or occasionally the early afternoon) I can’t change the time when my body wants to go to sleep. I am up until 2 am almost every single night, whether I get up at 8 am or 12 noon. This happens 4 or 5 times in a row, and then I am so tired I fall asleep at 6:30 or 7pm and sleep through until 9 or 10 the next morning to make up for it. I can’t physically get to sleep before 2 am most nights, no matter what I do. Even OTC sleep aids don’t help. I wish I could change my schedule but I have yet to find a way how. And saying that I should excersize in the morning is like saying a cat should learn to work a can opener. I am sure with enough effort it could happen but it might kill me first.

I’m so out of it when I wake up in the morning, I’d be afraid I’d hurt myself if I tried to exercise then. Plus, then I’d hate getting up even more than I already do- I have only found a few forms of exercise that I merely dislike rather than hating.

I try to avoid doing anything difficult or complicated at work in the morning- I’m much more likely to screw it up than I am if I wait until I’m more awake in the afternoon.

I am also a night person. I go to bed around 3am and wake up at 10. If left to make my own schedule, I’d sleep from 3am-noon and work from 1 to 9pm. These are the hours those activities feel the most natural. I also routinely sleep 9+ hours on the weekend; I feel like I’m catching up, not being lazy.

Back when I had to get up at 5:15am to make the commute to school, I took quick naps at every opportunity I had. I rarely felt fully awake until the early afternoon, after my classes were over. (Thankfully, I always was pretty perky while doing my homework at night.)

My current job’s hours are 10:30am to 7pm, and although it’s not my ideal, I figure it’s as close as I’m going to get.

When I did some traveling to the East Coast a couple months ago, my body clock adjusted and it stayed with me temporarily when I returned to LA. For a few days, I was in bed “early”, 1am, and I could take my time getting dressed for work. I’d even get to work early. I enjoyed it a lot. But it didn’t stick. I’m back to my old sleep schedule now.

The only downside to my sleep schedule is the rest of the world doesn’t operate on my hours. Bank and post office hours are particularly inconvenient. The 7am lawnmowers also suck. It’s a shame I’m trying to reduce my caffeine intake. :stuck_out_tongue:

I’m not a morning person, but if there’s an Important Thing in the AM, I can generally claw my way out of bed.

Through painful experimentation, I’ve found that I need to set my alarm for 7:30 or 6:30 if I want to hit those marks. Otherwise I’ll be dead to the world until about 9-10AM. Sometimes much later if I’m really sleep deprived.

I go to bed at 2AM.

And people at work know not to talk to me until I’ve had my first cup of coffee – well, I’ll be conversational, but I will not be pleasant. I’ve found that I really don’t mind staying at work until 7 or 8 – it’s pretty peaceful that way. Only problem is that I have to jump on things that require immediate responses before others go home for the day.

I’m one of the few morning people, apparently. I always was one, even as a teenager. I’m up by 5:00 a.m. and it’s lights out by 9:30 p.m., and I can no more change it than you night people can change.

I’m sorry I don’t have a cite, but I’m certain I once watched a documentary which showed the results of a sleep experiment. Subjects were put into an indoor situation, completely cut off from the outside world, and they kept the sleeping hours that they wanted. In other words, they couldn’t tell if it was day or night on the outside, and went to bed when they felt sleepy.

A lot of people kept going to bed later and later every night. These were the self-described “night people”. Some of the folks went to bed earlier and earlier every night, and these were the “morning people”. Since I don’t remember the documentary’s conclusion, I draw my own and think that most of our inner clocks are either a couple of minutes too fast or a couple of minutes too slow as compared to a 24 hour day. It’s interesting that we morning people are in the minority.

I can get by with very little sleep, particularly in the summer.

If I have to get up at 3:45 AM for work (as opposed to my usual 7:00am), I’m just usually a little more tired in the afternoon.

I do know that even if I’m getting up at 3:45, I can’t change my routine - I still have to have my shower, style my hair, put on makeup, etc. I think that I do those things by rote now so it actually counts as mental downtime in the AM. I know if I miss it I’m usless - way more so than just missing an hour or two of sleep.