sup homeslice. This site is in beta. Posts are drafts; streams of consciousness.
Better to have published and been Insulted & Humiliated than to have never published at all.

Like most people I know, I do my best and most productive work late into the AM. This is generally seen as a bad habit, even by those who do it, and I’m sure I’m not the only person who tries to “fix his schedule” every other day.

One reason I’d like to fix my schedule is because I feel if I wake up early and get my work done, I have “the whole day ahead of me.” This is true, but in reality, I have the rest of the day ahead of me no matter what my schedule is like. If I wake up at 5 AM, 12 PM or 3 PM, I have the same amount of time between when I awoke and when I’m going back to bed. It only feels like waking up late eats most of my day because I subconsciously go through the day still intending to sleep at the early bed time I set for yourself; i.e., 11 – 1AM. If I give up the idea of trying to fix my schedule and accept that I will be awake late, I suddenly feel I unlocked more time.

For people who have jobs or classes to attend in the morning, getting up early isn’t a choice. In that case, there’s no doubt you need to fix your schedule. What matters is getting enough sleep. That aside, there are many benefits to waking up early in the morning:

  • Being up late at night can be depressing, especially when there’s nobody around.
  • Staying up late is usually the result of worse habits, like bad time management. Perhaps a feeling of “I wasted the entire day, and now I don’t want to sleep before I get something done.”
  • In most places, evenĀ  New York, being up late in the AM is much more limiting than being up at night. Things you might need to get stuff off your todo list, like banks, libraries and post offices, will be closed.
  • People are far less likely to think you’re a drug abuser or a zombie if you wake up early morning.

With those benefits, why not fix your schedule? Accepting that your schedule is bad and taking the above factors into account, there’s really not much harm in staying up late. If you do wake up and sleep early, you might not get anything done if you’re poor at managing your day.

I noticed if I wake up early, I feel lazy just because I know I have so much time ahead to get things done. It’s idiotic and easily fixed if I look at the big picture, but I generally have no obligations in the morning and so no real reason to be up. I work from home with no fixed schedule, and if I take classes they’re almost always after 12 PM.The stress and pressure of feeling guilty for staying up late aren’t worth the benefits of waking up early. Being up in the morning is overrated, especially when you’re getting enough sleep and getting things done.

Re-evaluate if you really need to fix your sleeping schedule, and then if you do: Fix it. Wake up at the same time everyday, no matter when you sleep. Don’t take naps and your body will naturally adjust to make sure you get the right amount of sleep. You’ll begin to feel tired later in the day, and more energized in the morning, provided you give your body enough time to get used to the change. Just be aware that you will likely not be able to get anything done the first 2-3 days. I tend to feel like indifferent, tired and dysphoric while waiting for my body to adjust. That’s OK. Just realize this is normal and will go away, otherwise this withdrawal syndrome will keep you tied to your bad schedule.

Posted in Bad Habits, Sleep, Stress, Time Management at June 18th, 2009. No Comments.