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How to Become a Morning Person

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Sizing Up My Zzz's

The first question Dr. Haward asks me is how much I sleep. "A lot! I turn in by midnight and get up around eight. Why is it so difficult to get out of bed every morning?" I complain. She tells me to track when I get into bed, fall asleep, and get up and if I wake during the night for two weeks. "This is the best way to objectively assess whether you have a sleep disorder or just need to change your habits," she explains.

My Bedtime Story

The log is, well, eye-opening. Most nights my head hits the pillow closer to 2 a.m. Seriously? No wonder I'm a zombie in the mornings; the eight hours I thought I was snoozing just turned into six. "Many people think they're getting more or less than they actually are," Dr. Haward says. "Your sleep cycle is pushed back a few hours. It's delayed at night, which causes excessive sleepiness in the morning and during the day."

Another red flag is my weekend wake-up time -- a not-so-respectable 10 or 11 a.m. Sleeping two hours later on Saturday and Sunday throws off my internal clock during the week. "We all have a 24-hour clock that regulates our sleep-wake cycle," Dr. Haward explains. It lives in your brain and enlists a team of hormone helpers to knock you out and wake you up. Cortisol is like your butt-kicking personal trainer who shows up in the morning -- or in my case, around noon -- to rev you up, while melatonin is a mellow meditation instructor who drops in at night -- er, 2 a.m.! -- to help you wind down. It's not news to me that I should get up at the same time every day, but I'm more likely to do it now that I know why I should.

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afhoward11 wrote:

Why do all these people who say they get up at 5 am come to this article to read it in the first place? Obviously this is for people who want to adjust their sleep schedule -- read the title. I for one, found the article very helpful and might try showers and meditation before bed.

11/4/2013 04:29:11 PM Report Abuse
joy.carlson wrote:

who the heck is sleeping til 8 a.m?

10/24/2013 03:31:22 PM Report Abuse
dstein2465069 wrote:

Let me get this straight...I have to spend $130 on a machine that makes noise, $223 for a blanket, and another $130 on an alarm clock? Almost $500? Eh, I think I'll stick to being a night owl. Stupid article and not very practical. Who has time to shower or bathe every night before bed, journal AND meditate? I'd rather sleep thank you very much

10/24/2013 01:16:07 PM Report Abuse
bmruddock wrote:

Loved it!! She and I are snooze experts with our alarms.. Perhaps there is hope for me

10/24/2013 11:54:48 AM Report Abuse
cheryle.bussey wrote:

I think this article is timely. I've wanted to rise earlier to get in a workout, but it's been difficult. So, now I have a plan to follow and no chance to fail. Thanks

10/24/2013 09:59:43 AM Report Abuse

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