Day. Night. Day. Night. Day. Night. Day…

3 Mar

At 5:00 a.m. my alarm sounds and I promptly pounce out of bed. I won’t claim that I am always raring to go but I am generally awake and ready to start my day. My snooze button is definitely neglected. I have always preferred to plan ahead and squeak out every moment of sound, continuous sleep.

I love to sleep. I am really good at sleeping. This is no joke; just ask my husband or my parents. I can practically fall asleep on command. Furthermore, I am a sound sleeper. I just prefer to sleep during very specific hours that allow me to maximize my time during the day. It is rare that I want to just lounge around in bed. I want to be up, doing stuff, getting things done.

I admit that winter mornings are tough.  Actually, that might be the understatement of the year. Really, I never look forward to facing sub-zero temperatures and the pitch-black sky in the morning. The early sun rise and warm summer weather make it infinitely easier to get out of bed. Nonetheless, the alarm will be set and I will get up.

One of the main reasons for my early rise is to workout. I love going to the gym in the morning. It is empty. I can park near the door (this is really important in Minnesota in February). Simply put, I get it done.

I always feel like I have so much more time in my day when I workout in the morning. I can run errands after work. I can meet a friend for coffee. I can make a lovely dinner to share with my husband.

Then, I go to bed at 9:00 p.m.

Here lies the dilemma that I debate with myself constantly. If I workout in the morning, it limits what I can do in the evening because I want to go to bed early in order to be prepared for the next day. Not everyone goes to bed at 9:00 p.m. I get that. You might be thinking, “Well, just sleep less.” I have thought of that too and I deplore the idea. Remember, I love to sleep. I feel best when I sleep 8 hours.

If I workout in the evening, well, it limits what I can do in the evening too. It doesn’t leave me with enough time for errands. It is also really hard to workout and then go home to make a balanced dinner. I am a very grumpy hungry person. The likelihood that I will make it to the gym also drops exponentially. There are always a million things that need to be done that somehow seem to take precedence over my workout. Just like everyone else, I am searching for that 25th hour in the day.

I do not like to flip-flop my schedule. I am really an all or nothing kind of girl. This means that I have to decide on a schedule and stick with it.

To a certain extent, we are hardwired for different schedules. I am not a lark but more of an early rising humming-bird. I can adapt to a later schedule if the overall benefit is greater. Determination and preparation are significant factors as well. If I am determined and prepared to workout in the afternoon, I will workout in the afternoon.

Are you a lark, night owl, or a humming-bird? How do you fit everything into your day and what is most likely to go to the wayside?

6 Responses to “Day. Night. Day. Night. Day. Night. Day…”

  1. LindsayC March 3, 2011 at 9:10 am #

    I, too, am an excellent sleeper — generally between the hours of midnight and 8 a.m. At night I’m more awake, alert and able to accomplish things than I am anytime before 10 a.m.

    Granted, my work schedule contributes to this. I review shows that begin anytime between 7:30 and midnight (Rocky tomorrow!). I’m often up writing until 2 a.m., though I try to be as efficient as possible to avoid this.

    I get to the gym about 4 times a week with this schedule, the key being that I get up promptly in the morning and leave work as close to 5 as possible. And no kids means I can get dinner whenever.

    What annoys me is how some early risers (not you!) act superior about it. I get up at 5, so I’m better than you lazy late-sleepers. Not so! It’s genetic: http://news.nationalgeographic.com/news/2008/01/080126-sleep-genes.html.

    • Willa March 3, 2011 at 9:50 am #

      Hi Lindsay! It is great to hear from you. I admire the work that you do. Additionally, it sounds like so much fun!

      You make a great point about the superiority complex of early risers. I have to admit that I am guilty of experiencing that superior-than-you feeling. I am glad that I don’t come across that way though. It is unintentional, I don’t really think I am any better than someone who runs on a different schedule. So interesting!

  2. emily (a nutritionist eats) March 3, 2011 at 4:21 pm #

    I am like you, except I have a bad snooze habit. I HAVE to workout in the morning. Even with the best intentions, I always find a reason/lose all motivation to work out throughout the day! (I also wish that each day had about 3 extra hours!)

  3. Tracy March 3, 2011 at 5:00 pm #

    Boy, I love my sleep, too. I sure wish my kids allowed me to get more of it. I found that incorporating my “workout” into my daily commute (by biking to work) was the ultimate solution. It didn’t take any extra time out of my day at all, it was eco-friendly, and it didn’t cost a cent — in fact it saved a bundle on bus fare. But, not everyone can do this.

    • Willa March 4, 2011 at 8:13 am #

      Hi there! I am so glad that you mentioned 1) kids and 2) biking to work. The sleep deprivation that goes hand-in-hand with parenthood scares me. Your kiddos are amazing so I guess we’ll let that slide :)

      You always rocked the bike commute – so cool! It just occurred to me that, in better weather, I could bike to work if I make a pit stop at the gym to shower and get ready. You might have inspired a new summer challenge! It would be better for the environment, my body and my wallet.

  4. lindsay March 3, 2011 at 5:36 pm #

    oh my gosh you sound like me!! I am a lark for sure. And I will embrace that, haha!
    P.S.
    I’m so glad I got you hooked on kombucha!!

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