Yes, it’s me. You’re still reading my blog and seeing words you’d probably never thought you’d see. Also, you may be new here and like, “Who cares?” but I tell ya, this is a big deal.
My OG friends here (thank you!!) know that I’m a night owl and have been for most of my life. It’s gotten more intense since we had kids. I LOVED the silence and alone time at night, so I started staying up later to enjoy a couple of shows and a glass of wine after the girls went to sleep. It’s gotten exponentially worse over the past year when the pandemic hit. Since the Pilot was been traveling constantly and I’d often be here solo with the girls all day, nighttime was my only chance to accomplish work-related stuff. (I can work in spurts during the day while they’re home but am so much more productive with a solid chunk of time.) I’d easily stay up until 1-2am each night to finish a blog post or work on behind-the-scenes stuff, and when I woke up (as late as possible), I felt groggy and tired.
Over the past 2ish weeks, I’ve woken up BEFORE my alarm and have felt rested and energized. It’s so weird, and so incredibly amazing, I thought I’d share the changes I made in today’s blog post. Some of these may seem super obvious, but like many things, the *simple* things are not always easy.
Here are some of the things I’ve done to wake up earlier each day and not hate the world:
1) Go to bed earlier. You may be like, “Well duh, Gina” but this has been hard for me to do. Once I started making it a priority, this has made waking up early so much easier and I’m still able to get 8ish hours of sleep each night. In the past, when I’ve tried to wake up earlier, I didn’t bring my bedtime down at all… which made it impossible to stick to for the long haul. Going to bed earlier has cut into my work time each day, but I find that I’m more productive and focused during the daytime work blocks.
2) No more TV or checking my phone before bed. 9pm, and I’m done with the phone. With my monthly book goal, I also haven’t been watching TV. There isn’t anything on that I really want to watch right now – this will prob change when the next great Netflix series comes out, but it’s currently a drought – and reading helps me wind down before bed.
3) Exercise earlier in the day. I try to exercise in the morning now, whether the girls are at home or at school. Sometimes they’ll hang out with me while I lift weights in the garage or ride the Peloton, and sometimes they’ll hang out and watch a show. Working out earlier energizes me for the day and when I used to work out at night, I’d sometimes have a hard time relaxing into sleep mode.
4) Not eating after 7pm and no late-night alcohol. When I have wine or a cocktail later in the evening, my Oura ring lets me know. It’s basically like, “DO NOTHING, your sleep quality was horrible.” The same thing goes for late-night food. Your heart rate elevates as your body works to metabolize the food, which can disrupt sleep. I’ve been really focusing on eating more protein and veggies over the past couple of weeks and I think it’s given me extra energy in the morning.
5) My usual sleep helpers: the Oranifi gold power mixed with warm almond milk (code FITNESSISTA), Equilibria mint drops (code FITNESSISTA), the best sauna blanket, and this magnesium oil. All of these things help to make sleep more restorative, even when the Pilot is traveling.
6) Resetting my circadian rhythm: throwing the curtains open as soon as I’m awake and stepping into the sunshine, moving my body as soon as I’m awake, time outdoors every single day, and focusing on winding down as soon as the sun goes down. More of my tips for better sleep are in this post.
My goal is to get to the point where I can have coffee and get some work done or a workout in before the girls are awake. 🙂
So tell me friends: are you a night owl or an early bird?