Some of us just aren't natural early risers, yet there's still hope for us if we want to get up earlier with less struggle. The New York Times reports it might take just 20 minutes a day (and some discipline) to reset our inner clocks, and offers a neat quiz to help you figure out what kind of sleeper you really are.Photo by Zhao !
To turn yourself into a morning person, you'll need to reset your circadian clock, "inducing a sort of jet lag without leaving your time zone" and sticking to this plan until you've effectively started waking earlier:
To start, move up your wake-up time by 20 minutes a day. If you regularly rise at 8am, but really want to get moving at 6am, set the alarm for 7:40 on Monday. The next day, set it for 7.20 and so on. Then, after you wake up, don't linger in bed. Hit yourself with light. In theory, you'll gradually get sleepy about 20 minutes earlier each night, and you can facilitate the transition by avoiding extra light exposure from computers or televisions as you near bedtime.
So, with careful timing and light exposure, you can train yourself to be a lark — possibly. Unfortunately, as the article notes, for some people it's almost impossible because of long-time habits, difficult work shifts or different timing on weekends.
The Times article also has an eight-question quiz that will evaluate whether you are a true morning person, night owl or somewhere in between based on how hungry you are when you first wake up, when you think you are most mentally alert and so on. Hit up the link to see what your sleeping tendencies are and for more advice on resetting your circadian clock.
So You Think You Can Be a Morning Person [New York Times]