Morning Person

May 5th, 2011
Photo © mmmmat | Flickr | Used under Creative Commons license.

Everyone told me I’d eventually give up being a night owl. They were right, but it’s not for the reasons you might think. My college years in the 90’s were a struggle sometimes, partly because I never wanted to go to bed before 1 in the morning. Even now, my natural tendency is to stay up as late as possible. But several months ago, I started experimenting.

I made the decision to front-load my day and wake up at 4 in the morning. My theory was that I’d be able to get more things done. I effectively traded two hours of sleep in the morning for two hours of sleep at night. So far, this has worked well for me because I tend to want to unwind and do mindless things late at night, while in the morning I’m sharper, more focused, and more task-oriented. It hasn't been a cake walk. There’s still the urge to stay up later, but less caffeine and more extra physical activity during the day has, for the most part, taken care of that.

1 Thessalonians 5:5 tells us, “All of you are children of light and children of the day. We don’t belong to night or darkness.” Now I’m not going to try to make a scriptural case that being a morning person is somehow more virtuous than being a night owl. But I think there is something to be said for the attitude that’s often found in morning people. Since I’ve switched my schedule, I find that I’m:

  • more excited about going to work
  • more likely to pray
  • more likely to be physically active
  • less likely to watch television
  • less likely to get depressed
  • more organized

The best thing about waking up early is the feeling that I get a “fresh start” before almost everyone else. At night, it’s tempting to try to “hang on” to the day, rather than letting it go so I can start a new one. In the morning, rather than second-guessing myself and lamenting what I didn’t accomplish earlier, I’m anticipating what I’m going to accomplish. I spend the same two hours in a more positive way, in the morning when I’m energetic, rather than at night when I’m tired and lazy.

Sometimes we have to do what works best, even when it means changing our habits.


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