Becoming a Morning Person Doesn’t Have to Be Hard
Sleep and productivity experts weigh in on how to get your morning mojo back; ‘Whatever you do, don’t log on to your work email’
daycare (center) 日托中心，针对儿童、老人、病人等的日托，日间护理，日间看护。Day care is care that is provided during the day for people who cannot look after themselves, such as small children, old people, or people who are ill. Day care is provided by paid workers.
judgemental(judgmental) /dʒʌdʒ’mɛntl/ 轻率评价的；动辄评头论足的；动辄指责人的 judging people and criticizing them too quickly
sleep in 睡懒觉:赖床
ditch 摆脱;抛弃 If you ditch something that you have or are responsible for, you abandon it or get rid of it, because you no longer want it. ◆ The new road building programme has been ditched. 新的道路建设计划已废弃。
cusp /kʌsp/ 介于两个状态之间的;将要进入特定状态的； be on the cusp of something ◆ I am sitting on the cusp of middle age…我将步入中年。
returning to in-person learning 返校复课
night owls 夜猫子
circadian /sɜː’keɪdɪən/ （每 24 小时人或动物体内变化）昼夜节律的，生理节奏的 connected with the changes in the bodies of people or animals over each period of 24 hours
circadian rhythm 生物钟；生物周期节律；
begrudgingly /bɪ’grʌdʒɪŋli/ 不情愿地；不乐意地；勉强地；If you do something begrudgingly, you do it unwillingly.
First I was waiting until the kids went back to daycare. Then the deadline was the return to the office, which never came.
Here I still was: avoiding my alarm clock, stumbling out to walk the dog in my pajamas, ignoring judgmental looks from my husband as he sipped his green smoothie, 6 a.m. workout complete. Had I even brushed my teeth?
I had to face it. My mornings were a mess.
It began as a small indulgence in a strange time, the delicious pandemic sleep-in. Virtual school meant no frenzied dropoffs; remote workers ditched the commute. What else was there to do, stuck at home? A Nielsen survey from June 2020 found 54% of those working remotely were getting up later than before, compared with 12% rising earlier.
Now, on the cusp of a new season, it’s time to take back our mornings. Many kids are returning to in-person learning. Some workers are being called to the office. And even if you don’t have something making you get out of bed, now might still be the moment.
“We kind of have to just do it ourselves, because we don’t know what’s coming next,” says Eric Komo, a manager with software company Leadpages, who lives in Roseville, Minn.
In the early days of the pandemic, he took advantage of the freedom, ditching his early-morning bike ride in favor of snoozing. It took a pandemic puppy to shock him and his husband back to a better routine. Boba, the 10-pound Shih Tzu the couple got in August last year, wakes up at 6 a.m. No exceptions.
Now the couple keeps a strict 10 p.m. bedtime, and they spend their mornings sharing coffee, reading newsletters and running outside together. Mr. Komo says he feels more energized.
“Secretly we were very grateful,” he says. “It got our day started and kind of opened up time in the morning that we didn’t know we needed.”
One of Mr. Komo’s colleagues at Leadpages, Bob Sparkins, seems a little less convinced. He has loved sleeping in until 8 a.m. during the pandemic.
“I know it’s healthier,” he says of shifting to earlier mornings, as his two kids transfer from their at-home pandemic learning pod back to school. Then he recalls how packing daily lunches feels. “Sisyphean.”
Mr. Sparkins has been prepping for the transition by setting a timer on his television so it automatically turns off by 10:30 p.m.—the effectiveness of the cue varies depending on how good the show is—and filling the freezer with home-cooked, easy-to-grab food, like pancakes for quick breakfasts. He has also talked to his boss about coming in a little late. The pandemic showed flexibility doesn’t have to impact productivity, he says.
How to get going
The sleep researchers I talked to would approve. They made me feel infinitely better about my own habits—so much so that I considered sharing some of their findings with my husband, in hopes of tempering all those loving but slightly condescending looks.
“A lot of people think, ‘Oh, you’re just lazy because you get up late,’ ” says Elise Facer-Childs, a research fellow at Monash University in Melbourne, Australia, who has studied night owls. “But there’s actually really clear scientific evidence behind these differences.”
Still, she acknowledges we’re living in a morning person’s world. To shift earlier, start by getting into bed 15 minutes earlier than usual, says Rebecca Robbins, a sleep scientist at Brigham and Women’s Hospital in Boston. Cut out screen time at least 30 minutes before bed, and quit with the snooze button, which just interrupts the flow of natural sleep, she says.
“很多人会觉得，‘你起得这么晚，你太懒了。’”澳大利亚莫纳什大学(Monash University)研究员艾莉丝·菲斯-切尔兹(Elise Facer-Childs)说，她的研究对象包括“夜猫子”人群。“可实际上，这些差异背后确实有明确的科学依据。”
尽管如此，她也承认，我们身边还是有不少喜欢早起的人。波士顿布列根和妇女医院(Brigham and Women’s Hospital)的睡眠科学家瑞贝卡·罗宾斯(Rebecca Robbins)说，要想早点起床，一开始，你可以头天晚上比平时早15分钟上床。她说，睡前至少30分钟不看电子设备，再就是，不要启用延时闹钟，它只会扰乱你的自然睡眠。
Once you’re up, head outside. Exposure to light will help reset your circadian rhythm. After two weeks, you’ll feel good, Dr. Robbins says.
Being awake is only half the battle. You also need a solid morning routine, says Wendy Ellin, a workplace productivity consultant based in Atlanta.
“Do you want to live accidentally or do you want to live intentionally?” she asks. “Accidentally makes me nervous.”
Her own morning routine is a 45-minute eye-opener that includes meditating, sipping hot water with lemon, writing in a gratitude journal and stretching (a regimen I find both awe-inspiring and terrifying). She promises a mere 7 minutes is enough—just think about what motivates and focuses you. Do three yoga poses, turn on your coffee machine, pet your dog. Whatever you do, don’t log on to your work email, she advises.
“It’s more people needing your attention,” she says. “That stuff just starts to swirl in your head.” Save it for when you’ve had a little time to adjust to the waking world.
Add a buffer
Earlier in the pandemic, Edwin Akrong fell into the habit of rolling out of bed and heading straight to video calls on his computer. The “cold start” was jarring, says the Brooklyn, N.Y., resident, a co-founder and chief product officer at communication startup Katch.
“You’re not in the flow,” he says.
He realized he needed a buffer between sleep and work. These days, he wakes as early as 5:30 to fit in a run before meetings with colleagues in India.
“The first time was definitely awful. It was like, why am I doing this?” he says.
Now he’s more used to it. On days he heads into the company’s co-working space, he opts for a 20-minute bike commute over taking the subway so he can think through his goals for the day and shift his mind-set.
I found that some movement in the morning was key for me, too. Over the summer I started running, and the promise of cooler temperatures got me out the door, begrudgingly, as early as 6:30. I even convinced my husband to make me one of those green smoothies.
It was good. But I’m still not sure it was quite as delicious as an extra hour with my head on the pillow.