There are people who wake up in the morning with a good mood and a desire to make the day productive. And those who do not fit this profile are labeled lazy or without goals to achieve. After all, we learned, early on, that “God helps early risers”.
Admittedly, the world basically works during the day. Although day life is the pattern to be followed, there are people who have difficulty following it. And can a person be trained to be a “morning person”?
According to Michelle Drerup, director of sleep behavioral medicine at the Cleveland Clinic, this is indeed possible, but it is not an easy thing. “A real person night owl really does not feel right when you wake up, especially when you are starting to change that,” he said.
A person’s tendency to be a night person is known as his chronotype. And depending on this chronotype, people tend to be more awake and alert at certain times of the day and more sleepy at others.
Scientists have discovered that chronotypes are determined by a combination of nature and nurture. With respect to nature are several genes known to play roles in determining whether someone prefers to stay up late at night or early in the morning.
According to a 2019 study, hundreds of genes are related to being a morning person. These genes influence a person’s circadian rhythm, or their natural sleep-wake cycle, and this leads to their chronotype.
Furthermore, the environment also plays a big role in this determination. According to Drepup, people tend to engage in daily activities that reinforce their chronotype. For example, night people feel more productive and alert at night. Therefore, they tend to exercise and socialize at night. The activities are stimulating and reinforce a person’s tendency to stay up late.
Because the environment is a determining factor whether the person is at night or in the morning, it is possible to change their sleep-wake cycle. If a person wants to wake up earlier, it is recommended to change gradually. Drerup recommends slowly changing the alarm clock, between 15 and 20 minutes earlier, over several weeks until the person adjusts to their ideal time. The secret to success is consistency.
“This is where night owls will often have difficulties. They will start to adjust as the workweek goes on, and then stay up late and sleep late on weekends. This loses the momentum that started to develop at the end of the week”, he pointed out.
The director of sleep behavioral medicine also recommends that people limit exposure to light in the hour before bed. That’s because light blocks the body’s production of melatonin, which is a hormone that regulates the circadian rhythm. On the other hand, it is important that the person exposes himself to light as soon as he wakes up, so that the production of melatonin is stopped.
Wake Up Early
Another thing to do to try to turn a person around in the morning is to avoid stimulating activities late at night. Instead, try exercising in the morning or afternoon. Meal times for the start of the day also have to change.
Being a night owl can work for some people and there’s no point in changing that. However, staying up late is a problem when you need to wake up early the next day. This can lead to sleep deprivation, which greatly harms health and increases the risk of hypertension and type 2 diabetes.