How Does a Night Owl Survive Corporate Workdays?
Posted on July 18, 2013 by TNS Consulting Team (via Scott Spayd)
I have always been a night owl by nature. Early mornings can seem unbearable at times and my mood is definitely not at the highest. College certainly worked to my advantage as a night owl. I had no problem being awake for a 10am class, however, my 8am classes were very challenging. I only took one 8am course in college because I actually felt I was not awake enough to learn.
Once the summers rolled around and I was working full-time, I always had about two-weeks of constant fatigue. No matter who early I attempted to fall asleep, I typically would not be able to fall asleep until about 1am, only to have to wake up 5 hours later. So how did I deal with this? I learned that I often had to train myself to fall asleep earlier. For starters, I continued exercising five days a week. Exercising regularly can greatly benefit sleep patterns. I have always found a great workout after work can leave me feeling less tired the next day and I sleep better at night.
Secondly, I limit the amount of caffeine I drink. I avoid drinking coffee in the morning although at times it is tempting as I struggle to wake up. However, I know that eventually the caffeine crash will come and I will be left feeling tired all over again. I also do not drink caffeine after 6pm to give my body a chance to begin to unwind.
As tempting as it is on the weekends, I try to abide by my normal sleeping schedule. I may wake up an hour later than the weekdays, but I try not to sleep into noon, like I did so many times in college. When I used to sleep in a lot in college I always had an extremely difficult time falling asleep on Sunday evenings. It is not a wise idea to start the week on Monday already feeling tired.
Finally, I have found that having a routine in the evening allows me to go to bed at a routine time. For me, reading before bed is a great way to do something I enjoy that will help me sleep. For you, you may find listening to music helps you relax and prepare to sleep. Everyone is different in the amount of stimulation they can handle before going to bed. I can never watch TV and then fall asleep because my brain is too awake.
While it is not easy being a night owl in corporate America with the “9-5” workday, I have found that it is possible. I will never be the perkiest employee at the office in the morning, but I can survive the early mornings. Some organizations even offer flexible working hours that allow people to work different work schedules.
How do you handle being a night owl and waking up early?