Night Owl To Early Bird? (Teen POV)

If this is your first stop off at my blog, hello welcome. I am a teenager who is slowly becoming an early bird?! I know…terrifying to actually type that out. The thing is, us teens seem to have a harder time changing our habits…at least that’s what it looks like to me. Particularly our sleeping patterns. We like being up late, we’re being productive. We’ve all been there ok, it’s like a rite of passage. How do we change out sleeping pattern then?

As a teen myself, at the present time of writing this post, I think there’s certainly this feeling that we can’t change our habits. Why can’t we? Well we’re teenagers right? We have this reputation for being lazy, spending too much time on our phones/tech, being too young to know anything about anything. Yet we’re old enough to choose a career path at 16? (in the UK; this isn’t the case in the US)

We’re old enough to have a ton of pressure thrown at us, to excel in school. As soon as we speak out that we want to change our habits though. I have a feeling that most of our families, give us a disbelieving look, which makes us want to give in. Give in before we’ve even tried, I mean why try if they’re already pegging us for a failure?

Whether you’re 13 or 19, whether you’ve tried and failed before or if you’re older etc. I hope this post can help you reach that goal you’ve been thinking/aiming for. Just know, I’m rooting for you to get there!

Getting Up Early = Losing Hours?

This was a fear of mine when I was first erm night dreaming about being up at 4am. Well, first 6am because I have semi realistic stepping stones. Taking a weekend or day when I’m not in college (Tues, Thurs, Sat, Sun) my old sleeping pattern was 3am-11am. I’m currently trying to consistently maintain a 10pm-6am sleeping schedule. This will then help me when I bump it back to waking up at 4am instead of 6am as my end goal is to wake up at 4am.

I think we can all appreciate the huge change I was planning to take my body through; the change I am currently going through as I type this post. A huge fear was if I fail I’d end up losing hours instead of gaining. The thing is, that’d be in the short term as my body adjusts to the change. Let’s be real right now, I’d be going from waking up at 11am to 6am. That’s 5 hours earlier than I was used to, and going to bed 5 hours earlier too. I’m not gonna pretend it was easy, the temptation to just stay up was so real. However the desire to change and prove mostly to myself that I could and would reach this goal of mine surpassed the temptation.

Getting up early doesn’t mean you’ll be losing hours, at least not forever, what you have to remember is you’ll be moving your sleep schedule back several hours. That’s gonna take a while to settle into your bones and brain before it’ll become easier. If you get up earlier than normal even by 15 minutes, that’s a total win in my books! The smallest steps will lead to the biggest changes. Baby steps are crucial here. (Which I did not take at all I just dove straight in and shocked my entire body system…more on that later.)

Breaking It Into Chunks

If you’ve Googled or YouTubed tips for waking up earlier, you may have found people saying to do it in chunks. Set an alarm for 15-30 minutes earlier than you’d normally get up so your body adjusts more erm naturally I guess. Haha yeah I did not do that, my reasoning?

One, I’m hella impatient sometimes and I realised that going from 11am to 4am would probably murder my body. It would also make me become a burrito in my fluffy blanket forever. I knew half hour chunks were gonna be pointless, even an hour earlier would be, cause my brain is like “You failed.”

My brain is rude and very negative a lot of the time, which is why I decided to aim for a 6am start. I say “aim” here because the wording means I can shut my brain up by saying I aimed for 6am and got up at 9am. It’s still a win now shush.

A HUGE thing which has helped me is being consistent with going to bed around the same time. Hell I haven’t been awake at 1am since erm…I binge watched Meteor Garden in January. I refuse to apologise for that because it was time well spent even if I paid for it at college

Since I began cross stitching late Feb, I’ve been doing that before I go to bed whilst listening to music. I’d normally read or write before bed but erm…writing actually keeps me awake as my brain starts buzzing with ideas. Reading…man I miss reading but that can also keep me up since I mostly devour books in a sitting.

So cross stitching has been what I do to unwind before bed, or scrolling on social media. A note on that, others say to go social media/screen free before bed. I get that, I really do but I blatantly ignore that rule since I’m usually on Discord before I go to sleep or Pinterest.

Motivation & Mindset

Hmmm I guess you could think of M&M’s (they’re a type of chocolate/sweet here in the UK I have no clue if they’re exclusive to us haha) Motivation is going to be key to keeping up with this, which goes hand in hand with mindset. Your mindset will drastically affect your ability to even take that first step. If you’re already saying you’ll never be able to do it, you’ll lose hours, or you’re telling yourself to wait for this “right moment to start” you won’t see a change.

Why?

If your mind isn’t in the game, do you really think you’ll be getting up in the mornings, ready to focus? Or do you think you’ll roll on back to sleep? Adjusting your mindset is a tough thing to do, for anyone I think, we all get it in our heads we can’t do something. We all make up excuses to avoid things…or put it off to wait for this right moment which isn’t gonna happen. Don’t set yourself up for failure!

Having a positive mindset means treating this change for what it is.
Bloody difficult.

Tedious, painful but worthwhile in the long run.

It’s called facing it head on, acknowledging you won’t always hit the goals you set and you may miss out by a few hours. That’s ok, as long as you’re trying and persevering with this endeavor.

Rise above that voice telling you you’re not gonna make it, rise above those around you shooting you down before you’ve had chance to spread your wings.

A positive mindset also means focusing in on a reason for getting up at this time: why are you changing your sleep schedule? If it’s for school/work then also try to find something to motivate you in the mornings. What can you do before you go to work/school/study that you’ll enjoy and love doing? Doing that thing even for 15-30 minutes is going to give you something to look forward to.

As soon as you feel that feeling, you need to hold onto it, no matter how tired you are. Hold it close and remember it for tomorrow, you can use that feeling to motivate you, to get up.

How Am I Becoming An Early Bird?

I have a dad who goes to bed typically at 8pm and gets up at about 2am most days. Why is this relevant? He’s up before me 9/10 times, which means he’s able to wake me up. It started because of college as well as my uncanny ability to sleep through alarms, so he wakes me up for college. If I ask him to wake me up on a day at a set time, I know he’ll wake me up at that time and make me get up. It’s also a nice wake up call, which helps a lot; if you get someone to wake you up make sure to ask them not to shout at you. If I get shouted/yelled at to wake up; I wake up, boy do I wake up like a relative of a Tasmanian Devil.

My dad waking me up actually has been a huge step to helping my body adjust to the, erm, shocking change. Allowing me to consistently wake up and get up early. I don’t always get up at 6am, the latest has been just after 10am and to me that’s still a huge improvement.

I keep my bedtime around the same time, even if I got up just after 10 and got about 12 hours of sleep. I won’t stay up any later; the hours I lost, I’ve lost. Tomorrow’s a new day my dragons, embrace the misses and wins: they’re both helping you reach your goal.

6am isn’t the end goal for me. I’ve got my heart set on 4am which I think pretty much everyone, bar my dad, thinks I’m insane for. However even just waking up between 6-8am I’ve already begun to notice improvements. And you know what my fellow teens, if you can change your sleep schedule now, it’ll benefit you so much later on in life. The YouTubers I watched who changed their sleep schedules, were all in their 20’s. So think of how many extra hours we can clock up, before we even hit the age they finally changed theirs.

Figure Out What Works For You

I can only share my experiences and journey thus far. Your own journey will be different from mine, you’ll have your own reasons and hurdles to overcome. If you know it takes you awhile to get off to sleep, but you like reading before bed, then carve out time to read BEFORE you need to go to bed to get off to sleep.

It’s easy to fall into our old habits, so easy, more so when you have people around you putting pressure on you. If you’re feeling pressure from school, exams…If you can sort your sleep schedule, you’ll gain hours because you’ll be awake for longer, you’ll also boost your productivity in the mornings to be able to study.

We can create excuse after excuse to avoid things…if you want to change your sleep schedule and join the early birds, you’re gonna have to be consistent, vigilant with yourself and stick to things. My dad can wake me up and get me up, but I could also just spend my extra hours watching TV instead of having a shower or getting out of PJs.

Helpful Tip: Something I’ve noticed from doing this is if I stay in my PJ’s after getting out of bed, I’m not as motivated to do anything. I’m more likely to wallow on Discord or social media. Getting dressed/showering almost immediately after getting up helps put my mind in the “we’re awake now and time to get stuff done”.

Eeeeek so I do hope this was somewhat helpful? Again this is totally from a Teen’s POV, aka me. However whether you’re a teen or not reading this, I’d love to hear your experiences with this, what you’ve tried. What worked, what didn’t.

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34 thoughts on “Night Owl To Early Bird? (Teen POV)

    • When I was a kid (about 4-6ish) I used to wake up at 6am as a normal thing, but erm my mum didn’t appreciate the TV being on at that time so gradually I slept in till 7am and by the time I started secondary school I was at the point where I wasted most of the day sleeping due to being up all night. I used to be a morning person as a kid…then I hated the morning and now, now I’m falling back in love with waking up early.

      Aha funnily enough you’re not the first person to mention I’m wise beyond my years, I’ve had family say I have an old soul as well. But thank you and I think it’s important to share my experiences so others like me and people in general can realise that you can change your habits. But it won’t happen overnight but the end result will be worth all the hard work. Thanks so much for stopping by and reading my post Angela!

      Liked by 1 person

  1. This is honestly so amazing! I’ve been sleeping around 1-2AM and waking up at 8:30-9AM so I’ve been getting a good number of sleep, but I’ve been wanting to become an early bird to be more productive with my time. I really like how you broke it down and changed your mindset. I’m feeling more inspired to sleep early now!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Aaaah Tiffany *squishes in hug* I need to blog hop to your blog more often, I’m sorry, your comment just reminded me of my less than stellar hopping skills atm. I mean 1-2am and waking up at 9am is still pretty good; also why I wanted to wake up earlier. It was ridiculous how unproductive I was due to waking up late, awww yay I’m glad this post helped! Just remember, baby steps and no beating yourself up if you miss the ideal time. You’ll get there, I know you will!

      Liked by 1 person

  2. Clo! This is an amazing habit that you’re cultivating and I really commend you for it! I’m in my mid-twenties and I still struggle getting up early. Though right now it’s for good reason. It is SUPER important to make you are getting good, quality sleep and not waking up in the middle of a REM cycle which often leads to that groggy feeling. I really appreciate the way that you’re approaching this with the mindset of aiming for 6am right now and not beating yourself up if you sleep in a little bit. Some days you will need more rest than others and that is okay! 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    • Awh thanks Anna ❤ I've been getting up early for almost a month now and honestly, I sometimes want to stay in bed, but my body's also awake now when I get up at 6am. Whereas originally I was like half asleep and ready to roll back into a fluffy blanket haha. I've woken up so many times during my REM cycle in the past, cause wow the grogginess in the past was so real xD

      For sure, some days I may need more sleep and also reminding myself that I'm still doing brilliantly helps too. Like even I was just waking up an hour earlier I'd still be doing well. Thanks so much for reading my post ❤

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  3. omg 4am?!? That’s so early! But like good on you for wanting that goal! Is there a particular reason for the 4am? 🙈 I’m actually an early bird and a late owl hhaha…aaand I’m always tired. #InsomniacLife As a teen I used to get up at 6am to get most of my school work done (I homeschooled) so I’d have more time in the day to do whatever. But now I’m not so fussed? I can control my schedule so I don’t care if I work a lot at night or in the early morning. Like it’s the same hours! I feel like people do tend to be more productive in the daylight? Maybe? I wonder if there’s studies done on this. 😂 Anyway good luck with your sleep schedule goals!

    Liked by 2 people

    • phaha thanks Cait, I mean I plan on writing a post explain my reasoning for wanting to wake up at 4am. But one of the reasons, is I love the dark and being awake when everyone else is asleep, it’s why shaking my night owl habit was so hard at first. And even now, it’s not easy but it’s getting easier to just go to bed early and get up early. Oof to insomnia, yeah I’ve always liked writing at night when it’s dark outside but realistically I can’t really be doing that all the time particularly later on when I eventually get a job? *laughs at the thought of getting job cause wow…*

      I mean I’m pretty sure there have been studies on it cause in secondary school they changed how our day was structured. We used to have two lessons, break, one lesson, lunch, two lessons, home. Then it was two lessons, break, two lessons, lunch, one lesson, home. Apparently studies had proven we’re more awake and ready to learn in the morning? Which is great and all but not when we have lunch at 1:30 and they got petty about letting us go to the loo during class time >.>

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  4. THIS is the exact post I needed Clo! I used to be such an early bird, but once Sophomore year hit, 11 pm became “early” for me to fall asleep. I personally like to have around 7 hours of sleep, so I’ve been trying to hit the hay around midnight, and waking up at 7 am. On days when I have college and need to get up at 5 am, I’ll *try* to head to bed around 10-10:30. This has definitely helped me feel less groggy in the morning. 🙃

    I think it’s awesome and so inspiring that you’ve been able to make so much improvement on your sleep schedule, Clo! I’m sure you’ll be able to reach your goal of 4am soon! 🤗

    Liked by 1 person

    • Aaaah glad this post was just what you needed Kelly! ❤ Oof I remember when 11pm became "early" for me at one point 1am was also classed as "early" for me too now though…11pm is classed as late for me again.

      Awh I'm glad I can inspire hehe, honestly I feel a lot better for tackling my sleep schedule so there's that. Aaaah I hope so, but I'm not planning on rushing to get there. I'd rather wait to make sure it's ingrained in my body that 6am is a wake up time before we move it back 2 hours xD

      Liked by 1 person

        • Hmmm I mean, I set an alarm anyway and sometimes I’ll wake up like 5 minutes before it’s due to go off but at the moment no. Without an alarm set I’m 99% sure I’d sleep until my body decided to wake up. Mostly because I got into the habit of waking up and falling back to sleep for years, so I’m trying to make sure that a 6am wake up time is ingrained into me before I trial not using an alarm/setting it for earlier ❤ I'll probs do another post on this later on though if you're interested!

          Liked by 1 person

  5. Ugh I know I really need to get on a good sleep schedule, cuz my blogging and writing time is paying because of it. XD I can never find enough time to be productive. I’m 21, but I’m not in school and don’t have a normal job so it’s hard for me to create a structured schedule for myself. I keep going to bed at 2am and waking up around 10 or so, but I try to get up as early as I can. I want to work down to going to bed at midnight and waking up by 8, so hopefully I can make my days more productive if I do that. I can’t imagine waking up at 4am everyday for anything! NO WAY! XD

    Liked by 1 person

    • Mood Heather, such a mood. Finding structure can be super hard, but half the battle is putting your foot down, and figuring out how to make that structure. Even if it’s a flexible structure, it still counts.

      I mean that sounds like a great goal, aiming for 8am and being in bed by midnight. I’d say try and be in bed for half 11 instead as then you’ll already be in bed ready to snooze by the time midnight comes round.

      Phahaha I mean, I’m pretty sure everyone thinks I’m nuts, for wanting to wake up at 4am xD

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  6. In the last year I’ve had some health stuff that made me need more sleep. I went from getting up at 5am every morning for crew practice to struggling to wake up at 7am. Right now I’m working full time so my sleeping schedule works, but next year I will be adding 30 minutes to my commute to go to uni.
    It’s hard to find the balance with my health, but my goal is 6am by April and 5am by May so that I can start working out in the mornings again. Seeing other people’s progress is really motivating so I hope you keep updating us.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Those are great goals to be aiming for though, even if you ended up having a setback. I hope you achieve your goals, and if takes longer to get to the 5am goal it’s ok. You’ll get there 🙂

      I’m seriously considering making monthly posts about my progress but we’ll see if that happens haha ❤

      Liked by 1 person

  7. honestly same Clo, I’ve always been told to set your alarm gradually earlier and earlier until you hit your target but I just don’t have the patience to drag it out; I’m much more jump right in the deep end, sink or swim 😅 and it worked pretty well last semester: I was pretty consistently getting up at 6:30 or 7am, except on weekends because I would spend them with my then-boyfriend and we’d be up late more often than not … but considering we would be up until 2am literally every night when we lived in the same freshman dorm, hey, it was progress 😅 this semester is a bit of a struggle though, partly because my roommate seems to be staying up later and later playing video games and my other suitemates like watching TV and chatting in the living room until pretty late, but our walls are really thin 😶 in May I move out and finally get a single room again, so that should definitely help!

    but as someone who loves the quiet of the early morning, having time to slowly get ready and enjoy a cup of tea along with my half-awake thoughts, getting in some exercise so that I don’t have to squeeze in later during a busy day, and the feeling that the whole day lies ahead of me with so many possibilities – for me waking up early is its own reward in a lot of ways. what’s really helped me is setting an alarm for an hour before bedtime to turn off screens (because of blue light and the temptation to keep going through social media/Discord), then another for half an hour before to start actually getting ready for bed; another tip I found online that’s worked is to stop doing things on my bed during the day so that my body associates it with sleep and I can fall asleep easier. for the morning, packing my bag & setting out the things I’ll need (outfit, contacts, etc) the night before, not hitting snooze, and all the usual tips are definitely helpful too!

    looking back now, I really wish I’d started getting up early years ago (though to be fair, the marching band lifestyle didn’t help since we would rehearse until 9 or 10pm several times a week, and on competition days I might not get home until after midnight). in any case, though, you’re definitely ahead of the game by working on your sleep schedule as a teen – putting in the effort now, as you mention, will definitely make it easier in the long run, and you’ll have so much more time to achieve Great Things … or just relax. either is good 😉

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  8. Wow, thats wonderful Clo!!
    4am is however way too early for me xD

    Funnily enough, when I was set to work at 630, and thus waking at 545am I was fine! I didn’t felt the need to nap in the day after a while and I never really struggled with getting up (liking my job do help !) but then do you know what happened?.. i got put back at 1-3pm until 9 😓 been like 3weeks now. And go figure; waking at 545 I dont need nap but waking at 11 to work at 1 or 3pm I NEED the nap before work ?? Oh and yeah, my sleep remain around 1-3am even if I wake early xD

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  9. Personally, I function better if I stay up till at least midnight, but no matter what time I go to bed I still have to be out the door walking my mini at 845 or she’s late for school so having her is basically a blessing. I may not get out of bed till 815 but I’ll be in and out of sleep from around 630/7 onwards as my daughter is an early riser. Great post, it makes me want to get up earlier almost! And I think you have the right idea on how you’ve changed your sleeping patterns, also never have regrets for Meteor Garden lol

    Liked by 1 person

    • Ooooo interesting, I mean technically I could stay up till around midnight but erm I’d rather not chance it because when I was starting to change my schedule, I knew making it midnight would make me make it 1am…then 2am…then 3am and we’re back at square one.

      Awww kids are a blessing I guess for making us get up? Not that I’d know phahaha, but I know I was a pain when I was younger for getting up at 6am or earlier as a regular thing hehehe.

      Thank youuu glad you enjoyed it Haley, lmao getting up early is quite something. There’s something almost soothing/relaxing about it. #noregretsformeteorgarden 😉

      Liked by 1 person

  10. I used to pull all nighters and stay up until around 2am and now I’m in bed at 9pm… I didn’t even try to change my schedule it just sort of happened because I’m so exhausted from college 🤣

    Liked by 1 person

    • oh damn Bee, I mean for me I would probably still be doing a crazy schedule if it wasn’t for the fact I wanted to change my sleep schedule. My body had gotten used to functioning on a low amount of sleep that it didn’t totally run me down. But hey, at least your schedule changed without you making a huge effort too. Our bodies know what’s best most of the time ❤

      Like

  11. I NEEDED this! I have been getting back to running but waking up before 7 AM is the hardest part. And I find all your points relevant. Keep doing it Clo!

    Like

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