T Nation

Can You Become a Morning Person?

[quote]Al Shades wrote:
My view on this issue is that many people are forced into unhealthy lifestyles by job, school, or family obligations, thus leading to bad habbits which can be hard to correct. Genetics may well play a part, but I’m convinced that society is the main culprit. From the time that children are 6, they are forced into a “lark” routine that gets worse and worse as they age. By high school, most teenagers’ sleep schedules are a complete disaster. This is a well documented fact whose ramifications are easily noticeable in any high school classroom. For a healthier populace, schools ought to start no earlier than 9:00 AM in the morning, and run much shorter than they do now.[/quote]

Parents are the main ones fighting for early school starts so they can get to the babysitter before work. I am a teacher and a lot of teacher proposed later starts so I looked into the research. Guess what:

Kids remember far more from the classes they took between 7:30 and 9:30 than the rest of the day.

[quote]Joe Weider wrote:
Bullshit.
When I was in HS we started at 8. My parents–and the parents of all the kids I knew–made sure we were in bed by 10 at the latest on school nights.
If there were more parents like that now it wouldn’t be an issue.
And what happens when you get to college and have an 8AM class? Or a job where you need to be there at 7 or at least leave the house at 6 30 or so?
You can’t blame society for everything you don’t like.[/quote]

First of all, you should notice that I wasn’t singling out high school as the single source of health and sleep related woes - I referred to workplace habbits as well. However, both college and the workplace offer incentives for attendance, which renders them incomparable to mandatory public “education” which is imposed on teenagers.

Why can’t I blame society for anything I don’t like when that’s the very cause of it?

[quote]Zap Branigan wrote:
Al Shades wrote:

For a healthier populace, schools ought to start no earlier than 9:00 AM in the morning, and run much shorter than they do now.

Al, I have to disagree. It is normal to get up and get going in the morning.

It is abnormal to sit and type on the computer or watch TV after dark.
[/quote]

Normal and abnormal are subjective, unverifiable categorizations. There is nothing subjective about health and sleep studies routinely conducted on HS/college students which show that they are operating at drastically reduced mental capacities due to sleep deprivation. So, you disagree that later class times would lead to a healthier populace? It’s going take a solid, empirical argument to refute the research I just cited. Is “normal” still normal when it’s unhealthy and bad? Question of the day…

P.S. 9 AM isn’t late. Schools could start at 11, get out at 2, and lose very little in terms of educational curriculum. Simply can all of the bullshit that’s currently being taught.

[quote]mertdawg wrote:
Kids remember far more from the classes they took between 7:30 and 9:30 than the rest of the day.[/quote]

That seems like an obvious conclusion which doesn’t address the real issue. Yeah, who is going to bother remembering his sixth hour of useless bullshit? The real question is why do there have to be six hours of useless BS in the first place, and why must they begin so early? If you started the day at 2 PM and went until 8, then students would remember everything from 2-4 and forget the rest, at least if you take the study at face value. Incidentally, I don’t. From personal experience I can say that most people are still half-asleep (or fully asleep, as the case may be) in their first period class. Second and third periods are usually a nerve wracking battle of hunger in anticipation of lunch. Most students don’t eat breakfast. I’d say they’re a lot more likely to do better after having something to eat, which would directly contradict that study. I bet it was taken by teachers/administrators who have no clue about anything.

I would tend to disagree with this as I can go to sleep at 8 PM but without an alarm (or kids) I will sleep until 8 AM or later and still be groggy. The only thing that gets me going in the morning is dragging my ass out of bed and hitting the basement gym.

DB

[quote]michaelv wrote:
Yes, absolutely. Get to bed early, get enough sleep, and you won’t have any trouble getting up earlier.[/quote]

[quote]vizunaldth wrote:
i would deff like to hear some profesional comments from the T-Nation staff on the cortisol and the study.

motion for a reply!!![/quote]

I agree, do any of the T-Nation brain trust have anything to contribute?

[quote]Al Shades wrote:

Zap Branigan wrote:
Al Shades wrote:

For a healthier populace, schools ought to start no earlier than 9:00 AM in the morning, and run much shorter than they do now.

Al, I have to disagree. It is normal to get up and get going in the morning.

It is abnormal to sit and type on the computer or watch TV after dark.

Normal and abnormal are subjective, unverifiable categorizations. There is nothing subjective about health and sleep studies routinely conducted on HS/college students which show that they are operating at drastically reduced mental capacities due to sleep deprivation. So, you disagree that later class times would lead to a healthier populace? It’s going take a solid, empirical argument to refute the research I just cited. Is “normal” still normal when it’s unhealthy and bad? Question of the day…

P.S. 9 AM isn’t late. Schools could start at 11, get out at 2, and lose very little in terms of educational curriculum. Simply can all of the bullshit that’s currently being taught.
[/quote]

I should have said natural instead of normal. Our “modern” lifestyles are very unnatural.

I agree with you that school could be much shorter if they took out the BS, however the school system doubles as a babysitter. A lot of peopel are pushing for longer school days.

Hmm, something I did not to long ago, so that I could wake up for work…

Get a timer switch, plug a lamp into it, and have the whole thing switch on a few minutes before my alarm clock.

Surprisingly, when the light clicks on, I’ll often wake up.

I know circadian rythems change as you get older. Teenagers have naturaly later cycles and adults and elderly need less sleep.

in highschool getting me up before 10-11 was impossible, but after 5 years of getting up no later than 8:00, my body wakes me up with out an alarm.

Didnt take 5 years to get that, i thinkm data says about 3 months of keeping a regular cycle and ur set. but every time you sleep in late its not like adding a day at the end, its like going back to day 0

No

[quote]PharmD Pete wrote:
This is something I have been wondering every morning when my alarm goes off.

Do you think being a morning person or night person is something that you can become, or is everyone just born with a certain body chemistry that dictates which of the two they will be.

I’ve always considered myself a night person, not much problem staying up late, but i have trouble sometimes waking up early.

Just something i thought i would throw out there.[/quote]

[quote]dollarbill44 wrote:
I would tend to disagree with this as I can go to sleep at 8 PM but without an alarm (or kids) I will sleep until 8 AM or later and still be groggy. The only thing that gets me going in the morning is dragging my ass out of bed and hitting the basement gym.

DB
[/quote]

Not citing any material, but I believe getting too much sleep can make you just as tired as not getting enough sleep. I think the reason for this is that after you complete your eight or nine hour sleep cycle, if you continue to sleep, you’ll start a new sleep cycle, and therefore your body will not want to wake up. This would explain why on the weekend I wake up naturally at maybe 7:00, but I decide to go back to sleep, and then I don’t wake up again until 11:00 or noon, and only then because it starts to get unbearingly hot.

So, DB, I think going to bed at 8 and waking up 8 (a TWELVE hour sleep) will leave you very groggy and/or lethargic.

[quote]mertdawg wrote:

Parents are the main ones fighting for early school starts so they can get to the babysitter before work. I am a teacher and a lot of teacher proposed later starts so I looked into the research. Guess what:

Kids remember far more from the classes they took between 7:30 and 9:30 than the rest of the day.

[/quote]

Could you provide some references to this study? I’d like to check it out, because I personally feel like a zombie in my first (which in my school is called “second”) period.

I am decidedly a night person. That said, I can adjust my sleeping patterns to a point and still feel reasonable. For example, when I work this summer, I’ll have to be there at 9am so will likely get up around 8 - VERY early for me on my current schedule, but I will adjust.

That said, 7am seems to be my limit. It seems that no matter how early I go to bed or how much sleep I get, if I have to wake up before 7, I feel like crap all day. I’m not sure why this is the case. I suspect it may be because I have trouble in general sleeping before midnight, so I probably dont get GOOD sleep until after midnight even if I do manage to FALL asleep.

Getting more sleep gives you less energy, not more, as I stated before. The longer you sleep, the more time your body spends with a lowered body temperature, so you end up having less energy throughout the day. I’ve read that most of our deep sleep physical recuperation happens during the fist 3-4 hours of sleep.