How do I become a morning person?

Answer by Richard Muller:

Set your watch to a different time zone.

I knew a student at Berkeley who needed to be alert for an 8 am class. He told me that there was no way he could get up that early.  I suggested he set his watch to east-coast time. That way the class would start at 11 am EST; he could even sleep in late and still make it.

To my amazement, when I saw him a few months later, he told me the method had worked wonderfully! He showed me his watch. It was three hours later than mine.

Of course, the trick is that he was going to bed at midnight Eastern time, but that was 9 pm on the west coast.

This illustrates the principle that your internal clock is very adjustable; it is not completely determined by the times of sunrise and sunset (which do change a lot from summer to winter in the temperate zone). More than anything else, your internal clock is set by the time that you go to bed, and the time you wake up. People suffer “jet lag” but they do get over it.

I’ve used this trick in preparation to traveling to Kenya, where the time difference was 11 hours compared to Berkeley. I wanted to be fully alert when I arrived; I did not want to lose several days adjusting to the time zone.  I began two weeks ahead, and slowly changed my watch, the times I got up, my meals, everything else. It worked. When I arrived in Kenya, I felt fully adjusted.

Source: How do I become a morning person?


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