Ever since I was a teenager, I have been a night owl. I was not much of a morning person at all. As my parents could easily tell you, I would have to be dragged out of bed in order to get up in the morning and go to school. It got both better and worse in college. I actually would get up on my own and was rarely late to class, but I definitely pushed my luck timewise. On top of that my first semester I often stayed up late to complete some work. It was there that I would help set my night owl habits and also discover how much I liked anime. However, it wasn't uncommon that I would only get about 6-7 hours of sleep.
When I got out of college, I did start to get used to waking up earlier for work, but I never quite broke the habit of staying up later than I should and running on less sleep. Maybe I would get a full nights sleep on a work night if I happened to be exhausted and crash while watching TV; otherwise it was all about sleeping in on the weekends. Even that started to become a premium when I began attending church.
I've gotten away with this for a long time and it has seemed to work, but it needs to change. I know I can't just get away with not sleeping as much as I should be because it will screw up my health later on. It also has become clear because I have been trying to lose weight, and it hasn't been happening due to a number of factors, but one of them is likely because I am not sleeping enough at night. So something has to be done.
Sad to say it, but I have taken to having an alarm on my cell phone to tell me to go to bed, because in the past when I have tried to set a bedtime I find that either I will lose track of the time or I will notice it's getting close and I'll just ignore the clock. So maybe a more physical reminder will help me out. I've been doing this now for two weeks and clearly it is a time of transition. The good thing is I find that I am starting to get sleepy around 10 PM, the bad is that sometimes I will sleep pretty hard and wake up later than my morning alarm. However, I think it is getting better, I just have to keep at it.
So to tie in the better sleeping habits, I am also working to develop good exercise habits as well. With going to bed earlier, I can get up earlier, and that means time to get things done in the morning before I go to work. I've been reading that the best way to get fit and lose weight is to exercise in the morning, which is something I have not been in the habit of doing since I was about 13. Besides the apparently health benefits, it's the one part of the day where I should always have time to exercise (unless I wake up late). In the past when I have tried to exercise after work, it ends up falling apart within a few weeks because I'm going out after work or there's other things going on so I end up getting home late, and then I should be in bed or I just don't want to work out.
I'm starting off easy right now, doing Yoga in the mornings, eventually I will move on to doing the strength exercises in Wii Fit. When I get myself into the habit of working out every morning, I will join the fitness center behind my apartment (I think they're open at 5:30 or 6) and take advantage of using the facilities there as well. I know I can do it, and I know it will be good for me. I am tired of watching the numbers on the scale go nowhere (weight and fat %) so I'm hoping they will be on a downward trend in the next few months. Besides, it would be fun to start looking really really good. ;-) I will give myself some credit for this, I am still within the weight range I have kept for the last 12 years.
So besides the morning exercise, earlier bedtime and working to eat better, I have also been getting into the habit of walking after I have my lunch at work. So far so good, and based on some measurements, I am walking about 1.2 miles every day. That will definitely aid as I continue to move towards a healthier self.