I have always struggled with not being a ‘morning person’. I am addicted to the snooze button, only ever able to drag myself out of bed until roughly ten minutes before I leave the house. I’ve come up with all manner of time-saving activities, from doing my make up the train to eating breakfast at my desk, that will grant me a few extra minutes in bed.
But my love affair with lie-ins always leaves me feeling hugely guilty. In my imagination, the ‘morning person’ exists as the epitome of everything I should aspire to be. I imagine she has glossy hair, a spotless flat, a collection of herbal teas, a regular gym habit and fabulous baking skills. She’s kind of like Nigella, turned up to 11.
I can’t help wondering how much more productive I would be, how much healthier, how much of an all round better person if only I could rise at the crack of dawn, consume a breakfast of poached eggs and spinach, fit in a gym session and an extra hour of work before my colleagues roll into the office. But no. I can only ever muster a tap on the snooze option.
My boyfriend, however, doesn’t ever think twice about lounging in bed for as long as possible. Comatose he will lie, snuggled under the duvet, rising many hours later with nothing to say other than: ‘That was lovely!’ So when I tell him my plans to transform my life with daybreak alarms, he’s not amused.
‘So, you’re going to wake us both up at stupid o’clock with your alarm, and then do what exactly?” he asks, bemused.
‘Oh, loads of stuff!’ I say, breezily. ‘Fit in more work. Go to the gym more, get really healthy, maybe even do some cleaning. I’ll be like a different person!’
‘Hmmmm,’ was his only answer.
So off my alarm goes earlier than usual one frosty Autumn morning. I glare at it, angry that it’s forcing me out of my lovely soft bed. It’s bloody freezing in the flat, so I slip on my massive dressing gown and start to ponder what to do with my extra hour-and-a-half.
I figure the best way to spend an early morning is cooking a nice breakfast. So I make a big bowl of porridge, and eat it whilst thinking how I could’ve just bought some from the office canteen and had it at my desk.
Then I do my make-up, which I usually do on the train. I pray there’s something really interesting in the Metro this morning, otherwise I’m going to be massively bored on my commute.
I manage to catch the train half an hour earlier than usual, and seem to spend the extra time faffing around with my emails before the rest of the office wanders in. The rest of the day meanders on as normal, accept for one unexpected event. I hit a massive wall at 4.30pm.
Normally I saunter through the afternoon with perfectly reasonable energy levels, never having to reach for the caffeine. But today I’m yawning all over the place, struggling to keep my eyes open as the pixels on my computer screen start blurring.
I slump back home and swiftly pull on my PJ’s before collapsing, motionless, on the sofa. So, my first day of being a morning person, and my hair is not any shinier, my workload not any lighter, and my body definitely not glowing with health and radiance.
Maybe, it seems, being a morning person is one of those things you think will transform you – like expensive clothes or a better job. But it doesn’t. You’re still just you, but with an earlier alarm and a tendency to start feeling sleepy at 4.30pm.