Getting up at 5am may be the key to success but, alas, I'll never be a morning person

The only things that can get me out of bed in the morning are fear and coffee

Share

There’s one thing that I wish for – aside from guaranteed good health and a lottery win – that would improve my quality of life no end. I would love to be a morning person. To bounce out of bed ready to face the day, to enjoy leisurely breakfasts on school days, to get things done while others slumber.

I read an article the other day which claimed getting up at 5am was the key to career success, citing CEOs, magazine editors and the Mayor of London as shining examples of the go-getting, early-bird brigade. There’s even a London-based art salon that caters to these sleep-dodgers, the Brutally Early Club, which kicks off at 6.30am.

Alas, rather than art and ambition, the only things that get me out of bed are fear and coffee. I sleep as though I’m a blind, earless fish at the bottom of the Mariana Trench, with my staggered alarms dragging me, thrashing and unwilling, to the surface. I would love to be able to get up an hour before I have to, to read the papers peacefully and go for a jog: but that’s not enough, when push comes to shove and head has to leave pillow, to actually do it.

Doubly annoying is that I’m no night owl either. I can’t stay up late and I hate getting up. I’m less a lark and more a sloth. Luckily, my husband is equally addicted to sleep – his years of child-related sleep deprivation long over, what with his daughter finally understanding the joys of a lie-in – so at least, come the weekend, we’re both in sync (and in bed for as long as possible). It’s not just the late Baroness Thatcher’s politics that I found unpalatable – her four-hours-a-night sleep patterns were deeply suspicious.

Differing sleep patterns can be a sticking point in a relationship. My stepmother, an insomniac, is driven to distraction by my father’s ability to sleep anywhere, anytime (as a young man about town, he managed to fall asleep standing up in a nightclub, pint in hand) and views his afternoon naps with the sort of dismay you might expect if he was taking Class A drugs. It’s no wonder she gets the hump: recent studies suggest that after seven nights of insufficient (fewer than seven hours a night) sleep, more than 700 genetic changes can be observed, which could play a role in increased heart problems and obesity.

Writing this fresh from an afternoon nap, bleary of eye and with a tell-tale crease down my face from the pillow, perhaps my love of REM (the type of sleep, rather than the band) isn’t such a character flaw and will mean I live longer. Which means I’ll have more time for some shut-eye.

React Now

  • Get to the point
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
iJobs Job Widget
iJobs General

Recruitment Genius: Gas Installation Engineer

£29000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: A Gas Installation Engineer is required ...

Recruitment Genius: Sales Advisor - Opportunities Available Nationwide

£15000 - £70000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This is a great opportunity to ...

Recruitment Genius: Experienced Special Needs Support Worker

£12 - £14 per hour: Recruitment Genius: We are looking for someone to join a s...

Recruitment Genius: Content Assistant / Copywriter

£15310 per annum: Recruitment Genius: An exciting opportunity has arisen for a...

Day In a Page

Read Next
Bruce Jenner was interviewed by Diane Sawyer  

Bruce Jenner interview: We think being transgender is a rare thing. And that’s part of the problem

Grace Dent
 

Lily-Rose Depp is not 'all grown up' - she is a 15 year old girl who should not be modelling for an adult fashion magazine

Harriet Williamson
Not even the 'putrid throat' could stop the Ross Poldark swoon-fest'

Not even the 'putrid throat' could stop the Ross Poldark swoon-fest'

How a costume drama became a Sunday night staple
Miliband promises no stamp duty for first-time buyers as he pushes Tories on housing

Miliband promises no stamp duty for first-time buyers

Labour leader pushes Tories on housing
Aviation history is littered with grand failures - from the the Bristol Brabazon to Concorde - but what went wrong with the SuperJumbo?

Aviation history is littered with grand failures

But what went wrong with the SuperJumbo?
Fear of Putin, Islamists and immigration is giving rise to a new generation of Soviet-style 'iron curtains' right across Europe

Fortress Europe?

Fear of Putin, Islamists and immigration is giving rise to a new generation of 'iron curtains'
Never mind what you're wearing, it's what you're reclining on

Never mind what you're wearing

It's what you're reclining on that matters
General Election 2015: Chuka Umunna on the benefits of immigration, humility – and his leader Ed Miliband

Chuka Umunna: A virus of racism runs through Ukip

The shadow business secretary on the benefits of immigration, humility – and his leader Ed Miliband
Yemen crisis: This exotic war will soon become Europe's problem

Yemen's exotic war will soon affect Europe

Terrorism and boatloads of desperate migrants will be the outcome of the Saudi air campaign, says Patrick Cockburn
Marginal Streets project aims to document voters in the run-up to the General Election

Marginal Streets project documents voters

Independent photographers Joseph Fox and Orlando Gili are uploading two portraits of constituents to their website for each day of the campaign
Game of Thrones: Visit the real-life kingdom of Westeros to see where violent history ends and telly tourism begins

The real-life kingdom of Westeros

Is there something a little uncomfortable about Game of Thrones shooting in Northern Ireland?
How to survive a social-media mauling, by the tough women of Twitter

How to survive a Twitter mauling

Mary Beard, Caroline Criado-Perez, Louise Mensch, Bunny La Roche and Courtney Barrasford reveal how to trounce the trolls
Gallipoli centenary: At dawn, the young remember the young who perished in one of the First World War's bloodiest battles

At dawn, the young remember the young

A century ago, soldiers of the Empire – many no more than boys – spilt on to Gallipoli’s beaches. On this 100th Anzac Day, there are personal, poetic tributes to their sacrifice
Dissent is slowly building against the billions spent on presidential campaigns – even among politicians themselves

Follow the money as never before

Dissent is slowly building against the billions spent on presidential campaigns – even among politicians themselves, reports Rupert Cornwell
Samuel West interview: The actor and director on austerity, unionisation, and not mentioning his famous parents

Samuel West interview

The actor and director on austerity, unionisation, and not mentioning his famous parents
General Election 2015: Imagine if the leading political parties were fashion labels

Imagine if the leading political parties were fashion labels

Fashion editor, Alexander Fury, on what the leaders' appearances tell us about them
Phumzile Mlambo-Ngcuka: Home can be the unsafest place for women

Phumzile Mlambo-Ngcuka: Home can be the unsafest place for women

The architect of the HeForShe movement and head of UN Women on the world's failure to combat domestic violence