If You’re a Night Owl, How to Get In Sync With a 9-to-5

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SleepAre you a night owl stuck in a 9-to-5 job? If your career depends on changing your inner clock, there are some steps you can take to get in sync.

But change will have to come over time; it won’t happen overnight. “It is best to advance your schedule slowly; no more than about an hour per week. Do it by getting up ten minutes earlier each morning and exposing your eyes to light first thing,” advises Dr. Richard L. Hansler, author of “Great Sleep! Reduced Cancer” and the lead John Carroll University researcher in the development and uses of ‘blue-blocking’ glasses.

Early to bed, early to rise. “Go to bed ten minutes earlier each night. If you need to switch schedules immediately, exposing the eyes to light first thing in the morning is most important to re-establish a new circadian rhythm. To help fall asleep in the evening, wear orange glasses for a few hours before your new bedtime. They will help get your melatonin flowing in advance of going to bed,” says Hansler.

Pay close attention to your sleep environment. “Sleep in darkness and do not expose your eyes to ordinary light during the night,” says Hansler.

A look at your lifestyle is also necessary, says Matt Parsons, CEO of Ditto Music, who is a night owl who often has to deal with the 9-to-5 world. “Establish your priorities. Every part of your life has its relative importance. Try and make family your priority and the rest will fall into place naturally. It will make you a more rounded person and a better business head. You will have the support network and mental space to perform to the best of your ability,” he explains.

Be prepared for every day instead of having to rush at the last minute. “At the end of every work day, write a list of what you will accomplish the following day. Your subconscious will do the work for you while you enjoy your family time and by the next day you will unwittingly have a firm foundation for your day’s activities,” suggests Parsons.

Make time for fun. “Rest and play. Know when to have a ‘duvet-day’ for the good of your business. You can’t perform well when you’re exhausted. Alongside mental energy, regular physical exercise will give you the stamina to make it through your busy week and still have energy to enjoy yourself,” says Parsons.