MENTAL HEALTH A-Z: M is for Mornings… and how to survive them

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It will come as no surprise to you that I, along with 99% of the rest of the student community, struggle to get up early.

And by early, I mean before 9am.

Last semester, my sleeping was all over the place. Again, it seems, there are no surprises there. Going to bed only after 2:30am is a student stereotype that unfortunately I gave in to, due to sheer out-of-place-ness and therecurring lie that I’d watch ‘just one more episode before bed’.

The aim for second semester is to get up sometime between 7 and 9am every morning (with leeway for hangovers and illness, to avoid sleep-deprived death).

Only one problem remains. Well, besides tiredness and the long process of re-training sleeping patterns.

7am looks- and feels- like the dead of night.

With every 7:30am start I feel my soul crush a little more. It seems illegal to be up so early. Surely there is morally, scientifically and legally not enough light for it to be ‘morning’. Winter has grasped its frosty claws upon the sun, leaving behind bright, manageable mornings in its wake.

My brain remains in bed- ‘it’s too dark, wait a few hours, it’s so warm under the duvet’- whilst the quest to force myself into the shower begins.

Haunted by the horror of light-ridden, neglected mornings, here I am procrastinating (again) from revision. It’s been determined that post-sunshiny-mornings-depression is shared by most people, so I’ve decided to write a checklist. For any of you who also struggle with the phantom of the dark morning, here’s something to take away the pain…

  • Remember that winter doesn’t last forever. The sun will actually come back eventually… I promise.
  • Glug some water as soon as you wake up. Force away the sleepiness.
  • A shower really can do wonders. Stumble into the bathroom as soon as you’re out of bed, and your eyes will magically be able to see things again. Magic.
  • If you’re really not feeling that morning seminar, yet you’ve got time to spare, DO NOT get back into bed. Don’t even think about it. Before you knowit your eyes have closed,your cup of tea has gone cold and you wake up with a start at 11:50.
  • If you do have spare time, instead of falling asleep for a while (which is all so tempting), do something that will make you feel more confident throughout the day. For instance, eyeliner takes me forever so I barely use it in the week, but I feel 10 times more awake and just generally better for wearing it. Plus wearing randomly thrown together, dangerously-close-to-clashing outfits to funk up the routine makes me feel less stressed. I don’t know why, but colours equal organisation for me. Hence being surrounded by the mass of colour-coded revision notes as I write this.
  • Finally, and most importantly, don’t beat yourself up if you can’t manage an early morning every single day. It’s perfectly okay to relax more on your down days. Sometimes a lie-in is the best way of coping with stress, and what’s more, a long, warm sleep can feel like heaven.


Hopefully this has helped a little. Or- failing that- has at least convinced you that your hatred of wintery mornings is perfectly justified. You are definitely not alone.

Charlie Collett






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