Operation Body Clock

I have a pretty weird body clock.  Since my late 40s, my brain has doubled-down on my "morning person"-ness, which I've always had, but now I have an extra dimension... where most people's body clocks will shift quite easily to a later schedule (i.e., sleeping a little later, staying up a little later), my own body clock thinks it's much more fun and appropriate to shift to an earlier schedule.  Shifting to a later schedule is as hard for me as shifting to an earlier schedule is for normal people.

In 2014 and 2015, leading up to my six-month tour with Brent, I was working with some programmers from India, and shifted myself to a 4AM wake-up so that I would have some cross-over time with them while they were still at work at the end of their day.

For some reason, ever since then, 4AM has become my permanent wake-up time.  It happens naturally - I haven't used an alarm in years.  I still need my eight hours of sleep per night, though, so that means I'm normally down by 8PM.  It's definitely wreaked some havoc on things I used to do in the evenings (like coordinating bike rides with the Edmonton Outdoor Club), but generally, I love it.  I have a few hours in the morning to get a jump-start on the day before other folks start piling on to the day.  It was great while I was working from home - I'd have half my work-day done by the time others came online, then a few hours with them for meetings, and then I'd take off and they'd have the afternoon to get their work done without me bothering them.

Anyway, I digress... I'm supposed to be talking about cycle touring...

In 2017, in the week leading up to our tour to the Romantische Stra├če and the Mittelrhein with Laura, I decided to put myself through "Operation Germany Brain", wherein I made myself get up at 3AM on May 28, 2AM on May 29, 1AM on May 30, and midnight on May 31 (shifting my bedtime earlier as I went as well).  Our goal was to ride from the Frankfurt airport to our first campground at Rumpenheim (about 30km) and I wanted to be as non-jet-lagged as possible.

"Operation Germany Brain" was a grand success for me, and I was in much better shape the first few days in Germany than Brent was.  I think it was June 4th by the time he woke up!

This year, in preparation for our tour on the Loire, I'm repeating the process, but I'm starting a little earlier.  It's May 21, and I got up this morning at 3:25 without using an alarm.  I'm giving myself until the end of the week to solidify a 3AM habit - if it doesn't happen naturally, I'll use an alarm to make it happen.  Then I'll spend a few days aiming for 2AM, and then maybe 1AM.  Since I'm working in the office these days (not working from home), my work hours are more aligned with regular business hours.  If I can make it to 1AM without disrupting my work, I will, otherwise, I'll just settle for shifting as early as I can manage before we leave on June 1st.  Tannis is picking us up at 4AM to take us to the airport, so if I'm up by 1AM or 2AM, that still gives me my morning "bump around" time before we leave.


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