Whenever I have clients who are engaged, something that I make sure to say to them, almost every session, is it's important to understand that oftentimes, what causes the end of a marital union isn't anything "big." Nah, it's more about the little irritants that, after a few years of them happening over and over again, it starts to drive one or both partners so completely up the wall that they would rather be alone than have to continue to endure what is basically the equivalent of listening to fingernails on the chalkboard.
And what does this have to do with the title of today's post? Well, a "chalkboard issue" can actually be if you are a morning person while your partner is a night owl. It can affect sleeping patterns. It can affect pillow talk (i.e., quality time) moments. It can affect your sex life. So yeah, if you're contemplating sharing your bedroom, every day with someone, for years to come, definitely discuss who gets up at 5 a.m. and is thrilled about it vs. who can stay up until 2 a.m. with no problem at all.
Speaking of morning people, if you've ever wondered just what causes someone to be all bright-eyed and bushy-tailed before the sun even thinks about rising or if you're someone who would like to become more of a morning person, I thought you would find some of this intel interesting. Because, apparently, morning people don't "just happen." It goes so much deeper than that.
How to Find Your Chronotype. Revisited.
OK, so before we get into what the personality traits of a morning person appear to be, let's first touch on what chronotypes are. If you're unfamiliar, what they basically boil down to is being the kind of things that cause our body to naturally want to fall asleep at certain times of the day. Chronotypes also help you to gain a better understanding of what causes you to be more alert at certain times of the day too.
As far as chronotypes go, they basically break down into four different categories that have the names of animals:
BEARS: They like to go to bed around 11 p.m., wake up at 7 a.m., and are most productive between 10 a.m.-2 p.m.
WOLVES: They like to go to bed around midnight, wake up at 7:30 a.m., and are most productive between 5 p.m.-12 a.m.
LIONS: They like to go to bed around 10 p.m., wake up at 6 a.m., and are most productive between 8 a.m.-12 p.m.
DOLPHINS: They like to go to bed around 11:30 p.m., wake up at 6:30 a.m., and are most productive between 3 p.m.-9 p.m.
In order to learn more about chronotypes and what they entail, the blog Casper has a great read on it here (also, if you want to take a quiz to find out what type you are, click here). The reason why it can be a good idea to get to know what your personal chronotype is is that it can give you greater insight into why your days naturally go the way that they do. It can also help you to better understand what kind of "tweaking" you would need to implement if you happen to want to be more productive during your early morning hours (even if it's just temporarily).
OK, so now that you get why you may naturally or naturally not be a morning type of person, let's explore what the personality of a morning person is like.
What’s the Personality of a Morning Person Like?
Aight, so with that ah-ha moment (for some) being out of the way, what are the traits of a morning kind of individual? I mean, really — what is it about a person who can jump out of bed singing, having a burst of energy, and being so optimistic before the day even officially begins that roosters are even giving them a perpetual side-eye? Well, according to some research that I recently checked out, personality types definitely play a role in if someone is a morning person or not and it would appear that some traits of a morning person include that they are more conscientious and self-disciplined while also being less direct, open-minded and thrill-seeking.
When I thought about this from the angle of some of the married clients that I work with, I can definitely cosign on this. One couple, in particular, that I've worked with before, the husband is an engineer and the wife is in the entertainment industry. He is definitely an early morning person while she is a night owl and when I think about how they approach life, he is so Type A (conscientious and self-disciplined) that it can almost be suffocating. Meanwhile, for example, he's not even a good flyer (he's pretty close to being afraid to fly) while his wife travels for a living and doesn't give it much of a second thought (open-minded, thrill-seeking). If it wasn't for him being so over-the-top with his disciplined lifestyle (especially financially), I'm pretty sure she'd be close to flat broke; meanwhile, if it wasn't for her "hey, let's try it" outlook on life, he would be boring — and limited — as hell.
Bottom line, there is nothing wrong with being a morning person — or not being one. There are benefits and advantages to both. Now what I will say about morning people is it's a lot easier to get a lot more done when you're up in the wee hours of the day and knocking out a lot of what needs to be done. Not only that but a lot of the morning folks who I personally know tend to be less stressed because they oftentimes get so much done before noon. That's why, even if you're not a morning person, I am in full support of you at least considering getting up earlier, a couple of days a week, in order to make the most of your time. And just how do you do that?
6 Tips for Becoming More of a Morning Person
Again, there's nothing wrong with not being a morning person. Still, if there is a part of you that knows you would be better off being more conscientious and self-disciplined so that you can get more out of your own morning time, here are some ways to make that happen.
1. Get on a sleep schedule. How crazy is it that a lot of us think kids should be on a sleep schedule, but we shouldn't? Chile. Because the CDC even says that grown folks should get no less than seven hours of sleep every night so that you can be more alert and refreshed come sunrise, and because that is so much easier to do when you have your own nighttime routine, you definitely should put yourself on a sleep schedule. An article that can help you do that is "These Sleep Hacks Will Make Getting A Good Night's Rest So Much Easier."
2. Sleep earlier. Awaken earlier. Out of all of the hacks to help you become more of a morning person, this one might be my favorite because it's so easy to implement. Basically, if you want to wake up 30 minutes earlier, it's probably best to go to bed 30 minutes earlier as well. That way, the extra zzz's that you're missing on the back end, you can get on the front.
3. Nix the naps. I'm actually kinda laughing about recommending this because if there is someone who will take a nap in a heartbeat, it's Shellie Reneè Warren. However, I'm also someone who enjoys sleeping like it's Six Flags or something. That said, if you know that more than a cat nap (around 25 minutes or so) will make it hard for you to sleep at night and/or will have you groggy in the morning, it's probably best to go without naps altogether.
4. Watch what you eat and drink. Have mercy, Lawd. Why am I finally at that age where drinking something an hour before bed will get me up twice in the middle of the night, making it harder to go to sleep? Yeah, it really is common sense that if you don't want to wake up at night, you should drink no later than a couple of hours before turning in. Also, try and keep sugar (including carbs) and caffeine at bay. Instead, opt for foods that are high in magnesium (it helps your neurotransmitter GABA at a healthy level so that you can sleep more soundly) instead. Some of those include almonds, pumpkin seeds, yogurt, dark chocolate, and mineral water.
5. Have sex. I'm not sure what can make you sleep better and harder than having some (good) sex before turning in. From a scientific standpoint, orgasms have the ability to reduce your stress levels while also producing the hormones oxytocin and prolactin in your system. Both of these work together in order to mellow you out, put you in a good mood, and also make you feel safe and secure with your partner —and all of these are the foundation of a great night's rest. That's why sex before going to sleep can improve your quality of sleep. And morning sex can inspire you to set your alarm clock 30 minutes earlier so that you can get out of bed with a big smile on your face. Hell, who said it had to be either or? Why not both?
6. Give yourself something to look forward to every morning. Let me tell it, what I just said in the point above this should count as something to look forward to; however, if sex isn't on the docket (for whatever the reason), still try and give yourself a reason to want to wake up earlier — a favorite breakfast food, time to read a chapter of a book or listen to your favorite podcast, a few minutes to catch up with a friend…anything that can make raising your head off of your pillow, not the top thing on your list to do the following morning.
I know we kinda covered a lot of ground here — what are chronotypes of sleepers, what are the traits of morning people, and how to become more of a morning person yourself. Yet I hope that the greatest takeaway is 1) morning people are oftentimes born more than made; 2) their ability to be morning people resonates in more than their sleeping patterns (because I don't know about you but most of the morning people that I know are extremely self-disciplined) and 3) you can create ways to enjoy the morning more than you might think. It's all about choosing to not view the early hours as your "enemy" but as a way to make the most of your time — from sunrise to sunset. Literally.
Featured image by Getty Images
Different puzzle pieces are creating bigger pictures these days. 2024 will mark a milestone on a few different levels, including the release of my third book next June (yay!).
I am also a Professional Certified Coach. My main mission for attaining that particular goal is to use my formal credentials to help people navigate through the sometimes tumultuous waters, both on and offline, when it comes to information about marriage, sex and relationships that is oftentimes misinformation (because "coach" is a word that gets thrown around a lot, oftentimes quite poorly).
I am also still super devoted to helping to bring life into this world as a doula, marriage life coaching will always be my first love (next to writing, of course), a platform that advocates for good Black men is currently in the works and my keystrokes continue to be devoted to HEALTHY over HAPPY in the areas of holistic intimacy, spiritual evolution, purpose manifestation and self-love...because maturity teaches that it's impossible to be happy all of the time when it comes to reaching goals yet healthy is a choice that can be made on a daily basis (amen?).
If you have any PERSONAL QUESTIONS (please do not contact me with any story pitches; that is an *editorial* need), feel free to reach out at email@example.com. A sistah will certainly do what she can. ;)
This article is in partnership with Sensodyne.
Our teeth are connected to so many things - our nutrition, our confidence, and our overall mood. We often take for granted how important healthy teeth are, until issues like tooth sensitivity or gum recession come to remind us. Like most things related to our bodies, prevention is the best medicine. Here are five things you can do immediately to improve your oral hygiene, prevent tooth sensitivity, and avoid dental issues down the road.
1) Go Easy On the Rough Brushing: Brushing your teeth is and always will be priority number one in the oral hygiene department. No surprises there! However, there is such a thing as applying too much pressure when brushing…and that can lead to problems over time. Use a toothbrush with soft bristles and brush in smooth, circular motions. It may seem counterintuitive, but a gentle approach to brushing is the most effective way to clean those pearly whites without wearing away enamel and exposing sensitive areas of the teeth.
2) Use A Desensitizing Toothpaste: As everyone knows, mouth pain can be highly uncomfortable; but tooth sensitivity is a whole different beast. Hot weather favorites like ice cream and popsicles have the ability to trigger tooth sensitivity, which might make you want to stay away from icy foods altogether. But as always, prevention is the best medicine here. Switching to a toothpaste like Sensodyne’s Sensitivity & Gum toothpaste specifically designed for sensitive teeth will help build a protective layer over sensitive areas of the tooth. Over time, those sharp sensations that occur with extremely cold foods will subside, and you’ll be back to treating yourself to your icy faves like this one!
3) Floss, Rinse, Brush. (And In That Order!): Have you ever heard the saying, “It’s not what you do, but how you do it”? Well, the same thing applies to taking care of your teeth. Even if you are flossing and brushing religiously, you could be missing out on some of the benefits simply because you aren’t doing so in the right order. Flossing is best to do before brushing because it removes food particles and plaque from places your toothbrush can’t reach. After a proper flossing sesh, it is important to rinse out your mouth with water after. Finally, you can whip out your toothbrush and get to brushing. Though many of us commonly rinse with water after brushing to remove excess toothpaste, it may not be the best thing for our teeth. That’s because fluoride, the active ingredient in toothpaste that protects your enamel, works best when it gets to sit on the teeth and continue working its magic. Rinsing with water after brushing doesn’t let the toothpaste go to work like it really can. Changing up your order may take some getting used to, but over time, you’ll see the difference.
4) Stay Hydrated: Upping your water supply is a no-fail way to level up your health overall, and your teeth are no exception to this rule. Drinking water not only helps maintain a healthy pH balance in your mouth, but it also washes away residue and acids that can cause enamel erosion. It also helps you steer clear of dry mouth, which is a gateway to bad breath. And who needs that?
5) Show Your Gums Some Love: When it comes to improving your smile, you may be laser-focused on getting your teeth whiter, straighter, and overall healthier. Rightfully so, as these are all attributes of a megawatt smile; but you certainly don’t want to leave gum health out of the equation. If you neglect your gums, you’ll start to notice the effects of plaque buildup, which can irritate the gums and cause gingivitis, the earliest stage of gum disease. Seeing blood while brushing and flossing is a tell-tale sign that your gums are suffering. You may also experience gum recession — a condition where the gum tissue surrounding your teeth pulls back, exposing more of your tooth. Brushing at least twice a day with a gum-protecting toothpaste like Sensodyne Sensitivity and Gum, coupled with regular dentist visits, will keep your gums shining as bright as those pearly whites.
The Libra woman and Aries man are the divine feminine and divine masculine, coming together as one. The love compatibility between these two is one for the books. These two are opposite signs, however, their differences tend to complement each other well. This is a dynamic relationship where they know how to have a lot of fun together, but also aren’t afraid to deal with the more serious stuff that comes with a relationship.
The Libra woman is looking for her equal in love, someone who is willing to put in the same effort she is, and the Aries man sees Libra as someone he is willing to do that with.
The Love Compatibility Of A Libra Woman And An Aries Man
What attracts a Libra woman and an Aries man to each other?
There is a magnet of attraction pulling these two together, and things tend to move pretty fast in this relationship. The Libra woman is always open to love and her charming nature rarely has any challenges here. The Aries man fights for his independence and doesn’t sacrifice that unless he is completely enamored with someone.
Once the Aries man catches the eye of the Libra woman, he is typically the one to make the first move and this instantly wins the approval of Libra.
These two feel like they have known each other forever when they meet, and this spark between them doesn’t die down easily.
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What is the relationship like between a Libra woman and an Aries man?
The relationship between the Libra woman and the Aries man is one of balance and excitement. The Aries man tends to take on the more dominant role in this relationship and the Libra woman tends to be the more receptive one. Aries is ruled by masculine Mars, and Libra is ruled by feminine Venus. They understand they are coming from two completely different worlds, yet they also instinctively feel this underlying connection to each other and like they could be something each other needs in their lives.
The Libra woman can rely on the Aries man, and the Aries man never has to ask for the love that Libra already knows he needs.
This is a couple that is often reading each other’s minds and wanting to do a lot of the same things. However, not everything is rainbow in this relationship as well, and there are some major differences they have to overcome to make things work. One argument can lead to an explosion between these two, and addressing things when they come up rather than sweeping them under the rug, will be needed to make this relationship long-term.
What is the sex like between a Libra woman and an Aries man?
The sex between a Libra woman and an Aries man is adventurous. These are two cardinal signs with plenty of energy and stamina to keep things exciting in the bedroom. There tends to be a good give and take in this relationship, and their yin and yang energy benefits them when it comes to their sex life.
There is electricity felt between the two of them in this area of their life, and their power of attraction to each other is strong. These are two people who will want to do a lot of things together, including exploring sexually together.
The Aries man will have to be careful with being overly aggressive, however, as the soft Libra woman may not like this energy- it will completely depend on the two individuals at hand. The Libra woman wants to ease into things, the Aries man wants to get going right away. Learning about each other's bodies, and energy, and reading each other’s cues will help with this.
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What makes a relationship between a Libra woman and an Aries man work?
These two genuinely like each other, and that basis is a key factor for success in any relationship. The Aries man is straight to the point, direct, and inspired. The Libra woman admires these characteristics in others, as she is often herself finding her balance in this type of energy as well. Neither sign is overly emotional in a way that turns them off, and they both require a lot of the same things in a committed relationship. They want honesty, fun, good communication, passion, and to be moving towards a common goal together.
The Libra woman and Aries man don’t have a problem being real with each other and this is something they really value within the relationship. They are both very charming, and there is plenty of flirtation and attraction to keep this relationship going. Aries being the protector they are, Libra finds a sense of safety and ease in this energy, and like they have found their match. Overall, this is a well-balanced relationship and one where they don’t have a problem when it comes to compatibility or chemistry in the relationship.
What may cause a Libra woman and an Aries man to break up?
Libra is the lover, Aries is the fighter, and this energy may be tiring for the both of them after time. The Libra woman can be passive to a fault, and the Aries man who is not evolved, may take advantage of that. She will need to be careful with putting Aries’ needs above her own, creating resentment later down the road. The Aries man loves a challenge, and the Libra woman would be up for that game for a little bit, but if she is not being met in the middle, she will begin to look for other places. These two can have a difficult time keeping the peace in the relationship, and there could be a lot of arguments and disagreements here if they both aren’t willing to put their egos or self-pleasing attitudes to the side.
The Libra woman and Aries man are both more sensitive than they appear or come off as. They are also not necessarily the type to dive deep into their emotions and express them to others, even in their relationships. However, this energy can keep the relationship to a surface level than what is needed to progress and grow the relationship, and a sense of openness is required for this couple to work. Libra needs romance, she wants to be wowed. Aries needs to remember this and to always consider her love language.
Overall, this is a successful pairing. They will have their fair share of challenges in the relationship, but nothing they can’t overcome if they are willing to. The trouble will come in when it comes to the longevity of the relationship, keeping Aries excited and Libra in love. However, all in all, there is more power, attraction, and love to keep this relationship together rather than apart. No relationship is perfect, but this one is a little more blessed than most.
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