I Asked a Hypnotist to Make Me a Morning Person—Here's How It Went

I can confidently say that I’m happy with most of my vices: I enjoy and appreciate the occasional cocktail, chicken tender, or Netflix binge, and at this stage in my life, I’m pretty diligent about balancing any “guilty” pleasures with activities that make me feel well and contribute to my long-term goals. In fact, there’s only one habit that consistently hinders my mood, productivity, and overall quality of life: my sleep cycle.

My natural circadian rhythm is set, so I doze off around 2 a.m. and wake up at 10 a.m., which isn’t particularly shocking for a freelancer. The problem is that when I think about it, this might not be what my body wants: I tend to wake up earlier (around 7 a.m. or 8 a.m.) and then doze off again, only to rise, groggy and a little moody, at my “normal” time. Even if I slept straight through the morning, research has shown that falling asleep and waking up earlier contributes to greater positive thinking, mood regulation, and mental clarity. (Plus, I recognise that at some point, I might like the option of joining the rest of the world and taking on a job that requires me to experience mornings.) Most importantly, I want to change my sleep cycle because when I’m awake for them, I actually love early hours: the thin, buttery sunlight, the tranquility, the potential of a full day stretching out ahead of me while I sip my coffee… I want to be a morning person. So when an email from hypnotherapist Grace Smith recently landed in my inbox, asking me what I would change about my life if given the chance, my answer was easy: I wanted to become someone who woke up early, feeling refreshed and rejuvenated. I had tested methods for easing my clock back before—wake-up lights, multiple alarms, a bottle of dubious “wake up on time” vitamins from Amazon that caused a lecturer to ask if I was using drugs. All of these hacks had failed my steadfast internal clock, so I wasn’t particularly confident that hypnosis could reset my system—but in the spirit of adventure, I was willing to try anything. The results were shocking.

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