Top 10 Tips for Becoming a Morning Person
The early bird gets the worm, or so the saying goes. Waking up early in the morning is a great way to get more time out of your day. Those first few hours in the day are great because they are often quieter, allowing you to get more work done. If you are a night owl, the idea of waking up early often causes you to curl even further under the covers. While it is difficult to change your behaviors, it is possible, we are here to help you make a plan to getting up early and get the most out of your day!
Most people are either early-birds or night-owls and in most cases this depends on your circadian rhythm. A person’s circadian rhythm is their internal body clock that is responsible for regulating the daily cycles our bodies go through. Our circadian rhythms are linked to the light and darkness in our environment, which our bodies react to and then determine the time our bodies feel like they need to be asleep or awake.
It takes time to change yourself from a night-owl to an early bird and it is something that you should do with patience. Here are some of our top tips on becoming a morning person, so you too can make the most out of your mornings.
- Go to bed early: This one may seem like a no brainer, but it is very important to go the bed early if you want to wake up early. Our bodies need to get at least seven hours of sleep per night to function properly. If you plan on getting up at 5:30 am, it will not do you much good to go to bed at midnight and it will drastically cut down on your productivity. Make a plan for what time you need to go to bed to get enough sleep, then stick to that plan.
- Keep a consistent routine: In setting yourself up to become a morning person, it is a good idea to make a routine that will help you get ready to go to bed early. Having a cup of tea and reading a book or magazine are great ways to wind down from the day and put your mind in a restful state.
- No screens an hour before bed: This might be a tough one for a lot of people, but the light from our laptops, tablets and smartphones tricks our bodies into thinking it is earlier than it is which can disrupt the circadian rhythm. Reading on a screen as opposed to a paper book has been shown to slow the release of melatonin, which is key to regulating your sleep.1 So, turn your electronics off an hour before bed and keep them off until the morning, opting instead for a book.
- Make your bedroom a peaceful environment: You want your bedroom to feel peaceful, somewhere that your mind and body can relax to sleep. So, before you go to sleep make your room peaceful by pulling the blinds closed, dimming the lights or even lighting a relaxing candle. Doing these things will make your mind prepare to go to sleep.
- Wake-up slowly: Now, this does not mean that you should hang out in bed for half and hour checking your phone notifications. When your alarm goes off, get out of bed (and don’t climb back in) then do a small task that will help you wake up such as making a cup of coffee or reading the newspaper. Doing so will help you slowly wake out of your sleep mode and get ready for the day.
- Work-out in the morning: Working out in the morning is a great way to get energy for the rest of the day. Your body will release serotonin and endorphins (both of which have been shown to improve your mood), plus moving your body is a great way to help get rid of the morning grogginess. As an added bonus, you will not have to worry about unexpected scheduling getting in the way of a morning workout (as sometimes happens with afternoon or evening workouts.)
- Open the blinds: When you first wake up, the best thing to do it open the blinds or turn on some lights. This will signal to your body that it is time to wake up and prepare for the day. Simply turning on the lights or opening the blinds is one of the best ways to ease your way into waking up in the morning.
- Move the alarm across the room: If you’re like most of us, your alarm is right next to your bed, making it easy to press that snooze button over and over again. A good remedy for this is to move your alarm to the other side of your room, forcing you to get out of bed to turn it off. Just make sure you don’t climb back into bed after you get up to turn it off.
- Have something to do: When you have something exciting to look forward to during the day, such as a coffee date with friends or an exciting new lunch, you will be excited to start your day. This will help give you the motivation to jump out of bed in the morning!
- Start with SMART goals: The key to starting a new routine is setting goals that you will be able to stick with. A good way to plan these goals is using the SMART system, which stands for specific, measurable, attainable, relevant and time-bound. Making goals that you can actually envision yourself accomplishing and which you can set a time-frame for will make it easier to achieve those goals.
Waking-up early in the morning doesn’t have to be a chore, but working to get to a point where you can do it easily does take a little effort. Following these steps will make it a little bit easier and you will be on your way to early morning bliss in no time!
- Beres, Damon. “Reading on a Screen before Bed might be Killing You.” Huffington Post. TheHuffingtonPost.com, Inc., 23 December 2014. Web.