For many of us night owls, waking up in the morning is a daunting task. Getting up “early” (any time before noon), whether for work or another scheduling necessity, is often accompanied by multiple snooze-button slams and the feeling of major grogginess.
However, there are many benefits of rising with the sun. It can reduce daytime stress, increase productivity, and free up time in your schedule. If you are considering changing your ways from being a night owl to an early bird, consider starting with the following tips:
1. Adjust your sleep time gradually.
Going to bed at one a.m. and trying to wake up for a 5 a.m. spin class isn’t going to work out too well for you. Instead of immediately switching up your nighttime routine, spend a few nights trying to fall asleep about 15 minutes earlier than usual, then 30 minutes the next night, and so on. This will be easier on your body than a quick and drastic change, and is more likely help you maintain the habit.
2. Create a nightly routine.
If you find yourself constantly rushing from one thing to the next all the way up until bedtime, you’re probably throwing off your sleep schedule. Try to create a routine to get your body ready for sleep. This could include powering down your technology about two hours before trying to fall asleep, taking a bath with essential oils for extra relaxation, or even listening to a soothing podcast or journaling to help you wind down at night.
If you’re having a hard time going to sleep at the same time every night, melatonin supplements may help – but of course, be sure to determine the right dosage and consult your doctor first!
3. Get enough sleep in the first place!
Getting enough sleep at night is crucial to becoming a morning person. It’s necessary to have the right sleep environment to get a good night’s sleep, including gentle lighting, low noise, cool temperature, and a welcoming surface to sleep on that will support your body. If you are feeling groggy and sore when you wake up, an old mattress that doesn’t support your body may be the culprit - research shows that you should replace your mattress every 7-10 years. Consider making the necessary changes in your sleep environment to ensure a good night’s sleep and an easy rise in the morning.
4. Place your alarm out of reach.
Force yourself to get out of bed first thing in the morning when your alarm goes off by placing it across the room. This will also help you avoid the snooze button in the morning, as it’s not so easy to roll over to the other side of the bed when you’re standing up.
5. Give yourself enough time to wake up.
Waking up just in the nick of time to rush out the door for the day is not the best method to help yourself become a morning person. Instead, allow your body to ease into motion by giving yourself enough time to have a cup of coffee, eat a healthy breakfast, and if you have enough time – exercise.
Walking, yoga, or even a martial arts class is a great way to tell your body that it’s time to be awake. What’s even better is that you’ll be burning more energy during the day and be less tempted by snacks. Morning workouts kickstart your metabolism, motivation, and mood all at once, so it’s a no-brainer that this is essential to becoming a morning person!
Elise is a freelance writer located in the mountains of North Carolina and has recently discovered her love for writing about health, wellness, and fitness. Growing up, Elise was always running out the door to go to soccer, gymnastics, or any other sports practice her parents could think of, but as she has grown older, she has transitioned to writing about the sports and watching her children participate instead. In her free time, Elise enjoys yoga, trying out new healthy recipes, and visiting new restaurants with her friends and family.