4 Ways to Work Towards Becoming a Better Morning Person
Waking up early in the morning is pretty awful. Even if you’ve gotten a good night’s sleep, hearing your alarm go off at 5:00, 6:00, or even 7:00 in the morning can be frustrating – and it’ll often leave you feeling groggy and still sleepy. If you’ve always had trouble getting up early, you may be a “night owl” instead of a “morning person”. You may just naturally prefer staying up late to waking up with the sun. But there is a way to make waking up less difficult. If you’re tired of feeling so tired every time you wake up early, it’s time to become a “morning person.” Fortunately, with a few new habits and some easy lifestyle changes, you can begin working your way towards loving early mornings rather than dreading them.
Here are four ways you can start working to become a morning person – or, at the very least, make waking up a little easier.
1. Change Your Bedtime Gradually
In order to make waking up easier, you’ll need to adjust your sleep schedule. After all, no one finds it easy to wake up at any time if you haven’t gotten enough sleep.
The Sleep Foundation recommends that every adult get between seven and nine hours of sleep each night. So, if you’re going to start waking up at an earlier time, you’ll need to roll your bedtime back too. If you plan on waking up at 6:00AM, you’ll need to hit the sheets at 10:00PM each night – or even earlier if you don’t fall asleep right away.
It’s a good idea to aim for a bedtime that’s 20 minutes to two hours earlier than you’re used to. You can start small, then work up to a significantly earlier bedtime. For example, you can move your bedtime up by 30-minute increments each night or each week to get used to the change. You can also adjust based on how easily you’re able to fall asleep to ensure you’re getting just the right amount of shut-eye.
2. Rely on Natural Lighting
One of the easiest ways to naturally wake yourself up is with light. The human body is controlled by circadian rhythms, which means your “inner clock” responds to changes in light. When it’s light outside, your body wants to be awake. When the sun sets, your body is ready to call it a night and head to sleep.
In fact, your body actually starts releasing melatonin, the sleep hormone, when it encounters sunset-colored light. And the opposite happens when your body senses dawn-like blue light – the wake-up response is stimulated to get your day started.
So, you can totally take advantage of this natural sensitivity to wake up earlier more easily. You should avoid blue light (which is emitted by many modern devices, like smartphones and tablets) around bedtime. Instead, surround yourself with light that’s amber or red in color to mimic the sunset. In the morning, you can use an alarm clock that shines dawn-like blue light to help you wake up naturally. Or, you can let light peek in through your blinds for a more DIY solution.
3. Get Regular Exercise
Here’s a really easy way to get yourself in bed earlier and ready for an early: tire yourself out during the day.
In order to feel tired enough for your new bedtime, try adopting a regular exercise routine. If you work out each day, you’ll expend more energy and literally tire yourself out, making it easier to fall asleep. Burning off all that energy, whether you’re doing a HIIT workout or practicing yoga, will prime you for sleep.
If tiring yourself out doesn’t work, try flipping things around. You can work out in the morning to energize yourself and get ready for the day. Even a quick jog or something more slow-moving like yoga or pilates can get you moving. And that, in turn, will help you shake off sleep. There are even more all-day benefits to exercising in the morning, like an increased metabolism, more energy, smarter and healthier food choices, and better productivity.
4. Create a Calming Nighttime Routine
As you make adjustments to your schedule, your daily habits, and more in an effort to become a better morning person, it’s also important to think about your sleep routine. Creating a solid nighttime routine will help you ease into sleep, which can in turn help you sleep better and wake up more energized.
If you’ve been turning off the lights and hopping right into bed, it’s time to plan a bit more. Create a routine that includes signals for your brain and body that it’s sleep time, like practicing calming activities. You can stretch gently, try meditation, or even read a book in the hour before bed. You can drink sleepy time tea (or any calming tea), turn off the TV, and take a warm bath.
You’ll also want to shut down any noisy, blue-light emitting, or anxiety-inducing devices before bed. Turn your phone on silent and put it aside, shut your tablet off, and avoid all computers. The less distractions present, the better your routine will be.