At six in the morning, many individuals are lucky if they have enough energy to grab that cup of coffee. Being a morning person may be hard, but to become a better one, you need to avoid sleeping in. Besides, there are many perks of getting up with the sun, such as thriving in a distraction-free environment, and getting to enjoy some quiet time. And, some report that morning people have more success in business, and are happier overall.
Becoming a Morning Person
Want to become a better morning person? Here are 15 ways that can help!
- Create a Routine That Motivates You
When you're waking up to something that motivates you, or something you look forward to, it's easier to get out of bed. This motivation can be little things, too, like a half hour of reading, drinking a healthy smoothie, or applying a face mask. Maybe you like to meditate, or cook a nutritious breakfast, or go out for a morning run. Whatever gets you excited and inspires you will help you create that motivating morning routine.
- Let in Light
Whether it's artificial or natural, light is important, since it lets your brain know your day is beginning, and to stop producing melatonin. This is a natural hormone your body makes to help with sleep. If you wake up, and it's still dark (i.e. 5 AM), for instance, you can use a bright indoor light to fool your brain and body into thinking the sun rose.
- Consume a Protein-Rich Meal
Instead of eating a bagel with cream cheese, try eating yogurt or eggs. Protein encourages wakefulness, while carbs promote sleep. Protein also boosts your dopamine levels, helping you start your day.
- Sleep More
Many people claim to be too busy to make enough time to sleep more. But, even if you're the busiest person around, you can divvy up your productivity during your days to allow yourself eight hours of sleep a night. You don't have to compromise your health to be productive. In fact, according to research by Harvard Health, obtaining more healthy sleep regularly is linked to:
- Better weight and metabolism
- Increased memory consolidation
- Lower stress and blood pressure levels
- Heightened concentration and mood
When you're not obtaining enough sleep, your body will have a more difficult time changing other habits, like getting up earlier in the mornings.
- Don't Hit the Snooze Button
Getting more sleep doesn't mean hitting the snooze button in the mornings as this could actually have the opposite effect, making you more groggy because it interrupts the natural sleep cycles of your body. It's also not an ideal way of starting your day.
- Do Something Productive and Positive
Getting out of bed positively can affect your mood for the whole day. This is why you should plan a positive and healthy activity. For some individuals, this is exercise. For others, it could be meditation, listening to a positive podcast, and just enjoying a delicious breakfast.
- Create a Habit
Creating habits frees your mind of decision making, which makes change possible. Morning people don't sit there and think about rising earlier in the morning, they just do it. Therefore, don't simply set your alarm, and hope for the best. Know that, like with any habit, creating the habit of being a morning person will take some time and effort. You're basically training your body and mind to rise early, and after some time it will become a habit, and you'll do it without thinking about it.
- Pay Attention to Your Patterns of Eating and Drinking
While you don't want to go to bed hungry, you also don't want to go to bed too full. Having an empty belly can wake you up during the night. But, a too full stomach could make it harder for you to experience a full REM cycle, until your body has digested your food. Slight changes in your eating and drinking patterns could help you obtain the right amount of sleep your body needs, which translates into waking up feeling well-rested and recharged.
Working out first thing in the morning can help wake your body up. Appalachian State University researchers conducted a study showing exercise in the morning:
- Reduces anxiety and stress
- Lowers your blood pressure
- Helps you sleep better during the night
Also, it's better to exercise in bright light, so you may want to go for a morning run, or bike ride, or take your dog for a walk.
- Don't Wait to Get Moving
As soon as your alarm goes off, get up, and get moving fast. Don't press the snooze button or lie in bed for a few minutes. Since your room should be a relaxing environment in the nighttime to help you get ready for sleep, in the morning, this means you need to leave the room as soon as possible, even if you just go to the kitchen and pour yourself a glass of orange juice.
- Get an Alarm with Happy Sounds
Instead of being woken up to the normal (and annoying) blares and beeps of a traditional alarm clock, try a phone app that wakes you up to fun or soothing tones.
- Eat Breakfast
Drinking a cup of coffee won't make sleepiness totally disappear (though it can help!). You should leave yourself some time for a good breakfast that will give you energy, and boost brainpower to start your day.
- Streamline Your Routine in the Morning
To wake up refreshed and ready to start your day with things you look forward to, tackle the things you won't look forward to in the morning the night before. For instance:
- Gas up your car
- Make your lunch
- Lay out your clothing
- Pack your gym bag
Make sure things like these are done before your head hits your pillow. This way you wake up each morning calm, prepared, and ready to begin your day without having to start the day with tasks you may find unpleasant.
- Try an "Inverted Snooze"
When your alarm goes off in the morning, go ahead and hit that snooze button, but instead of drifting back off to sleep, get out of bed for nine minutes. This is known as an "inverted snooze" which helps ease you into waking up by telling yourself you just have to stay out of bed for only nine minutes.
Stretch, move around, brew some coffee, or whatever else to keep yourself awake. Once the alarm goes off again, you'll likely be awake and alert enough to begin your day instead of hitting the snooze again, lying there grumpy in bed.
- Sleep on a Natural Latex Mattress
Natural latex conforms to your body easily, and provides the intense comfort your body and mind require for quality sleep. Since a natural latex mattress often provides better support than memory foam mattresses, stomach and back sleepers will also benefit from the extra support.
You won't toss and turn all night, or lie there awake when you're sleeping on a natural latex mattress. You'll experience unparalleled support and outstanding comfort instead, making it possible to sleep all night long, so you can wake up feeling refreshed and rejuvenated ready to start your day.
Of course, some of these ways may be more suited to your lifestyle than others. Choose one or more that works well for you, and soon you’ll be the early bird that gets the worm.