Have you ever found yourself feeling more tired in the morning than when you went to sleep? What about feeling angry, groggy, and not excited to start a new day? If you answered yes to these questions (let’s be honest, we all have at some point in our life), let’s talk about how you can make some small changes in your lifestyle to become that morning person you’ve always wanted to be.
First, important to realize that everyone is different, and so is our sleep schedules. You may classify yourself as an “early bird” or a “night owl”. The good news is that which one you resonate with, you can still become a morning person. Here are some steps you can take to get there:
1. Set a Bedtime Goal.
The first change you can make is to shift your bedtime. Try to aim for a total of 7 – 9 hours of sleep. Count 7 – 9 hours backward from the time you set your alarm in the mornings to get your target bedtime. After you discover your target bedtime, try going to bed 15 – 20 minutes earlier than you normally would every night. After you reach the first 15 – 20-minute goal, try adding an extra 15 min to eventually reach your target bedtime goal. If you try to drastically change your bedtime, it may backfire and can even keep you up later than before. This gradual shift in your bedtime is essential to becoming a morning person.
2. Start a Nighttime Routine.
Next, about an hour before you hit the hay, try making a bedtime routine to help you fall asleep earlier. Dimming the lights and putting away all disruptive electronics can help to improve the quality of sleep. Reading your favorite book, listening to soothing music or podcasts, or taking a bath are great additions to wind down for bedtime. When your mind is at ease, it will be easier for you to fall asleep, which help you wake up feeling refreshed.
3. Stop Snoozing That Alarm.
We have all experienced that dreadful alarm clock waking us up in the middle of good sleep. Hitting the snooze button may be tempting but is also dangerous. Try moving your alarm clock out of reach from your bed. Some good places to move your alarm clock is across the room and or in your closest bathroom where you will get ready in the morning. If that doesn’t work, try using an alarm clock floor mat that requires you to stand up and get out of bed in the mornings to turn it off!
4. Energizing Light.
After that restful and refreshing sleep, it’s important to get some exposure to bright lights. Bright light exposure first thing in the morning can help to make you feel more alert, energized and can help your body to remember that earlier wake time. It might be helpful to open your windows first thing when you get up in the mornings. If you can’t get that natural light, there are light therapy lamps that mimic natural light to give you that same bright light effect without the sun. This is essential to becoming a morning person.
5. Look Forward to the Morning.
Now that you feel a bit more energized after waking up, look forward to your morning routines. Look forward to making your daily cup of coffee, making your breakfast, and reading some more of your favorite book before tackling the day. If you know that your mornings are going to be calm, peaceful, and pleasant it will be more enticing to wake up in the mornings. If you are looking forward to the mornings, you will become a morning person.
6. Consistency is Key.
Now that you have a bedtime and morning routine, be consistent! Try to keep those new schedules because it will help you to stick to your routine and look forward to every morning. If you find yourself slipping up everyone in a while, it’s OK, life happens to the best of us. Just try to get back on track for the next day and don’t dwell on it!
7. Think About the Positives.
Feeling positive, energized, and refreshed in the mornings can help you to be more productive throughout your day. Your overall productivity and mood can change for the better if you shift to become a morning person.
Now that we have discussed the different steps to becoming a morning person, try them out! Always stay positive and take baby steps to reach your overall goals.
By: Nicole Long
Health Coach at Optimal You Wellness Center