You may think that you are either born a night owl or morning person, but in reality, these variables are somewhat within your control.
The concept of chronotype is what many use to describe the tendency of people to have varying times of sleep. While genetic influences can affect your circadian rhythm and chronotype schedule, there are many items that can help you to become a morning person.
Every snooze, late morning, late night, and swig of caffeine impacts when you feel most productive and is a decision that you can change.
Whether you got a new job that requires an early start, or are looking to get more done early in the day, this article can help you by giving you an actionable guide to becoming a morning person.
Becoming a morning person requires a good night sleep in addition to developing the perfect wakeup routine. With both of these you can give yourself the best shot of getting up feeling energized and ready to take on the day.
Part 1: Get a Good Night Sleep
The first thing you need to tackle when trying to become a morning person is to ensure you are getting enough quality sleep to power you through the day. You can’t expect to go to sleep at 1:00 am and feel refreshed and ready to tackle the morning by 7:00 am. Your sleep provides body-wide benefits that need to be obtained on a regular basis through your sleep.
Below are five ways in which you can strive to get the perfect night's sleep.
Consistent sleep schedule
As previously mentioned, your body runs on an internal biological clock known as the circadian rhythm. This rhythm has many factors that impact it including genetic factors, dietary factors, and environmental factors.
One of the strongest environmental influences on your circadian rhythm is consistency of when you are asleep and awake. This influence is one of the most influential and explains why you are able to adapt to sleeping in a vastly different timezone. While you may have some jetlag, over time your body is able to adapt to the new sleep wake cycle and thrive.
The example above illustrates the power that consistent sleeping hours can have. When you are looking to get a good night's sleep to allow you to feel refreshed, having a strict bedtime and wake up is imperative.
Over a period of time the consistency will allow your body to begin anticipating when to sleep and when to be awake. Once this point is reached you will most likely find yourself falling asleep faster and getting a better overall quality of sleep.
Create a bedtime routine
For some, the act of falling asleep is incredibly difficult. What seems like such a simple feat can be incredibly difficult. Creating a relaxing bedtime routine is a great sleep habit that can help you fall asleep and relax before you hit the hay.
A great place to start with your night time routine is to determine when you would like to go to sleep and set aside an additional 30 minutes beforehand. With these 30 minutes, you can create a relaxing environment that can help facilitate sleep.
Removing all screens, dimming lights, playing some relaxing music, choosing an activity like journaling, or even upping your night time skin care routine can all act to calm your body and mind.
By tucking into your bed with a calm body and mind, you are much more likely to fall asleep quickly and get a good night's rest.
The circadian rhythm in humans has historically coincided with the darkness of night and sunlight of the daytime. Because of this your body utilizes light as a key indicator as to whether or not it should be awake as well as a means of setting its own internal clock.
When trying to improve your sleep, you need to ensure the room you sleep in is as dark as possible. In fact, artificial light sources have been shown to have the ability to cause delays in the circadian rhythm and melatonin release.
To ensure your sleeping area is as dark as possible, take the time to turn off all the lights and determine if there are any sources of artificial light within the room. If lights are emanating from outside a window, consider getting some blackout curtains. If the light is from the blue light of electronic devices, consider moving them or covering up any light indicators. Taking the time to trackdown sources of light will help you fall asleep and stay asleep.
If you simply cannot get rid of light within the room, you may want to consider eye masks. Eye masks are a great solution because you can take them wherever you go.
While a large emphasis is placed on your immediate sleep environment for getting a good night sleep, your diet can impact your sleep tremendously. Your diet can influence your sleep for better or worse.
Actions like drinking caffeine late in the day, eating lots of sugar, and eating meals late in the day can have detrimental impacts on your sleep duration and quality.
Actions like taking sleep supplements, decreasing intake of sugar, and eating a well rounded diet full of well balanced foods can facilitate better sleep. It should be noted that supplements that support your energy level like MitoQ should be taken in the morning as it may cause difficulty falling asleep.
Part 2: Get out of bed, the right way
Now that you have perfected your night time ritual to help you get to sleep and stay asleep, the next logical step is to perfect your wakeup routine. The consistency required for sleep is not just limited to having a consistent bedtime, but it also requires a consistent wakeup.
For those without a wakeup routine, or those that are simply not “morning people,” waking up can be a constant struggle. While getting a better night's sleep can alleviate some of the grogginess, creating the perfect morning routine is what is going to get you to make the transition to a morning person. Below are three tips to help you wake up, the right way.
Prepare the night before
Mornings can be overwhelming as you need to get yourself together, make breakfast, make it to work on time, and much more. Feeling overwhelmed dampens your excitement and eagerness for the day and can result in you having resistance to waking up.
Prepping the night before can allow you to have more time to wake up, find your inner motivation, and tackle the day head on.
One great way you can prepare for the morning ahead of time is to pack your work belongings and pick an outfit for the day. Doing these actions ahead of time can alleviate the stresses of not being able to find something or not knowing what you wish to wear. These actions also give you precious time in your morning that you can utilize to have an enjoyable morning and morning routine.
Another helpful way to prepare for the morning ahead is to prepare your meals. Making breakfast and lunch is no small task. Prepping whatever you can the night before can make your life a little easier in the morning. Getting it done the night before also ensures that no matter what happens in the morning, you won’t need to skip out on a meal.
By finding the small things that you can do proactively, you can greatly reduce morning time stress that is more likely to cause you to dislike the mornings.
Set an alarm clock
While this point may seem obvious, the physical device you set an alarm on should be an alarm clock.
While your phone is capable of acting as an alarm, it comes with many different obstacles. The worst of which is that using your phone as an alarm teaches you to reach for your phone the second you wake up. This is a bad habit as you are more likely to sit in bed and scroll on your phone, or simply not have a moment of peace with yourself.
In addition to setting an alarm clock, you may want to consider placing the alarm clock somewhere other than the bedside table. When the alarm clock is on the bedside table it is so easy to just tap the snooze button or stop the alarm. Putting the alarm clock somewhere where you need to stand up and get out of bed can help you with the waking up process.
Your body's internal clock is influenced by a large variety of factors. By taking these factors and manipulating them to your advantage, you can attempt to make yourself more of a morning person.
With a lot of patience and persistence, you can effectively transition yourself from a night owl to a morning person. Good luck, future early bird!
Reviewed by: Kai Man Yuen/ BSc., PGDipSci., MSc.