Become an Early Morning Person
Research shows that the early bird actually does catch the worm. Early morning risers are inclined to better grades in school, more productivity, faster career advancement, less stress, and a feeling of greater happiness than their late-waking counterparts. Unfortunately, studies also reveal that your late-sleeping or early-rising inclination may be genetically hardwired.
About one or two in ten people are natural morning persons, or Larks. Night Owls comprise roughly two or three in ten. The rest are Hummingbirds, arising early sometimes, late on other days, flitting back and forth between Night Owl and Lark status.
If your sleeping habits are pre-destined because of your genes, is it possible to reset your biological clock? Sleep researchers have proven you can. To reap the many benefits of getting up early, follow these tips on how to become a morning person for a transformation from Hummingbird or Night Owl to morning Lark.
1 – Set a Waking Schedule... And Stick to It
Natural early risers get up at the same time every morning, even on holidays or weekends. You should do the same. Your internal clock is just like a mechanical one. It can be programmed. You can't change your natural sleeping and waking inclinations overnight, but you can do so over time. You may find yourself, from time to time, staying up late. Regardless, don't sleep in the next morning.
You have to aggressively set a waking schedule to become a morning person and stick to it. You may find this process difficult at first. Going to sleep earlier than usual could lead to sleepless nights of tossing and turning. If you find yourself tired in the mid-afternoon, treat yourself to a 20 or 30-minute nap. Only do this as long as your nap-time does not leave you foggy and drowsy.
2 – End Your Sleep with Sunlight
Night owls and hummingbirds can become morning larks by sleeping with their blinds or curtains open. When you let daylight awaken you naturally, this gentle process can help slowly reset your biological clock. You should still set an alarm, timing your alarm to go off when the morning sun rises.
3 – Go Outdoors Early in the Morning
As soon as possible after waking up, go outside. Take your dental floss or cup of coffee outside to add part of your morning process to this new routine. Exposing yourself to daylight in the morning helps make you alert. You can trick yourself into getting up early by having a person set your clock ahead. Don't watch them do it.
This way, you don't know if your clock is 5, 10 or 15 minutes fast. This gives you a small and simple safety net that guarantees you are up early enough to enjoy a morning outdoors. If weather or some other reason keeps you from going outside upon rising, head for the sunniest window in your home. You can alternately buy daylight bulbs that effectively reproduce artificial sunlight.
4 – Kick the TV Out of Your Bedroom
You have to understand that your bedroom is for sleeping. This means removing your television, any electronics with LED displays, excess furniture, clothing and any other items that don't promote a sleep-friendly environment. Don't kid yourself, saying that you are only going to watch TV for "a few minutes" before bedtime. Just ten or fifteen minutes of watching television, texting on your smart phone or checking in on Facebook alerts your brain and all of your senses. This makes it very difficult to fall asleep and become morning person.
5 – Read a Good Book Before Bedtime
Reading somehow lends itself to sleep-promotion, unlike watching television. So does listening to soothing music. However, you should limit the amount of time you spend on either one of those activities. If you decide to read or listen to calming music before you shut your eyes at night, do it for the same period of time every night. You will notice that routine and repetition are mentioned throughout these tips. That is because your brain responds best to consistent and repetitive action when you are trying to break an old habit or adopt a new one.
6 – Prep for the Morning the Night Before
Night persons are usually rushing around in the morning because they hit the snooze button several times and are running late. You can help your early morning rising by making it relaxing and easy on your nerves. The night before, set out the clothes you're going to wear the next day. Pack your lunch if you take lunch to work. Prepare your kid's lunch boxes, program your coffee maker to go off automatically in the morning, and do as much as you can for your morning routine the night before.
7 – Use Mood Lighting at Night
Only use dim lights at night in your bathroom. If you have to answer the call of nature in the middle of the night, a blast of bright lights can make it difficult to go back to bed. The same is true for your pre-bedtime rituals. Brushing your teeth or removing your makeup should be done with minimal lighting, and the lighting you use in your bedroom at night should also be soft and sleep-friendly.
8 – Stop Hitting the Snooze Button in the Morning
People who hate getting up in the morning tend to do it several times. That doesn't make much sense, does it? A night owl is blasted awake by his morning alarm. He dreads the thought of getting up, so he hits the snooze button for five more minutes of rest. Ten minutes later, the alarm goes off again, and the whole feeling of hating to get up is repeated.
Morning people arise immediately upon hearing their alarm. You should do the same. You actually make yourself more tired and cranky by trying to catch several five or ten-minute snooze button naps before you decide to finally, begrudgingly get out of bed in the morning. It will be difficult at first, but after a few weeks you will have programmed yourself to live without your snooze button. If this process means immediately enjoying a cup of caffeine-rich coffee in the morning so you can stay awake, that's fine, but don't overdo it with more than one cup.
9 – Use the "Inverted Snooze Button" Maneuver
Hey, it may be tough to give up hitting the old snooze button in the a.m. If you just can't help but slap mister snoozie in the morning when your alarm goes off, do this. Go ahead and hit the snooze button, but ... get out of bed immediately and become a morning person This reverse snooze means mentally you are still not getting up and beginning your day. You are snoozing on your feet. Take this 5 or 7 or 10-minute period to make coffee, shuffle your feet and grumble, take a shower, whatever. Just don't go back to bed, and definitely stay on your feet. When your alarm goes off again you should be awake enough to start your day.
10 – Eat and Drink Right
Proper nutrition is required for all aspects of health. It is also important for getting to sleep early, sleeping restfully, and rising early morning. Don't eat or drink too much within a few hours of bedtime. The key is to hit the bed with a Goldilocks level of hunger and thirst - not too full, not too hungry or thirsty, just right. You should drink plenty of water throughout the day, avoid fast and processed foods, and eat plenty of fresh fruits, vegetables, whole grains, nuts and berries.
11 – Seek Professional Help If All Else Fails
If you simply can't get to sleep before three or four in the morning, talk to your doctor or a licensed sleep therapist. The same is true if you could sleep every day until noon or later if allowed to do so. There is a condition called the Delayed Sleep Phase Syndrome that affects a very small part of the population. No matter what you do, you can't reset your biological clock without professional help if you suffer from this condition.
What is a Morning Ritual and Why Should You Create One?
You probably have several rituals in your life. You go to bed at the same time every night. You drive the same way to work each morning, take the same route home every evening, and unconsciously reach for the remote as you fall onto your sofa at the end of your workday. Perhaps your morning ritual is 1) turn off alarm clock, 2) put on the coffee, 3) hit the shower, 4) start your day.
Regarding the word ritual, the Merriam-Webster dictionary defines it as ..."noun - always done in a particular situation and in the same way each time "
It is important to create a morning ritual because of the way your brain is hardwired. The human brain loves standard operating procedures and reliable routine. Those people who map out their lives with rituals and schedules tend to be healthier, they get more done, and enjoy less stress. You can do the same thing by becoming your own morning ritual person.
Daily Morning Routine
Upon rising, your brain is fresh, recharged and ready for input. When you begin each morning with the exact same routine, your mind understands that this is the start of your day. When you simply approach each morning with a "whatever happens" attitude, you give your brain no signal that a particular, recurring response is required. This means that your daily performance can be all over the road.
Because of this, some mornings you are productive, some mornings you are not, and you can't count on any reliable productivity or efficiency tackling your personal and work responsibilities. You can fight this inconsistency by having the first one or two hours of your day vary as little as possible. Do the same things, in the same order, and in the same amount of time, over and over, until these actions become unconscious habits.
Each persons brain craves order. It loves routine. If the first thing you do each and every morning is meditate for ten minutes, your brain eventually understands what is coming next. If that activity, that part of your ritual, follows meditation with a morning shower and then dressing for the day, each of these habits stack upon each other for predictable results.
There is significant research which shows when you have a repeatable morning routine, you experience less stress throughout the day. Stress is a productivity and efficiency killer. It also creates mental and physical health concerns. Minimize distraction, create your own personal morning ritual, and you will find this simple, orderly routine can positively impact
Getting Up at 5am Gives You Morning Energy
You may have heard the saying that the early bird gets the worm. There is the old axiom that, "Early to bed, early to rise, makes a man healthy, wealthy and wise." The 19th century philosopher Richard Whately said, "Lose an hour in the morning, and you will spend all day looking for it." Politician, statesman and United States founding father Thomas Jefferson was fond of saying, "The sun has not caught me in bed in 50 years."
Those are wonderful ideas one and all.
Is there any benefit to getting up early?
As it turns out, science supports the fact that getting up early, say 5 AM, before any other "early morning person" begins their day, provides you with more energy. It seems that when you get up before everyone else, there are fewer distractions. All of your early-morning energy can be funneled into one task or responsibility. After developing a habit of going to bed early and rising at 5 AM, to ensure you have plenty of rest, it seems this practice somehow translates to more energy throughout the day.
This happens for a number of reasons.
If you wake up late and are rushing to start the day, you often times skip breakfast. When you are up at 5 AM you have plenty of time to eat a nourishing, nutritious, healthy breakfast. Your body has not received nutrition for ten to sixteen hours when you first arise. It is extremely important that you enjoy a filling breakfast every morning.
This way, you don't have to reach for unhealthy, sugar-filled, coffees, sodas and energy drinks because of a mid-morning energy crash. When you take time to enjoy a healthy breakfast, which is easier when you rise at 5 AM than when you are running late, it promotes healthy eating habits throughout the day. Your body is refreshed and energetic early in the morning, and studies show this leads to smarter eating habits all day long.
The lack of distraction also leads to more energy.
The simple fact that you have become a morning person denotes you are up when very few others are which means your attention can be focused. When you have multiple information streams begging for your attention, this can promote stress and anxiety. Stress can sap energy from even the most energetic person.
Getting up at 5 AM also leads to an earlier bedtime. What do you do for the last few hours of most of your evenings? Most people attempt to find something to do to fill this time void, and engaging in activities late at night makes it harder to go to sleep. Getting up at 5 AM means going to bed earlier, which fosters an earlier wake-up with plenty of energy again the following morning.