For those of us who are not morning people, hearing about all of the positives associated with early risers is typically not a pleasant experience. So, we’ll make this brief: Studies show that morning people are happier, healthier, more productive, and even more successful than night owls. If a 6 a.m. wake-up call still sounds miserable to you, it’s okay. Becoming a morning person doesn’t happen overnight—you have to train yourself to love the a.m. hours. Lucky for you, we’re ready and willing to be your coach.
Keep reading to find out how to stop hating your alarm clock and start embracing your mornings!
Waking up early starts with getting good quality sleep. Make your bedroom a tranquil space, keeping it clean and uncluttered. It’s easier for your mind to power off when it’s not thinking about the pile of clothes at your feet. Surround yourself with soothing colors (blue and other cool tones will put your mind at ease) and scents. Toss a satchel of lavender under your pillow and you’ll get a whiff of relaxation every time your head hits the pillow. And finally, make it a screen-free zone (as screen-free as possible). The artificial light from televisions, computers, and cell phones throws off your body’s natural clock. Sign off from technology at least an hour before bed to let your body prepare for a restful night’s sleep.
Once your bedroom is prepped and ready for your best night of sleep ever, make sure you are just as ready. Early risers tend to live by strict bedtimes and wake-up calls. Give yourself a reasonable bedtime, and stick to it, even if you’re not tired. And if you happen to be extremely exhausted before that time, it’s okay to turn in early (it’s better not to fight your need for sleep). Beginning a new bedtime is the hard part. If you usually throw yourself in bed some time during the wee hours of the morning, but would love to make it to sleep by 11 p.m., over-correct for the first few days. Start winding down at 9 p.m., and head to bed at 10 p.m. You won’t like it, but after a few days, making your 11 p.m. light’s out cut-off will be a breeze. Sticking to your schedule on the weekends will also make Monday mornings (and every morning thereafter) easier.
This goes without saying, but the snooze button is not your friend. Once you wake up, consider yourself awake. Your body knows it’s awake, so those extras minutes in bed aren’t actually making you more rested—in fact, it’s the opposite. The more you snooze, the groggier you become. Just like you have to give yourself a bedtime and stick to it, your wake-up call needs to be a firm part of the routine too.
Skipping snooze is easier said than done. Or is it? The real issue is you’ve been making it too easy to snooze. Instead of keeping your alarm right next to your bed, put it on the other side of the room. When it goes off, get up to turn it off, and stay up. Head straight to the kitchen to get a glass or water or start the coffee—just do something that gets you on your feet and away from the pillow.
At night, you need to keep the artificial light out. In the morning, let all of the natural light in. Regardless of what your alarm says or how sleepy you feel, it’s hard to stay in bed when you’ve got sunlight streaming down on your face. A healthy dose of vitamin D in the morning is good for your internal clock, signaling your body it’s time to wake up, and it’ll boost your mood.
Make your mornings something to look forward to. If you go to sleep dreading the ring of the alarm clock, you’re going to wake up the same way. To have a better morning, you have to change your outlook on it. Just rewriting your internal monologue and telling yourself that you enjoy the a.m. hours will help. But you should also add something to your morning routine that makes you happy—something that you can look forward to. It could be a quick 15-minute yoga session in the living room (bonus points for getting your body moving and your blood flowing) or even a breakfast that gets you out of bed (can’t you just hear the avocado toast calling your name?).
Are you a morning person? Share your get-up-and-go tips in the comments!