Maybe you’re not a morning person — but the problem is, your morning routine is making you crazy.
After haphazardly getting yourself and your kids ready for the day, you rush everyone out the door and find yourself drowsy and disorganized in the carpool, and you wonder if you could ever have a less-stressful morning. After all, who doesn’t want their mornings to be a breeze?
Thankfully, even night owls can make mornings a good time of day. But before you jump head-first into waking up early, you need to have a plan. Start with these five tips:
- Prioritize sleep…earlier
- Power down in the evenings
- Keep a schedule
- Give up the snooze button
- Wake up earlier to work out
The most successful morning people know that good mornings start in the evening. It’s difficult to wake up early when you haven’t gotten enough sleep. If you’re not a morning person, it’s likely you’re a night owl. The problem is, staying up until midnight every night makes it hard to get up early the next morning.
You should be aiming for about eight hours of sleep at night. Your sleep needs may be less or more than that, but aiming for eight hours is a good place to start. For the first few nights, it might be a struggle to get to bed earlier. Thankfully your body will adjust as you wake up earlier each morning. Pretty soon, you’ll notice you’re tired earlier in the evening, which sets the stage for you to become a morning person.
Are you watching TV or playing on your phone until right before you attempt to fall asleep? Powering down your screens in the evenings — including TV, tablet, and phone — can actually help you fall asleep faster and sleep better. You might think that’s because you have the tendency to stay up way too late browsing social media, but it also has to do with blue light. The blue light emitted by your electronic devices can interrupt your circadian rhythm, which affects your sleep and ultimately your health. Aim to turn off all screens at least an hour before you go to sleep.
Morning people know you feel best when your internal clock is running the show. The only way to set your internal clock is to keep a sleep schedule. Go to sleep and wake up at the same time every day. Even on weekends. Keeping a sleep schedule lets your body know when to rest and when to wake up. Pretty soon, you’ll start waking up before your alarm clock, which means your days of hitting the snooze button are behind you.
Speaking of the snooze button…we all know it’s a crutch that lets you stay in bed longer than you really should. Also, you’re not getting quality sleep when it’s interrupted every five minutes by your alarm. Instead, stop using the snooze button. When your alarm wakes you up, get up and get moving quickly. Your bedroom is a relaxing place. So, get out of it. The more you scroll through your phone first thing in the morning, or put off getting out of bed, the more groggy and tired you’ll feel. Get moving quickly to start your day out right.
People who work out early in the morning are more likely to stick with a workout regime than those who don’t. Not to mention that exercise first thing in the morning will boost your mood and prepare your brain for the rest of the day. Early morning exercise will elevate your body temperature and adrenaline levels for several hours, which means when you’re normally slogging through your morning routine, you’ll be more alert and ready for whatever the day brings.
No matter how impossible it seems, you can become a morning person. All it takes is a few simple habit changes and soon you’ll be skipping the snooze button altogether. Talk to your doctor if you have concerns about your sleep, or if you need more ideas on how you can improve the quality of your sleep.