There are two types of people in the world: those who consider themselves morning people, and those who, well… don’t.
Pretty much every famous person in the history of the world did/does the early morning thing–from Oprah Winfrey to Ben Franklin, who supposedly said, “Early to bed and early to rise, makes a man healthy, wealthy, and wise.”
If you’re anything like me, even this knowledge doesn’t make waking up earlier seem all that appealing. However, a new collaboration of studies (from the University of Birmingham, University of Surrey, and Australia's Monash University) found that yes, you actually can change your morning habits and make the switch to becoming a morning person–in turn, “improving performance, mental health and sleep timing in the real world.”
So, if you're wondering how to become a morning person, these easy-to-adopt life hacks might be right up your alley.
Go to Bed Early
This might seem obvious, but if you’re trying to become a morning person this hack can’t be stressed enough.
If you tend to stay up late, it's highly unlikely that you'll get up early feeling awake and refreshed. We recommend setting your bedtime to around 7-8 hours before you want to wake up (or rather, need to wake up). In addition to helping you get more sleep, going to bed earlier can help you wake up at the right time during your sleep cycle.
Let the Morning Light In
When you first wake up, open all the shades and flip on every single light in your reach, immediately. It gets you out of bed, and makes it harder to go back to sleep. Doing this signals to your body, “Hey, it’s time to be awake!” and gently awakens your brain. Getting lots of morning light also helps reset your circadian rhythm and gets you feeling awake faster. When the light hits certain cells in your eyes, it starts a clock so you start feeling tired ~14 hours later
Bonus for leaving your blinds open so the morning light wakes you up. You may have avoided early morning light in the past, but you'll discover that waking up to the light is much more peaceful than waking up to a traditional alarm clock.
Shift Your Mindset
Getting up early will feel unpleasant at first if you're used to being a night owl. In order to succeed at anything new and hard, you must first shift your mindset.
Many people find it helpful to make the switch mentally from, “I HAVE to get up early!” to, “I GET to wake up early!” and stop the loop of negative thoughts involved with waking up early. You might be surprised how powerful your mind is, and how much control you have over your life once you shift your inner dialogue around sleep!
Make a Fun Morning Routine
So now that you’ve decided to wake up earlier, what are you going to DO with all that extra time? Everyone’s morning routine is different, so it’s up to you to find the routine that works for you and gets you excited about the.early morning. If it’s fun, you’re going to look forward to doing it!
Give yourself plenty of time to wake up slowly and peacefully. First, maybe turn on some music that you love. Get the coffee going, catch up on the news or practice some breathwork. Move your body, practice yoga or go on a little walk around your yard. Tell yourself, “We’re going to have a great morning.” and make the idea of getting up early less awful in your head.
Some fun morning rituals could include:
- Make your favorite smoothie
- Brew a strong cup of coffee or green tea (or replace with NAPJITSU NOW)
- Read a few chapters of a good book
- Listen to a great playlist
- Play a new podcast
- Cook a nice breakfast
- Practice yoga, meditation, or do a workout
Quit Caffeine In The Afternoon
Although every person is different, many studies show how disruptive caffeine can be to your sleep. According to some experts, caffeine after 2:00pm may keep you awake or can inflame your sleep patterns so that you frequently wake up in the middle of the night.
We suggest that if you are trying to become a morning person, you should cut out any caffeine-containing drinks or caffeine products after 2:00 pm, so your body has enough time to eliminate most of the caffeine before you go to sleep.
Eat Dinner Earlier
Since night owls are going to bed later anyway, it's no surprise that they eat later, too.
If you are trying to become a morning person, you may want to eat dinner about three hours before bedtime. This will give your digestive system plenty of time to digest so that when it’s time for bed, your body can focus on sleeping instead of digesting.
Make a Fun Nighttime Routine
It's all about how you prepare for your day the night before. One of the secrets of becoming a morning person is having a great nightly routine.
If you’re aiming to get the recommended 7-8 hours of sleep, you should work backwards from the time you want to wake up, and plan accordingly. So, if you want to start getting up at 6:00am, you should be winding down and starting your bedtime routine by 9:00pm the night before. This will give you plenty of time to wind down and enjoy the process of heading to bed.
Part of your nightly routine could include:
- Taking a bath
- Put on a face mask or give yourself a massage
- Reading in bed (no phones/blue light!)
- Listening to a sleep podcast
- Meditating or practicing breathwork
- Drinking tea/warm lemon water
- Picking out your clothes for the next day
- Tidying your room and making it cozy
- Take a dropperful (or 2) of NAPJITSU REST to calm your brain and body
Build a fun nightly routine that works for you, and try to remember that waking up with the sunrise is a gift, not a chore.
Take Back Your Mornings
You might feel like you're the type of person that isn't cut out for morning productivity, but there's no reason to sell yourself short. If you get into the right mind-set (and stop hitting that snooze button!) you can learn to enjoy mornings and take advantage of everything that being a morning person has to offer. We promise it’ll be worth it.
Here at NAPJITSU, we know what it feels like to battle the mornings and we created our powerful products for just that reason: to combat sleeplessness and help you get the REST you deserve. And if you do need a pick-me-up in the morning or early afternoon, there’s NOW and NAP.
Interested in learning more about the science of sleep? Here are a few blogs that might be right up your alley.
- The Countries Where People Nap A Lot (Even at Work)
- Taking Comic Book Napping Positions for a Spin–and a Snooze
- Testing the Sleep Habits of Famous Creatives