We go to bed with the best intentions: to wake up with enough time to enjoy breakfast, catch up with friends or go for a run before breakfast. But all too often those intentions slip away when the 6 am alarm rings. Instead of jumping out of bed to greet the dawn, we crawl under the pillow for just a few more minutes of zzzs.
We know this might be shocking, but mornings really can be the best part of your day.
How, you ask? With our 8 steps to leaving your night owl ways behind and becoming a morning person.
Get more snooze time. Easier said than done. Not only do we wish for more sleep – our minds and bodies need 7 to 9 hours each night. You may think you’re too busy to fit in more time between the sheets but consider the health consequences of sleep deprivation.
Instead of sacrificing sleep, create a sleep routine that’s realistic and doable – every night. Your future self will thank you.
Set up a soothing sleep environment. Do a critical review of your bedroom environment to ensure its optimized for sleep.
Create a bedtime routine – and stick to it. Just like setting your alarm to wake up, set an alarm to remind you to go to bed. An hour before you plan to sleep, turn off electronics and dim the lights. A cup of tea, chatting with your partner or reading quietly will help your brain relax and prepare you for sleep.
Tired? Just go to bed. We’re creatures of habit and wandering off to bed at the same time each night can help us stick to a sleep routine. But when we’ve had an exhausting day and are physically drained, stretching out bedtime won’t do you any favours. Don’t ignore your body – if you feel tired, get some shut-eye.
Avoid the snooze. If you wake up feeling groggy, even after plenty of sleep, it’s because a REM (Rapid Eye Movement) cycle has been disrupted. Our deepest sleep usually lasts between 70 and 90 minutes, and this is the point in the sleep cycle where we dream. When REM sleep is disrupted, grogginess and disorientation can occur. When your alarm rings, try to allow yourself to wake slowly instead of drifting back to sleep.
Get moving. When it’s time to wake up, force yourself to physically get out of bed. Even if it’s just walking around your bedroom or brushing your teeth, moving will help your brain and body wake up quicker. When you lay in bed, even just checking emails, you’re allowing yourself to let the grogginess take over, which can lead to a grumpy start to the day.
Work out. Don’t roll your eyes at this one – we’re serious! Doing a quick workout, such as yoga or a short jog will release toxins from your body and get you going for the day. Doing it first thing in the morning will energize you for a productive day and prepare you for a good night’s sleep when it’s time to go back to bed.
Look forward. All work and no play make for a blah week. Plan for productivity but schedule fun things into your week so it’s not all work. Give yourself a reason to get out of bed each morning, focusing on what you love about the day ahead, not just the must-dos.
If you’re a night owl, waking up early and enjoying mornings is an acquired taste – and it takes time and dedication. The good news is that small changes over time can create a new you that is happy, energetic, and positive, from the moment you open your eyes at first light.
Better sleep gives rise to better mornings, bringing your goals into focus and dreams within reach.
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