When your alarm is blaring at 6am it can be difficult to leap out of bed with a smile on your face and ready to start the day, especially if you’ve had another late night. However, there are some rather intriguing people that enjoy waking up early and, strangely enough, actually do feel rested and ready to go come sunrise. They’re called morning people – and we want to be one. Not only does research suggest morning people are more successful and less stressed than those that prefer evenings, but their general health is better too. If you’re looking to make that transition, or simply reset your body clock after travelling or a few too many nights out, here’s how you can get started (and how you can stay on track):
1. Start slowly
Don’t throw yourself in at the deep end or you’re just setting yourself up for failure. Decide on your new wake-up time and work towards it by setting your alarm fifteen minutes earlier each day.
2. If you snooze, you lose
As tempting as it may be, don’t hit that snooze button! Research shows you actually feel more tired after getting those extra few minutes, as you’re repeatedly interrupting your deepest sleep cycle.
3. Tone it down
If you’re jumping out of bed because of an alarming (ha!) sound, the initial panic and scramble to turn it off gives you an unnecessarily manic start to your day. Change your alarm tone to something relaxing that builds in volume for a smoother wake-up.
4. Let it shine
If you’re feeling brave - and don't share your bedroom - why not sleep with your curtains slightly open so you can wake up with natural light. This is scientifically one of the best ways to wake up, as the light-sensitive chemical serotonin send signals to your body that it’s time to get in gear. FYI, this is the same chemical that keeps you up at night if you’ve been staring at a screen in the dark.
5. Shake it off
Get rid of the urge to go back to sleep by getting out of bed as soon as your alarm goes off – even if it’s just to stretch or get a glass of water. Try hitting the gym first thing in the morning – even light exercise like yoga will help get the blood flowing and give you the boost of energy you need to start the day.
6. Eat breakfast
Make sure you’re eating breakfast to avoid feeling lethargic. It’s best to have protein (like eggs or yogurt) first thing, as protein facilitates wakefulness. They don’t call it the most important meal of the day for nothing.
7. Motivate yourself
Start your day with something fun to make getting out of bed a little bit easier (and no, checking your phone isn’t fun). Think a breakfast date, bubble bath or quality playtime with your kids (or pets).
8. Forget about bedtime
Don’t concentrate on bedtime – wake-up time is the main priority so make sure you stick to it. Once you have your mornings sorted out, your body will let you know when your bedtime is – hint: it’s when you feel like you need assistance to hold your eyes open.
9. Don’t give in
Don’t nap! You’ll ruin all the progress you’ve made. Stick it out until the sun goes down to maintain your new sleep cycle.
10. Reduce your caffeine intake
This is arguably the hardest step as so many of us rely on coffee to survive, but it can seriously disrupt your sleep schedule. Say no to caffeine after 3pm to make sure it’s out of your system come bedtime.
It’ll take about two weeks for your new routine to set in but make sure you stick to it – and that includes weekends! Eventually you’ll be able to wake up without an alarm (shocking, we know) and you can allocate extra me-time in the morning for self-care, a good book or to take your time with your cup of coffee.