All of my life I’ve never really been a morning person—and not for lack of trying. I’ve always wanted to be someone who could get up with the sun and tackle whatever challenges the morning might throw my way. But when it comes down to it, I just love my sleep. So as you can imagine, it was a pretty rude awakening (pun intended) when, after becoming a mama this past summer, I was suddenly thrust into a world of 5am wakeups. Luckily my alarm clock is pretty darn cute, but it’s still taken a while for my body to adjust to this new schedule.
Now that I’ve had time to get used to it, there’s something I really love about being an early riser. Getting up early has allowed me to take better advantage of the daylight hours (which means more time spent outdoors) and made me feel more productive overall. Plus, studies show that early risers may be healthier, happier, and even slimmer than those who sleep in. So today I wanted to share a few of the tricks I’ve learned for turning yourself into a morning person.
Move your alarm clock off of your nightstand
If you are forced to get out of bed to turn off your alarm, you’ll be less likely to crawl back under the covers. So I suggest setting your alarm clock or phone as far from your bed as possible. Once you turn it off, take a minute to stretch and ease your entire body into an active state.
Beware of the snooze button black hole
Confession: There used to be mornings where I would press snooze every 10 minutes for an hour straight. And every time it would happen, I would end up feeling doubly frustrated with myself when I realized that I could have just set my alarm for later and gotten a solid hour of sleep instead of a disrupted one. If you can really press snooze just once, go for it. But otherwise I say avoid it altogether. Be realistic with yourself about what time you’re going to get up, and then stick with the plan. In my current case, I guess it helps that babies don’t come with a snooze button!
Let the light shine in
I used to draw my blackout shades every night to allow myself to sleep in past the sunrise. But I realized that if the morning light is telling my body it’s time to get up, it makes sense to just go with it. Our brains are naturally very sensitive to light and temperature, which means you won’t sleep as well after a certain time of morning. Tricking your body into thinking it’s still nighttime may actually be disruptive to your natural sleep cycle.
After a full night’s sleep, you’ve gone several hours without hydrating, which can lead to fatigue. So starting your morning with a nice tall glass of water, lemon water, or herbal tea makes for more than just a pleasant morning ritual. Lauren swears by drinking a big water bottle before each meal (including breakfast) to make sure she is staying hydrated throughout the day.
Have a morning ritual
The best way to transform yourself into a morning person is to make mornings something you look forward to instead of dread. When I used to wake up late and have to rush to make it out the door on time, there was nothing to like about mornings. Now, I have enough time to sit and enjoy a cup of tea and a proper breakfast before my workday begins. (Getting to see the sun come up is pretty magical too.) Taking a morning walk around your neighborhood or strolling to your local coffee shop is another great option.
Get a head start
Having some time to relax in the morning is great, but it can feel just as amazing to start your day off on a productive note. When I manage to sort through my entire email inbox or log in a workout before 9am, I feel so accomplished and it sets the tone for the rest of the day. Even better, it usually means that I’m able to end my workday a little earlier and just enjoy my evening.
Keep it up
Once you get into the habit of waking up early, try not to break the streak. Obviously it’s OK to give yourself a little bit of a break on the weekend, but if you end up sleeping in until noon it will be much harder to get back into your good habits come Monday. Motivate yourself by signing up for a Saturday morning workout class or making plans with a friend for an early-ish Sunday brunch.
I hope those tips help! And it goes without saying that if you are going to be waking up earlier, you should also start going to bed earlier too. But I find that if I wake up early for even just a couple days in a row, my body naturally wants to turn in earlier in order to get the sleep it needs.
Do you have any more tips for turning yourself into a morning person?
Would love it if you shared them!