Morning people seem to have it all together before noon, and that’s a serious goal of mine…
Ever since my college years I’d always admired morning people. Anyone who had the ability to just wake up and somehow be alert and ready to take on the day seemed like a modern day superhero.
Not that I was partying all the time or a straight A student, but juggling between classes, a part-time job and club activities meant no fixed sleeping pattern but still having to get up at 8 AM in the morning.
I wanted to be a morning person myself, it just seemed easier to somehow figure out how to be fully aware before noon than not. So, I sought out to unearth the secret to being a morning person. And, in the process, I gathered the best tips and tricks to become the almost mythical morning person.
The transformation from being a night owl to a morning person was definitely not easy, but I had to learn to manage it as many of us have to do as we grow up. Since I’ve always been a bit of a hyperactive person who still is a night owl, making it to the next day without missing half of it has always been one of my top priorities, even to this day.
As a result I’ve gone through tons of articles on this topic over the years with solutions ranging from ‘stop hitting the snooze button’ to ‘FDA approved pills that will surely fix your bio clock’ on various blog sites and websites including popular ones like wikiHow, Buzzfeed, Reddit and more.
After trying many of these methods and foregoing others, I decided to compile a list of some of the best techniques that have worked for me and people that I know of. Here are the best techniques that I’ve found most effective in being a morning person after a month of scribbling and scratching on my notebook!
Even though it’s not going to be an easy romance but once you have read through this article, you should have a clear idea on how to be a morning person and love it.
Combine Exercise & Meditation
While it might seem a bit clichéd to put this on top of the list over the others, I have a couple of very good reasons to do so, not just because I’m a serious fitness nut.
The first thing that you need to understand is that sleep stems from exhaustion and relaxation of both the body and mind. Unless both of them are sufficiently exhausted or relaxed, it’s very difficult to fall asleep.
While most of our daily routine involves a lot of physical stress, for most of us who have trouble sleeping at night, our mind remains too busy and alert to slowly drift into sleep.
I find that the best way to remedy this is by doing 20-30 minutes of meditation right before sleeping. While certain postures are certainly required for deep meditation, meditating while lying down on your bed to clear your head of unnecessary thoughts can be done very easily using basic breathing exercises and auto-suggestions. We cover much of this in our article about how to fall asleep fast, you should give it a read.
This transition from a relaxed state of mind and body to sleep is the best way to have deep uninterrupted sleep without drifting off to an uneasy slumber for the rest of the night.
For the last couple of years meditation has been a part of my daily routine, and it has benefitted me much more than just helping me sleep better and easier.
If your daily routine isn’t too physically taxing then exercising a bit to wear yourself down is definitely an excellent idea that even personal trainers and physician attest to.
However, most people make the mistake of working out immediately before sleep, taking a shower and then hitting bed for the night. This is a big no-no because the body needs anywhere between 30 to 45 minutes to cool down to its normal temperature after a workout session.
So, schedule your workout session at least an hour and a half before sleep and half an hour before dinner to get the maximum benefits of working out before hitting bed to fall asleep quicker. Top it off with a short 20 meditation session and I guarantee you that even 4 hours of sleep will leave you feeling refreshed and energized.
Meditation is a great way to wake up and spend the whole day with a positive mind-set. When you start off the morning in a good mood, you will see that good things will tend to happen to you throughout the day as you remain more composed and relaxed.
Create A Proper Routine For Yourself
If you thought waking up, going to work, coming back home and going to sleep is enough of a routine, you might want to evaluate your lifestyle a bit. While the randomness of things happening in life has its charms when we’re in our early twenties which most of us can relate to, during the late twenties and early thirties this can be bad for the health.
I’m assuming that you can definitely remember being more energetic and healthy when you were younger, as well as being able to function for 2-3 days straight without any sleep at all (who can forget those dreaded group assignment deadlines!) in extreme cases. But as we grow older, our body can’t keep up with all the torture we put it through when we were younger.
Thus is best to make a fixed routine for yourself to help your bio-clock settle into sleep earlier than what you’re currently accustomed to. Schedule your meals at fixed times and try doing activities that don’t involve you staring down at your smartphone during the evening hours; make some time to work out or just simply read a book if you’re a book worm, just ensure you’re not staring at any bright light source for extended periods of time before going off to sleep.
One solid piece of advice that I’ll give from my personal experience is that don’t have a set time to go to sleep. Instead, just set up a flexible time range within which you’ll go to bed like, let’s say, within 11 PM to 1 AM.
To keep things fun and interesting, shuffle the activities in your daily routine. Just because I work out regularly doesn’t mean that I do it before hitting bed every day.
Sometimes I do it after coming home in before go out somewhere in the evening, or skip meditation before sleep and do it after I’ve woken up early in the morning. Just make sure you’re hitting bed at the time range you set for yourself. Making an exception on weekends or in the middle of the week is all right, just make sure you don’t slip back into irregular sleeping hours.
Get A Good Alarm Clock
Just because you can hit the snooze button doesn’t mean you should hit the snooze button. But your mind doesn’t register this simple fact when you wake up groggy and leaden-eyed in the wee hours of early morning or dawn, so naturally your hand reaches for the snooze button of your smart-phone or alarm clock before you even know it. And then the cycle keeps repeating itself for the next 15-20 minutes which really puts a damper on your morning routine and mood.
One of my close friends was hard-pressed to find a good solution for her morning snoozing habits as it simply drove her husband nuts since the poor guy came in home late every night as his working hours start a bit later than usual. So naturally, as her bestie it fell upon me to find a good solution with her as we browsed through the seemingly never-ending stream of smart alarm clocks online.
Now, it’s time for a quick disclaimer. I know this article is about how to become a morning person without hating it but these handy dandy gadgets are pretty fun and while annoying at first they will get you on the right track with an established routine.
For the bestie, we found an excellent solution for her in the form of the Ruggie Alarm Clock, a one-of-a-kind veritable enemy of early morning snoozers which absolutely refuses to shut down until someone is standing on it with both feet on the Ruggie.
The Ruggie isn’t the only option tough, the Lock N' load Gun alarm is another innovative smart alarm that refuses to shut down until it detects a laser beam that is emitted by a gun-like transmitter from a distance. There are loads of fun smart-alarm clocks like these online, just find one that suits your fancy and budget.
Lighting: Keep Mornings Well-Lit & Evenings Dark
Earlier on I mentioned that when you choose daily activities for your routine that you should avoid doing activities that involve you looking at your smart-phone screen. To clarify it a bit more, you should avoid bright lights altogether during the evening hours. To keep it short and simple, this is because the light- sensitive cells that are located in the retinas of our eyes are responsible for fine-tuning our bio-clock.
The more bright lights you’re exposed to during the evening and night hours, the more your body and mind is tricked into thinking that this is the prime time to stay awake. Try using dimly lit ambient lighting for your home and if you have evening engagements, try making plans in restaurants and clubs with soothing and dimmed lights instead of bright and glowing lights.
Whenever I used to stay at my Nan’s when I was a kid, I used to hate waking up with the sun in my face early morning as like all adolescent kids I loved sleeping late into the morning during vacations. Years later, I was stunned when I realized the wisdom in this simple method. If you go to sleep with your blinds and curtains open, the light and gradual heat of the sun goes a long way to give you a nudge to wake up.
Though it might be unpleasant at first, I will still vouch for it whole-heartedly as it saved my internship more than once back in the day. Also, these two habits will help you a lot when adapting to your daily routine, especially if you’re opting for an ‘early to bed early to rise’ sleeping pattern.
Eating & Sleeping Effect Your Routine
While most of us know how caffeine can affect sleep and sleeping pattern, we’re mostly unaware of the fact that our diet also plays a large part in it. A shockingly high number of Americans don’t develop any proper sleeping pattern until their late thirties.
Dinner is a very important part of our everyday meal yet most of us ignore its importance by not maintaining regular eating hours or eating too light thinking that since we’ll be sleeping after we eat, our body won’t require much energy. This is a very wrong notion as the body actually breaks down the various nutrients it collects from our food intake and breaks them down into compound form to supplement the body with those nutrients.
As a result, it is best to load up with a heavy carb-based meal before sleeping. Also, no one can claim that they ever had a good night’s rest with an empty stomach.
It goes without saying that if you’re a caffeine-addict that you seriously need to cut down on your caffeine consumption as this the prime reason millions of Americans stay wide awake till late at night. Another thing, if you have the quaint habit of drinking some wine or whiskey before sleeping, please stop. While initially it might seem very helpful as alcohol can knock you out in an instant, alcohol seriously impedes the deeper stages of sleep which is much required for proper rest.
So, what are your thoughts? Do you think you’re ready to eliminate or add some things to your routine in the ultimate quest to become a morning person? Let us know in the comments!