For most of us, it seems like there’s never enough time in the day.
This is especially true for those of us who enjoy our sleep and have difficulty dragging ourselves out of bed. But if you want to make more time in your day, you need to get up earlier.
So what’s a habitual snooze-presser to do?
There’s no other way around it:
You’ve got to become a morning person. Yikes!
It’s not as difficult as it sounds, though. You can, if you commit, trick your brain into thinking that early mornings are the best part of the day.
With these seven steps, you’ll forget that you ever listed sleeping in as your top goal for the weekend.
1. Let There Be Light!
Since the days of hunting and gathering, people have seen light as a signal to wake up.
It’s a biological process: As soon as your brain registers daylight, it lets the rest of your body know that it’s time to start the day.
But with blindfolds and light-blocking window shades, it has become easy to ignore the sun.
Morning people don’t try to fight the light. They embrace it willingly. Some people get up even before the dawn breaks! (I know, can you believe it?)
You, too, can use this natural biological process to help you in your journey to becoming a morning person.
As soon as you awake, turn on the lights. The light source tells your brain that it’s a new day, and therefore time to get to work.
As you wake up earlier and do this more consistently, your brain will get in the habit of automatically waking you up at a certain time.
2. Create a Schedule
Schedules can be hard, especially if you’re someone who prefers flexibility over routine. But to transition into a morning person, a schedule is essential.
Give yourself a loose morning routine at first, rather than a strict schedule. This allows for more compromise and flexibility.
But, loose procedures don’t mean that you have carte blanche to take as much time as you please. You still need to stay on track.
You can hold yourself accountable by using a time tracking app on your phone. These apps remind you of what you’re supposed to be doing and call you out on your time-wasting activities.
So, if you spend too much time lying in bed, looking at social media, the app will alert you. It’s like having an accountability partner connected to your hip!
3. Give Yourself Something to Look Forward To
When you have a busy schedule, one of the first things to fall by the wayside is your me-time. As our responsibilities start seeping into our day, it’s human nature to put ourselves last.
But, you can regain your personal time by waking up a bit earlier.
Think about it this way:
The ten (or twenty, or even thirty) minutes you spent hitting snooze could have been spent better. You could have read a chapter of that book you’ve been meaning to read!
Instead of wasting time in bed, get up without hitting snooze. Find something that you wish you had time for during the day and do that.
Make it part of your morning schedule and you’ll look forward to hopping out of bed.
4. Pay Attention to Your Meals
Whether you eat a junk food diet or skip meals because you want to drop a few pounds, it’s easy to eat poorly.
Food is non-negotiable, though. It’s the fuel your body needs to function.
After a solid night of sleep, this is extra important. A protein-filled breakfast should never be skipped.
Protein keeps you feeling full longer and curbs the urge to snack. It gives you energy and keeps your muscles healthy.
While nutrients like protein are a must, other ingredients need to be avoided. Limit your caffeine intake to the earlier part of the day. Otherwise, you might spend the night tossing and turning!
As a morning person in the making, watch out for heavy meals at night. When you eat before bed, your body is forced to digest that food while you’re asleep, which disturbs your slumber and makes it harder to get up.
5. Skip the Midday Nap
Sometimes, we just have rough days where we wish we were back in kindergarten. Don’t you miss naptime?
Even if you get the opportunity to partake in an afternoon siesta, try to push through and refuse it. There are certain benefits to napping, but it can also mess up your nighttime rest.
If you must nap, set a timer and limit it to 20 minutes. Otherwise, you’ll fall into a deeper stage of sleep, and it’ll be harder to wake up.
6. Set Goals
A lot of us think that, if you’ve got nothing to do and nowhere to go, why get up early?
That’s not how morning people think. They aim for productivity, so they wake up early to get more done.
You can shift into a morning person by setting goals. When you have a goal, you’ll wish there was more time in the day for you to achieve it.
Goals give you something to strive for, be it short, medium, or long-term.
You may not work on them first thing in the morning, but by adding that extra time into your day, you can steadily move towards those goals.
7. Learn How to Get a Better Night’s Sleep
Not all morning people go to bed early, but if you can, that’s great. If you’re friends with insomnia or just enjoy staying up late, then the sleep you do get needs to be rejuvenating.
Try these tactics to get a better night’s sleep so you can wake up feeling refreshed and rested:
- Have a quiet place to sleep without interruptions
- Use a bedtime relaxation app to fall asleep
- Stay cool, but not cold
- Stop looking at your phone 30 minutes before bed
- Get enough exercise during the day
Adjusting your habits, even slightly, can make a huge difference in the quality of your sleep. The shift from a restless night to a peaceful slumber eases you into becoming a morning person.
Becoming a morning person is a transition. As with anything new, there’s an adjustment period to expect.
As you follow these seven steps, keep in mind why you wanted to make the change. Focus on the good things that are happening with the extra time in your day.
Before long, you’ll be an early riser!
About the author
Jenny Bullock graduated from Stephen F. Austin State University and currently works with Broadstone Briar Forest to make life better for their residents every day.