8 Ways To Become A Morning PersonPosted on: August 8, 2013Categories: LiveWell 24/7
People are about as hesitant to change their sleep patterns as they are their political parties. But truth be told, the morning isn’t a part of the day that you want to miss. It’s dark during the night because our bodies are supposed to be in a deep slumber, but when the sun comes up and the birds start chirping, so should we.
Except it’s not so easy because you’re either a morning person or you’re not. But not so fast –what if you could change your routine? What if a night owl could become a morning person? Research shows that it may be worth making the switch.
Researchers in the United Kingdom found that those who sleep past 9 am on weekdays tend to be more stressed, overweight, and depressed than those who get up by 7 am. One study found that those who wake up earlier tend to be harder workers than night owls. Here’s how to make the switch:
The Night Before
Your entire nightly routine should be designed to help you fall asleep at a reasonable time. It should be relaxing and not involve too much stimuli.
1. Say no to screens.
Once I turn off my laptop off after a day of work, I don’t turn it back on to do online shopping or check social media. I do this earlier in the day, preferably in the morning so that it doesn’t impact my sleep patterns. The same is true of the television. Entertainment-wise, stick to reading at night because screen-time has been shown to cause issues with sleep.
2. Yes, you should go to bed a little hungry.
Stop eating at least three hours before you go to bed and don’t snack after dinner. Your last meal should also be smaller. Your liver does its work breaking down your food and beverages in the night and if you eat excessively it will disrupt your sleep.
3. Make it a sanctuary.
Treat yourself to relaxing music, comfy cloths, and a cup of chamomile.
The Next Day
4. Track your sleep.
According to Colette Haward, MD, from the American Academy of Sleep Medicine, it’s important to know how much you sleep each night. To find an accurate number you’ll need to track when you go to sleep, when you fall asleep, and if you get up in the middle of the night. Basically, you may be getting more or less sleep than you think you are, so it’s helpful to keep a journal.
5. Determine your sleep needs.
Now that you know how much you’re sleeping, find out how much you actually need. The number is much more variable than you actually think. When you’re on vacation, or at least a few days when you don’t need to be up at a very certain time, see what time you wake up without an alarm clock.
6. Be vigilant.
Now that you know how much sleep you need, make sure you go to bed early enough to get that amount, likely between 7 and 9 hours.
7. Dump your snooze button.
Many of us like to snooze but this kills your inner morning person. Here’s why: it takes time for us to fall into the deep sleep that we need for rejuvenation and maintenance but if your alarm goes through four snooze rounds every morning, you’re never really falling back into deep sleep. Break the cycle by putting your alarm in the other room and resisting the urge to hit snooze.
8. Reward yourself
If you want motivation to wake up, reward yourself with something that you love. Maybe you could watch that tv show that you wouldn’t let yourself watch the night before. Or hit a yoga class, your fav coffee shop, or read a book. Basically, you want waking up early to be a positive experience.