Whether it is break-of-dawn school start times or early work meetings, most schedules seem to accommodate morning people.
If you are wondering how to become a morning person, there are several factors to consider. Being a night owl is hardwired to some extent, due to a phenomenon called chronotypes. That said, there are tactics you can use to make yourself feel more comfortable in the morning. Here are some of the tips for you to wake up in the morning with a positive attitude and make the most out of your day!
- Maintain Good Sleep Hygiene
Before you start shifting your sleep schedule, it is beneficial to establish healthy sleep practices, commonly referred to as sleep hygiene. Sleep hygiene encompasses a set of habits11 that is said to promote better sleep, such as:
- Exercising regularly
- Avoiding caffeine, nicotine, and alcohol, especially before bed
- Avoiding afternoon and evening naps
- Finding relaxing pre-bed activities
Sleep hygiene also involves making your bedroom conducive to better sleep by creating a dark, quiet, and cool bedroom environment. It may help to use blackout curtains, invest in high-quality bedding, and clear the room of clutter.
- Develop a Nighttime Routine
A bedtime routine signals to your brain that it is time to fall asleep. This type of behavioral cue is all the more powerful when you perform the same activities in the same order, night after night, before going to bed.
Filling your bedtime routine with calming, restful activities can help your body wind down for sleep. Consider taking a bath, reading a book, journaling, listening to relaxing music, or doing some light stretching or meditation.
Dim the lights and avoid using any electronics during your bedtime routines, such as your smartphone, TV, or an e-reader. These devices activate the mind and trick your eyes into thinking it is still daytime, delaying sleep. Too much light in the evening may also make it more difficult to wake up in the morning.
- Gradually Shift Your Bedtime Earlier
Once you have adopted a regular sleep schedule, start shifting your bedtime earlier, using increments of 15 minutes. At the same time, adjust your alarms to wake up 15 minutes earlier. Make the change gradually, taking at least a few days in between each new shift.
- Exercise Regularly
Keeping a regular exercise routine is proven to help improve sleep. One group of researchers found that morning and evening exercise alike have a particularly profound effect on the circadian rhythms of night owls, and may help them bring their sleep cycles approximately 30 minutes earlier.
- Use Light Strategically
Light has a strong alerting effect that exerts a powerful influence on the circadian rhythm. Some research indicates that it may have a stronger effect on night owls. When night owls are exposed only to natural light, their internal body clocks shift earlier. Exposure to bright light in the morning is considered one of the best ways to become more of a morning person and shift your chronotype earlier. If you cannot go outside, sit by a window or buy a light therapy lamp that is designed to imitate natural light.