HOW TO BE A MORNING PERSON
Are you a morning person? When asked this, most people groan and complain about how they just can’t drag themselves out of bed any earlier in the morning. It seems that a lot of us struggle to get out of bed in the morning; we get up at the absolute last minute to quickly jump into the shower and rush to work.
But what about those people who get up at the crack of dawn and manage to fit in a workout, meditation and all sorts of other things before you’ve even snoozed your first alarm? Are they just freaks of nature? Were they born that way? Why are they able to begin their day in such a positive way?
Well, some people probably are born as “morning people” – they just find it easy to get up early, they even do it on the weekends and they never sleep in til lunch. But the majority of people who get up early have learned to do that – and you can too.
Here are our top tips for learning to be a morning person:
- Go to Bed Earlier
If you’re going to get up earlier, you can’t reasonably expect to still go to bed at the same time as you were before. That would be burning the candle at both ends, and while you could probably do it for a while, you would eventually crash and burn. So for every half hour earlier you set your alarm, you will need to go to bed half an hour earlier. If you find it hard to get to sleep if you go to bed half an hour earlier, try moving your bed time (and your alarm time) back ten minutes every couple of days.
- Get Good Quality Sleep
It doesn’t matter when your alarm goes off; if you’ve had a rubbish night’s sleep, you won’t want to get out of bed. Try to avoid all screens for an hour before bed; the blue light they give off stimulates your brain. That includes TV, tablets and mobiles! Why not go old school and read a book? Some e-readers have a white backlight that won’t stimulate your brain. Setting up a regular bedtime routine will help as well.
- Set a Good Alarm
Not all alarms are created equal! Some of us can set an alarm on our fitness tracker that will silently vibrate and that’s enough to have us leaping out of bed. Others need a little more help along the way. Do you need a recording of someone giving you a little motivational pep talk? Do you need to put your alarm on the other side of the room so that you have to get up and out of bed to switch it off? If all else fails, check out an app called Alarmy. Subtitled “Sleep if u can” it is nothing short of brutal and will definitely wake you up!
- Have a Morning Routine
Ok, so you’ve gone to bed early, you’ve had a good night’s sleep and you’ve managed to get yourself out of bed. What next? Have a big drink of water; we’re dehydrated when we’ve been asleep for several hours. Brushing your teeth is also a great way of waking yourself up a bit. Using some Mind over Matter balm can be a great way to put you in the right frame of mind as well.
- Plan Your Morning Workout
If you’re planning to get up early, plan what you intend to do with that extra time. If you’re just vaguely planning to get up a bit early and maybe do “something” that is not likely to be enough motivation to drag yourself out of bed when the alarm goes off! Exercising first thing might sound ghastly but if you know that’s what you plan to do, you can lay out your kit the night before, plan what you’re going to do (walk to the gym? Go for a run? Do a workout dvd in the living room?) and make sure you have everything in place. Don’t leave it until the moment the alarm goes off to think “hmm, shall I go to the gym?” because everyone knows that when you’re nice and cosy in your bed the answer will be no!
- Find Your Motivation
If you don’t really want to get up earlier in the morning, then it doesn’t matter how many articles like this you read; you won’t do it. We all need to find that one thing that will make us wake up at 5am with a big smile and a “yes! It’s time to get up!” In his book The Miracle Morning, Hal Elrod talks about how he began getting up early in the mornings, and how it allowed him to become fitter, healthier and more successful. He suggests six things to do every morning to start your day; you might find that he can inspire you to get out of bed with a smile!
- Adopt a Routine
It’s not very rock n roll, but having a set routine where you get up and go to bed at the same time every day – even on the weekend or your day off – is much more healthy and makes a new morning routine easier to stick to. You might think it’s bonkers to get up at 5am on a Sunday morning, but it will make Monday morning much less painful!
- Set Some Accountability
Tell people that you plan to get up earlier in the mornings. That might mean telling your mum, your work colleagues or even just announcing it on Facebook. But knowing that you’ll have to tell people “no, I just stayed in bed” is good motivation to do what you say you will! You could even join an accountability group on Facebook and all help each other to develop this new early bird habit. If you can’t find one, set up your own group!
- Book Early Appointments
If you don’t have work commitments or small children to make you get up early, book something in to ensure you don’t sleep in and waste the morning. Take the first appointment your GP or optician has to offer, or book in a PT session for as early as possible. If possible, make it something you’ll have to pay for even if you don’t turn up – money is a great motivator!
- Focus on How You’ll Feel Afterwards
On a freezing, dark morning when you really just want to hide under the covers until a more reasonable hour, getting out of bed to exercise feels like the last thing you want to do. But you know from experience that once you’ve put on your workout clothes and gone for that run or been the first person at the gym, you’ll feel pretty good about yourself – and rightly so. Whereas if you stay in bed you might get an extra hour of sleep, but you’ll feel a bit disappointed in yourself that you didn’t get up when you wanted to.
Anyone can learn to be a morning person; all it takes is a little careful planning. It’s also important to remember that while you’re still figuring out the best routine for you, you’re likely to have a few false starts. It’s not the end of the world if you end up hitting the snooze button; just reassess what went wrong and why you didn’t manage to get up, and then tweak your routine for next time. Remember: you only fail if you fall and don’t get back up.