Our Experts | Anna Lemmon
If you aren’t a morning person, you’ll completely understand when I say that mornings are awful and no one should be awake before 8 a.m., ever. As this is a bit pessimistic and unrealistic, I’ve been trying to change my routine and my outlook to become a dreaded… “morning person.”
As much as I will never really enjoy an early morning, I’ve begun to loathe them less and appreciate the head start to the day. I’ve noticed a shift in how much I get done in a day, my attitude, eating habits and more.
Below are some of my own tried and true methods of getting out of bed earlier and starting my day with a bang (okay, sometimes a thud as I roll out of bed onto the floor):
- Setting your alarm. Seems pretty simple, right? But for your alarm clock to be effective, you shouldn’t be able to hit the snooze and drift back into sleep. Set your alarm clock to the most painful ringtone you can find (mine is Pinball on the iPhone), turn the volume all the way up, and put it somewhere that forces you to roll out of your warm blankets and into the cold world.
- Waking up. To wake myself up in the morning, I like to drink a glass of water and open the curtains to let in the sunlight (if there is any). I help myself out by filling the glass and putting it on my nightstand the night before. Sometimes upbeat music on my phone helps pep me up while I get ready, or this can be a great time to stimulate your brain with something of value, like an audiobook or podcast (see some suggestions here).
- Cutting prep time. Putting water on my nightstand isn’t the only thing I do before bed. It’s also immensely helpful to pick out my clothes for the next day and pack a lunch the night before, too. For breakfast I always make an easy meal shake that is quick and can be consumed during my commute.
- Get your blood flowing. I have adopted morning workouts and stretching. Yes, it’s hard to get up and motivate yourself, and no, I don’t do it every single day. But once you get yourself into a routine, especially with something you really enjoy like yoga or zumba (I like Blogilates), it’s a lot easier to get up and do it. It’ll help wake up your mind and body and have you feeling refreshed and happier to start your day.
- Get to bed earlier. It’s hard to adjust your sleep schedule, but once you start you’ll get used to it and begin getting tired earlier at night. You also need to unwind at least an hour before bed; this is easiest done by turning off your phone and TV. It’s hard to function without enough sleep, and you definitely will not get in the swing of a morning routine if you’re constantly exhausted. It also helps if everyone in your household shares a similar (or earlier) bedtime so you can get uninterrupted shuteye.
I’ve also heard of people starting their day by plotting out their to-do list, meditating, having a strict morning routine and of course, guzzling coffee.
I know night owls are just as productive as morning people – hey, I used to be one – but studies have shown early risers tend to be happier overall with their lives, and I would have to agree. I love being able to get my exercise out of the way before work, I notice feeling more energized and focused, and it definitely puts me in a better mood than when I hit the snooze button repeatedly.
What are your best tips to becoming an early riser?