How to Become a Morning Person

As humans, we all struggle with a lot of common things. Losing weight, eating healthy, working out, not procrastinating, and waking up in the morning.

Becoming a morning person might be in your best interest if you, like many people, have an early morning schedule. Most people need to get up between 6:00 and 7:00 in the morning to have enough time to get ready and get to work. Learning to wake up earlier can help you have an early start to your day, get to work on time, and leave you with more energy from following a routine.

The Importance of Quality Sleep

Just like eating healthy, exercising, and drinking enough water, sleep is an important part of our physical health that you may be forgetting about. Your body needs sufficient sleep and quality sleep in order to perform important internal functions.

Why Your Body Needs Sleep:

Many things in your body need sleep, like your brain, lungs, heart, and muscles. When you're sleeping your whole body slows down. Your heartbeat and breathing get slower, your temperature drops, your muscles relax, and even your brain activity takes a beat. 

All your systems decide to take a much-needed break while you're asleep. One system that especially needs this break is your brain. While you're sleeping more cerebral spinal fluid pumps through your brain than when you're awake. This spinal fluid literally cleans out the regular, everyday buildup in your brain and might even help prevent Alzheimer's disease.

Your body is also able to focus more of its efforts on healing and repairs while you're asleep. Because other functions are able to shut down, your body can work overtime fighting off illness or repairing muscles from everyday wear and tear or exertion. 

1. Get into a Routine

The number one best way to successfully become a morning person is to establish a routine that you stick to every day of the week. The best way to successfully stick to a routine is to make your routine something you actually look forward to. 

You are going to want to set both a morning and evening routine. It might look something like this:

Morning Routine Example

It's also a good idea to schedule some daily exercise into your day first thing. This will make you feel more productive, get your body energized and ready to go.

7:00 AM: Stretch

7:10 AM: Make the bed

7:15 AM: Drink a glass of water

7:20 AM: Brush teeth 

7:25 AM: Shower 

7:45 AM: Get dressed 

8:00 AM: Start the day! 

Evening Routine Example

The purpose of an evening routine is to wind down at the end of the day, relax, calm yourself, and prepare your body and mind for sleep. Avoid doing activities that wake you up, and search for activities that relax your body and mind. 

8:00 PM: Tidy up 

8:30 PM: Prepare for the next day

9:00 PM: Get into sleepwear

9:10 PM: Plug in your phone

9:15 PM: Read a book

9:45 PM: Go to bed 

Make your mornings worth waking up for by planning things that make waking up worthwhile. 

Think of your favorite way to get going, and put that in your morning routine. Then think of your favorite way to wind down and relax, and put that in your evening routine. 

Here are a few examples to get you started on your own list: 

  • Create a morning and evening playlist for how long you have to get ready in the morning or for bed.
  • Use your morning or evening time to write a daily journal entry.
  • Go through emails. 
  • Read a book.
  • Schedule some family time.
  • Meditate.
  • Listen to podcasts.
  • Do a simple puzzle.
  • Read the news.
  • Water the plants. 
  • Walk the dog.

If your body is on a schedule, it'll perform better during the day, and make things like falling asleep, sleeping well, and waking up when you need to, easier. Wake up at the same time on weekends too so you never throw yourself off.

2. Get a New Alarm

The way you wake yourself up can also have a large impact on how easy it is to get out of bed in the morning. It's common for alarms to be, well . . . alarming. 

But waking up so abruptly is actually not the best way for your body to wake up, according to a study done by the National Institute of Industrial Health. It's better to wake up gradually, and more naturally.

There's a reason waking yourself up naturally on a Saturday is so much easier than getting up to a loud alarm sound all at once. This study found that "self-awakening" was a better, and even healthier way to wake yourself up each day. 

Use a Natural Alarm Clock

There are some alternative alarm clocks you can use to help yourself wake up more gradually in the morning. You could also keep your window blinds open a little when you go to bed at night so that the morning sun will help wake you up. 

  • A sunrise simulator alarm
  • Morning sounds alarm clock
  • Leave the blinds open to wake up natural lighting
  • A quiet, gradual alarm that builds in volume over a period of time
  • Set the timer on the coffee pot to wake you up with good smells
  • Set your smart home devices to turn on lights at a certain time

3. Exercise Daily

You might not think about this, but exercising daily can actually help you sleep more sufficiently. Working out keeps your body fit and helps regulate your body. You'll find healthy sleeping patterns easier when you stick to a healthy fitness pattern. 

Many people have argued that your body receives the most benefit from exercising in the mornings. If this routine works for you then go for it, but recent research also suggests that just working out at the same time each day is enough to see all those benefits. 

4. Eat Right

If you haven't figured it out yet, your overall physical health can greatly impact how much quality sleep you're able to get each night. The same thing goes for eating well. 

According to studies done by the American Society of Nutrition, your diet can impact the quality of your sleep. Eating a balanced diet full of diverse, healthy foods is important to your body's overall wellbeing and ability to function at full capacity, even in its ability to sleep efficiently.

Avoid Food and Caffeine Before Bed

Drinking caffeine too close to bedtime can keep you from falling asleep on time. Likewise, eating too close to bedtime can have a lot of adverse effects, like acid reflux, heartburn, restless sleep, nightmares, and even weight gain. Unless weight gain is something your body needs, then eating later in the day might be a good weight gain tactic for you. 

Your metabolism is yet another thing that needs to slow down and take a break throughout the night. This is why the first thing you eat in the day is called breakfast because you're breaking the nightly fast your body needs to reset for the next day. 

5. Go to Bed on Time

You can't get great sleep if you don't give your body enough time to do what it needs to do while you're asleep. That is why your goals should be set toward getting quality sleep each night. Understanding sleep cycles and how they work can help you make that happen.

You'll ensure you get quality sleep each night by sticking to a strict bedtime that allows you to get plenty of sleep each night. 

Get quality sleep each night by doing the following:

There are different tactics you can use to help you sleep more comfortably, and therefore more soundly, each night. 

  • Wash your sheets every 2 weeks
  • Shower before bed to get clean and wind down
  • Research what mattress is best for you
  • Get a sound machine
  • Get a humidifier
  • Get a fan
  • Keep your room cool and your bed warm

Get enough sleep each night for your age group:

Different age groups need different amounts of sleep each night. Make sure you are getting adequate amounts of sleep for your age group.

For example, newborns need the most sleep. They need around 14 to 17 hours every day. Infants need 12 to 15 hours, toddlers need 11 to 14 hours, preschoolers need 10 to 13 hours, and school-age children need 9 to 11 hours of sleep every night. 

As you get older you need a little less sleep. Teenagers need around 8 to 10 hours each night, young adults need 7 to 9 hours, adults need 7 to 9 hours, and older adults need around 7 to 8 hours of sleep each night. 

6. Limit Screen Time Before Bed

The lights from the screen of your phone, computer, tablet, or TV can strain your eyes and keep you awake at night. But cutting out some relaxing phone scrolling before bed can be hard to do. 

There are two ways to make limiting screen time before bed easier. You can either replace evening screen time with a screen-less activity that you find equally enjoyable or you can turn on night mode and blue light filters on your screens to help reduce the strain on your eyes. 

Many devices even come with timers you can set so your phone will automatically turn the blue light filter on in the evenings. But don't give up too quickly on finding other things to do before bed that don't involve screens. 

Instead of watching TV or being on your phone before bed, you could read a book, draw a sketch of the day, take a soothing bath, write in your journal, or have a bonding talk session with a loved one. 

At the very least you can turn things on night mode, on blue light filters, or turn the brightness down on your screens to give your eyes a much-needed break. 

7. Don't Do Work in Bed

This idea can apply to a lot of things, like drawing, writing, reading, watching TV, and even eating, but the main idea is that you should use your bed for sleeping, and not use it as a kind of bedroom desk or seating area. 

This is because using your bed for more than just sleeping can actually train your brain to stay alert in that place. If you work in your bed, then your bed becomes a place to think about schoolwork or other things. 

Instead, set up a comfortable desk space that you can use to take care of things like homework and other personal business. 

Become a Morning Person: the Hard or Easy Way?

There is an easy and a hard way to become a morning person. 

The easy way involves easing your way into waking up earlier and earlier each day until you reach your goal wake-up time. 

The hard way would be to force yourself to wake up at the correct time and then force yourself to stay awake throughout the day and go to bed at your new time, similar to how you might act if you have jet lag and want to quickly adjust to your new time. 

In Conclusion, 

Whichever way you choose, becoming a better morning person can be helpful in your career and personal life as you become more productive and well-rested.