5 Tips for Becoming a Morning Person
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This article is written by our guest author Cora Gold.
Do people who walk into work smiling without so much of a cup of coffee in hand grind your gears? Maybe you find yourself battling the clock every day after pressing snooze once too often.
Even though some people do have patterns of brain activity that make them more alert later in the day, you can make behavioral changes to reset your rhythms if work demands you rise before noon. Here are five tips for becoming a morning person.
1. Consistency Is Paramount
Human beings are creatures of habit. You get better at anything you do every day — including waking up and going to sleep. Part of sound sleep hygiene entails turning in and rising at roughly the same time.
This rule applies to weekends, too — but that doesn’t mean surrendering your day of rest. If you need a little extra shuteye to catch up, take it. However, that doesn’t mean to keep hitting the snooze button until 1:00 p.m. Rise at your accustomed hour, take a nap later in the day to restore your energy levels and skip the 3 p.m. doldrums that drive you to snack. You’ll get some extra Zzzs while whittling your waistline, a win-win in nearly anyone’s book.
2. Use Natural Light to Your Advantage
Your circadian rhythms — the internal clocks dictating your sleep-wake cycles — are more sensitive to light before bedtime, through the night and up to an hour after waking. You can use the sun to help you become a morning person. You might not need to do anything more than open your blinds before bedtime during the sunnier months of the year.
What happens when winter comes, driving many to commute to and from work in the dark? How do shift workers manage? One workaround is to invest in a light-emitting alarm clock. These innovative devices slowly illuminate your bedroom, imitating daybreak and making it far more pleasant to rise than it would be in a darkened space. Plus, you can pick them up for less than $100 at many retailers.
3. Workout in the Morning
Do you hit the gym after work and dinner? Doing so might slim your waistline, but it could also make it more cumbersome to get your Zzzs.
If possible, you should give yourself at least 90 minutes between your workout and hitting the sheets. Otherwise, you might find yourself too keyed up to rest. Better yet, try getting your workout in during the morning. Doing so could make you less likely to skip out on exercise if your day gets hectic later. Think of it as kicking your brain into gear for the day, as physical activity will increase blood flow to this master organ.
4. Change Your Dinnertime
Sitting down to a gigantic turkey dinner at 8:00 p.m. might not have the intended effect of putting you to sleep. You do feel a bit groggy after a large repast — think post-Thanksgiving naps — but digestion could wake you up soon after you fall under.
As a general rule, it’s wise to leave approximately three hours between your last large meal of the day and bedtime. Doing so allows your stomach contents to travel to your small intestine. That way, issues like acid reflux won’t interrupt your slumber. Lying down too soon after a big meal can cause digestive juices to flow back into your esophagus, causing heartburn.
5. Alter Your Mindset
There is some truth to the saying, “you are what you think.” Engaging your imagination won’t turn you into a billionaire or supermodel overnight. However, it can influence your sleep-wake cycle.
Every time you say, “I’m just not a morning person,” you’re reinforcing that view of yourself. Instead, take a tip from dialectical behavioral therapy and examine that belief, offering alternate interpretations. You might counter such thoughts with, “I control my sleep-wake cycles,” or, “I turn in early to get the rest I need to perform at my best.”
Yes, You Can Become a Morning Person
Even if you come alive at night, you can train your circadian rhythms using these five tips to become a morning person.
Cora Gold is the Editor-in-Chief for women’s lifestyle magazine Revivalist. Her passion is to inspire others to live a happy, healthful and mindful life – wholeheartedly convincing them that everyday moments are worth celebrating. Keep up with Cora on Twitter, Pinterest and Facebook.