How To Become A Morning Person
“You are so lucky you are a morning person.”
I can’t even begin tell you how many times in my life I have heard this, and it’s not really even true.
I am NOT a scientist or a doctor, but all the studies I have read have been inconclusive as to how much our genes are involved in making us “night owls” or “morning people”. We do know that we all have slightly different chronotypes that make our personal preferences differ somewhat. These chronotypes change with our age, and we can also adjust them by adjusting our HABITS.
So even if you are a die hard “night owl”, you CAN make changes in your life to make it easier and more enjoyable to become a bit more of a morning person.
Being a morning person doesn’t just magically happen for most people.
It certainly doesn’t for me! I can, and have fallen into the “stay-up-late-pry-myself-out-of-bed-as-late-as-possible” cycle. Trust me, I am not a happy person in the morning when that happens. Just ask my poor husband. I am quite a grump.
Becoming a morning person really comes down to two things:
- Getting enough, good quality sleep.
- Creating a morning that you look forward to rather than dread.
So, here is a list we have put together to help you accomplish those two things and become a bit more of a morning person.
Who knows, maybe you will find that you absolutely love mornings!?
- Get outside and into the sun during the day. Without sunglasses. Sunlight stimulates the body to produce serotonin, which in turn helps produce melatonin as it gets dark later in the day. This sets our circadian rhythm to begin functioning properly.
- Stop drinking caffeine well before dinner time. I know so many people that insist caffeine doesn’t affect them, but most of those people stay up fairly late, and have to pry themselves out of bed the next day. Chances are, if you are looking for ways to become a morning person, you ARE affected by caffeine whether you realize it or not. Even if you can fall asleep easily, the quality of your sleep can be dramatically lessened. So, if you are struggling to get up in the morning, why not switch to decaf in the late afternoon?
*Tip! For anyone who might really struggle with a big afternoon sleepy spell- Try liquid chlorophyll instead of a caffeinated beverage. This one tastes great and gives me a wonderful kick of energy when I need an afternoon lift!
- Create an evening routine that winds you down for bed. Next week, I will have a new video that details my nighttime routine for you to watch.
- Stop anything electronic after dinner, or use orange glasses. The blue light from electronic devices (Cell phones, TV, Laptops, Kindle, etc) make your body think it is still day time, and therefore it doesn’t start producing melatonin like it should. I rarely watch any TV, but my husband and I do really enjoy an episode or two of our favorite shows after the kids are in bed, so I compromise and use these orange glasses while we watch. My rule is to start using the glasses as soon as it starts to get dark in the summer, and any time after dinner in the winter. While they are not the most attractive, they are super inexpensive, comfortable, and work like a charm. Plus, they have afforded us many fun snapchat photos and laughs! Again, just like caffeine, many people insist that electronic blue light “doesn’t affect them”, but unfortunately blue light affects the human body much more intensely than caffeine does. The quality of your sleep is just as important the length of your sleep.
- Go to bed at roughly the same time every night.
- Aim for at least 7 hours of sleep, but preferably more like 8. Everyone thinks THEY are the exception to the 8 hour sleep rule. I’ve got news for you. Adults need at least 7 hours for their brain to work properly, and most of us need more than that! I personally thrive on 8-9 hours and if I get that consistently, I can easily handle a short night a couple times a month. (Right now, that mostly means a bad night with the kids, and only rarely a fun dinner party that goes late. It’s just the season of life I happen to be in right now.) You may be able to function better on 5 hours of sleep than your spouse does, but that doesn’t mean you don’t need more than 5 hours of sleep!
Also, remember that if you turn off your lights at 11, and get up at 6, that DOESN’T necessarily mean you are getting 7 hours of sleep. Most of us don’t fall asleep immediately, so give yourself 15 min or so extra to fall asleep. Lights off at 9:30 is my favorite because I fall asleep well before 10, and get a little over 8 hours by the time I get up at 6.
- Sleep with blackout curtains if you live in the city or anywhere there is artificial light. This is all about circadian rhythms you guys. If we bombard our bodies and eyes with blue electronic lights all evening, then sleep in a room with street lights peeking in through the cracks of our shades, our circadian rhythm will be ALL messed up. (This is so important, especially for women’s health.) Wearing an eye mask can help a little, but your entire body registers the light, so you really need a completely dark room. Night lights are really rough on your body and sleep cycles, so if you or your kids really need one, get an orange or red colored light that will not affect your body as negatively. Our bodies are designed to sleep while it is dark, and be awake when it is light, so we might naturally go to bed a little earlier in winter and later in the summer.
*For people who have to work during the night, blackout curtains are a must to get good quality sleep during the day!
- Wake up to a pleasant sounding alarm clock. I like to use my phone, and program one of my favorite pretty songs to wake me up in the morning.
- Wake up at roughly the same time every day. Studies have shown that weekend sleeping in does NOT really do your body any favors. I occasionally fall into the trap of sleeping in on a Saturday, and ALWAYS ALWAYS regret it. My kids get up and wake me up, then I miss out on any quiet time, and they are whiny and hangry before I have even had a sip of coffee!
- Open your drapes or blinds in the morning to let in sunlight if it’s the right time of year.
- Create a MORNING routine that you look forward to! This was sooo key for me. I used to hop out of bed, and make myself start crossing things off my to-do list. I liked the early start I could get on my tasks, but ultimately it burned me out and left me very unmotivated to consistently get up early every day. We have detailed instructions on how to create your own morning & evening routines in our course, The Well-Run Home.
- Make a list of things that would make your morning awesome, and try to incorporate as many as possible into your morning routine. My list looks something like this:
- Quiet time without kids
- A cup of steaming coffee with lots of cream that I SIT DOWN to drink (ie- not drinking it while I rush around doing things)
- Two super fluffy bath towels (I can’t stand trying to dry my hair with the same towel I dry the rest of me off with.) Random, I know, but THIS IS ALL ABOUT YOU, and what makes you happy.
- A big nourishing breakfast that doesn’t take forever to prepare. The key to this is just a little quick planning ahead the night before!
- Listening to an interesting story or podcast while I go about my morning routine. I adore listening to music, but upbeat music first thing in the morning tends to make me a little on edge, and soothing music makes me want to go to sleep, so I like to listen to a story or podcast first thing, then switch to upbeat music after breakfast when I start my tasks for the day.
So, your list might look very different. You may hate a big breakfast, and only want tea and toast. That’s fine. (Just please don’t skip breakfast entirely!) You may love to work out in the mornings. I personally would rather have my fingernails pulled out! 🙂
Just make your list, and incorporate it into your mornings as much as possible.
Once you have started getting adequate sleep, created a morning routine that takes the stress and rush out of your mornings, and incorporated a few luxurious rituals into your morning, you might just find that you are a morning person after all!