You donít have to naturally be an early bird to become one. Make the following changes to your daily routine and environment and give yourself a little time to adjust and you, too, can be one who effortlessly gets the proverbial worm.
1. Go to bed early.
Yes, itís a given, but itís important enough to emphasize; in order to wake up early and feel refreshed, you must go to bed early enough to get a full nightís sleep. Additionally, you should make your bedtime consistent every night in order to create a pattern that you will instinctively follow if repeated long enough.
2. Wake up at the same time every day.
Just as too little sleep makes you tired, too much sleep does the same thing. Plus, if you donít create a pattern for your body to follow, it will resist your early-bird intentions. Wake up at the same time every day, including weekends, until your body adjusts and ultimately, you may not need a wake-up call at all.
3. Get a relentless alarm clock.
The yin to the above tipís yang, you arenít likely to get up early if you can perpetually hit the snooze button. Find a fool-proof way to make sure you wake when you are supposed toówithout delayóand youíre on your way to morning person status.
4. Donít drink caffeine or excessive alcohol in the evening.
All your good intentions will be foiled if you drink the wrong beverages. Caffeine obviously keeps you perky, which is great up until the time youíre ready to go to sleep. Donít drink any after noon, especially when youíre starting out your new routine, to give you better snoozing odds. Alcohol, too, can foil best-laid sleeping plans. It may help you get groggy, but later it disrupts sleep, causing exhaustion that lingers into the next day.
5.† Exercise in the early evening.
While exercise gets the heart rate going and boosts energy, it also helps you get seriously restful sleepóso long as you give yourself enough winding-down time after your workout. Break a sweat right after work and youíll have plenty of time to get groggy before bedtime. Bonus: It helps eliminate the stress that might keep your mind busy when it should be snoozing.
6. Eat healthy early evening meals.
Food hangovers happen all the time. In fact, most of us are suffering from one at any given time. Unfortunately, the kind of foods you eat can disrupt sleep, too. While youíre not likely to change your diet just to accommodate sleep, you can and should eat on the early side so your body isnít overwhelmed trying to digest and dream.
7. Prepare for your day the night before.
Being a morning person doesnít have to mean you bound out of bed and whiz around. Any sleepy shortcomings you have can be overcome with some advance planning. Get your coffee at the ready, lay out your wardrobe for the day, and make your lunch the night before. Then youíll have less to do as you drowsily get into your new routine.
8. Reconfigure your bedroom for optimal sleep.
Sleep experts everywhere recommend that you make your bedroom a sleep sanctuary. That means you should keep stimulating distractions, such as the TV, smartphone, or computer, out of the bedroom and focus solely on soothing things that are conducive to getting your snooze on.