10 Tips to Become a Morning Person

Have you been missing all those early bird worms? Wish it were easier to rise and shine? Although genetics may play a role in whether you’re a morning person or a night owl, sometimes life just doesn’t allow you to sleep on your preferred schedule. If getting up early is a struggle, here are 10 tips to help you become a morning person.

1. Gradually change your bedtime

First things first: If you’re groggy every morning, it’s key to determine whether you’re getting enough sleep (or whether there’s an issue with your sleep quality). The average adult needs seven to nine hours of quality sleep each night, according to Mayo Clinic.

To train your body to love mornings, you’ll both have to set your alarm for earlier and go to sleep sooner each night. Sleep.org recommends following the “rule of 15.” Go to bed 15 minutes earlier every night to gradually adjust to the new schedule. “It might seem like a minuscule change, but stick to it and you’ll be in bed an hour earlier after just four nights,” Sleep.org says.

2. Use evenings to wind down

It won’t be easy to fall asleep earlier each night if you aren’t relaxed. So use your time in the evenings to wind down, allowing your body to begin its natural sleep process. Sleep.org recommends turning down bright lights, as they can suppress the sleep-inducing hormone melatonin. And that also goes for bright screens — TVs, phones, tablets, etc. Try to power down at least an hour before you go to bed, and you’ll likely notice it’s easier to fall asleep.

3. Set up your bedroom for optimal sleep

woman sleeps with eye mask on

Because quality sleep is critical to feeling alert first thing in the morning, it’s ideal to do everything you can to facilitate it. Rule out any health issues that might be affecting your sleep. And make sure your bedroom is set up for the best sleep possible. For instance, don’t skimp on your bedding and block any light and noise that might interrupt sleep. Plus, consider a wake-up light alarm clock, which simulates the sunrise, to gently stir you from your slumber.

4. Wake up — and get up

Speaking of that dreaded alarm clock, resist the urge to hit snooze. Catching an extra 15 minutes of shut-eye might sound nice, but it actually can make you even more tired upon waking. That’s because what you’re getting is fragmented sleep, not an entire sleep cycle.

If you really can’t get up with just one alarm, try this tip from Healthline: Set two alarms, one when you need to get up and one 90 minutes prior to that. “The theory is that the 90 minutes of sleep you get between snoozes will be a full sleep cycle, allowing you to wake up after your REM state, instead of during,” according to Healthline.

5. See the light

Light is the enemy when your body needs to wind down for sleep, but it’s also your best friend come morning to make you feel alert. Once you’re exposed to light, your body’s melatonin production slows, bringing you back to a wakeful state. “So open all the blinds as soon as you wake up if it’s light out, or turn on all the lights if it’s not,” Sleep.org suggests.

6. Reach for water, not coffee

a person drinks a glass of water

Your body might become a little dehydrated throughout the night, especially if you don’t drink enough during the day. And with dehydration comes fatigue. So Healthline recommends drinking a glass of water first thing in the morning to hydrate and jump-start your metabolism.

Furthermore, if you drink caffeine, it’s better to avoid it until a little later in the day. When we wake up, our cortisol levels rise to naturally increase wakefulness. And adding a caffeine jolt to the mix might make a person too jittery, negatively affecting the body’s natural rhythm.

7. Embrace morning exercise

“You’re telling me to set my alarm earlier, and now I have to exercise, too?” Yes, if you’re not a morning person, exercising as the sun is rising might sound plain awful. But it actually could be the key to you ultimately enjoying early mornings.

You don’t necessarily have to jump out of bed and do a HIIT workout. Instead, try a little yoga to activate your muscles and release some endorphins. And Healthline recommends including cardio in your morning routine, as “research consistently correlates aerobic exercise with reduced fatigue.” If you really want to boost alertness, take your cardio outside to get some sunlight exposure, as well.

8. Eat a healthy breakfast

Morning people know the value of a healthy breakfast. The right food choices can boost your energy immediately and continue to combat fatigue throughout the day. Healthline recommends avoiding sugary foods that can cause you to crash even before your day gets started. Instead, reach for foods that fight fatigue, including whole grains, nuts and seeds. You can even initiate a reward system with yourself. Create healthy breakfasts you enjoy so much that you’ll look forward to waking up for them.

9. Face your stressors right away

a woman sits in her bed meditating

Maybe you’re not a morning person because you dread your daily to-do list. But there might be a way to make your tasks seem less intimidating. According to Forbes, successful people take time to meditate each morning, visualizing their goals for the day. “Research has shown that even two minutes of visualization and positive thinking can improve your mood and clarity for the entire day ahead,” Forbes says.

Once you’re clear on your priorities, face your most stressful task first, instead of letting it weigh on you all day. “You will feel a sense of relief and be more ready and willing to tackle any trivial task that follows,” according to Forbes. Plus, alleviating that stress should help to boost your energy, and having clear goals in the morning might be the motivation you need to get up and move.

10. Don’t sleep in on weekends

If you want to maintain your morning person routine, you can’t revert back to being a night owl on weekends. Consistency is key for your sleep schedule. That means no staying up past your bedtime on weekends, even if you can sleep in the next day. “Doing so can all-too-easily erase whatever progress you had made toward establishing a healthy sleep schedule, leaving you wide-eyed on Sunday night,” according to Sleep.org. Limit any extra sleep to an hour at most, and marvel at all you can get done on the weekends when you get out of bed.

Main image credit: bunditinay/Getty Images

89 comments

Mely Lu
Mely Lu11 days ago

Tyfs

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Barbara S
Barbara S13 days ago

Thanks for sharing

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Hannah K
Hannah K13 days ago

Thanks

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Shae Lee
Shae L15 days ago

Thanks for sharing

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Amparo Fabiana Chepote
Amparo Fabiana C16 days ago

Thanks, good article, I needed this since I am an owl, have to change my clock. I am creative at night, but doesn't help in my eating habits.

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Rauni H
Rauni H17 days ago

thanks

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Christine S

thanks

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heather g
heather g20 days ago

I've always been more of a night-owl. The pollution and noise nearby are better tolerated with ear-plugs and while I am comfortably in bed.

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Paula A
Paula A21 days ago

Thanks

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Marija M
Marija M21 days ago

I am a morning person...tks for posting.

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