Whether we are a night person or a morning person is ingrained in our DNA. Most people know which one they are and it can be difficult to make the switch. But it is not impossible. There are a number of steps you can take to maximise your morning routine and get you well on your way to jumping out of bed at the sound of your alarm clock. Read on for some handy tips on how to rewire your brain into becoming a morning person.
Adjust your bedtime
This may sound obvious but heading to bed earlier can allow your body to wake up earlier. Whether you are a night owl or refuse to settle for less than 8 hours a night, resetting your inner sleep schedule can help you become a morning person. In order to guarantee the highest degree of success, sleep experts usually recommend bringing your bedtime forward by as little as 20 minutes each night. This can gradually trick your brain into believing you are going to bed at the same time each night. This timeframe can be extended over time, but it must be a gradual process. This can allow you to obtain the correct amount of sleep each night and reduce tiredness levels throughout the day. Knowing when and how to wake up can allow you to adjust to a new sleep schedule over time.
Reduce your screen time
Reducing your screen time throughout the day, and before bed, can allow you to fall asleep quicker and wake up earlier. Exposure to incandescent light can suppress melatonin. This hormone is responsible for controlling your sleep-wake cycle. A lack of melatonin can lead to sluggishness, irritability, and even insomnia. Using your smart device before bed can also prevent you from falling asleep by keeping your mind psychologically active and operating whilst your body is attempting to fall asleep. With conflicting areas of interest, you may find your body twitching or your mind wandering whilst you try your best to get some kip. Cutting down on time spent on electronic devices before bed can reduce your chances of developing screen fatigue and can help you become aware of how to wake up.
Plan a night-time routine
Your ability to fall asleep largely depends on your brain activity prior to the sleep process. If you are preoccupied with the consequences of a bad day or find yourself worrying about an important meeting tomorrow, your brain is unlikely to allow you to drift off. You must construct a nightly routine to allow you sufficient time to switch off from work mode and re-enter sleep mode. There are several steps you can take to achieve this. Some find meditation helpful in creating a relaxing atmosphere before bed. Other methods include running a warm bath, reading, stretching, aromatherapy, journaling, listening to music, and deep breathing. These activities can send a signal to your brain to let it know it is time to wind down for the day and fall asleep.
Plan a morning routine
As well as establishing a night-time routine, you should also give yourself something to look forward to when you wake up in the morning. Whether the thought of a yummy breakfast makes you jump out of bed in the morning or your dog is nagging you for a walk, having something to look forward to can increase your chances of waking up early voluntarily. A workout can also kick your day off to a great start and provide you with a sustained source of energy to carry you throughout the day. Meditation or yoga is another common activity many people rely on to set them up for the day ahead.
Just as harsh screen lighting can prevent us from falling asleep, comforting lighting can help send us on our way to the land of nod. Our body contains an inner clock that helps schedule and control our circadian rhythm. This is the natural, internal process involved in the regulation of our sleep-wake cycle. It repeats itself every 24 hours and responds to changes in our external environment. Lighting can be a key contributing factor in the functioning of our circadian rhythm. When our bodies are exposed to calming lighting, they can release a series of sleep-inducing hormones to speed up the sleep process. Blue light tends to wake us up whereas red light is likely to send us to sleep. By mimicking these colours in our own lives, with lamps or artificial lighting, we can trick our bodies into falling asleep quicker and waking up earlier.
Change your dinner time
As well as adjusting the time you climb into bed, bringing forward your meal times can also allow your body to fall asleep earlier and wake up sooner. Most night owls have dinner later in the evening as this still provides their bodies with sufficient time to digest food. Eating dinner earlier, in particular, can give your body enough time to digest and begin the process of resting and recharging to ensure you are as ready as you can be for the day ahead. Most experts recommend eating your final meal a minimum of 3 hours before bed. Caffeine consumption must also be limited and curbed after a specific time. This time differs from person to person and depends on a series of factors such as intolerance and physical activity levels. Late afternoon tends to the universal time limit for coffee consumption if you still want to achieve a healthy sleep schedule.
Use a smart alarm
The sound of an alarm clock can elevate your blood pressure and trigger your fight or flight response. Switching it up on a regular basis or reimagining it as a fun activity can not only allow you to wake up easier but can aid the entire process. Some alarm clocks also only allow you to access the snooze button after you have solved a brain teaser or mathematical problem. This forces you to wake up and put your brain to use the second you open your eyes. This can speed up the waking up process and ensures you are alert enough to make informed decisions immediately. Setting your alarm to a different song each day can also add a layer of spontaneity and impulse to your morning routine. Whether you find yourself dancing to the song or feel compelled to turn it off can have an impact on the speed you wake up in the morning.
Becoming a morning person can be difficult. Whether you take to the switch like a duck to water or fake it until you make it, going to bed earlier and waking up sooner can have a significant number of benefits for your overall health and wellness. By resisting the urge to close your eyes go back to bed, you can find time for previously neglected tasks and maximise your day. Research has proven that early risers tend to be more proactive throughout the day and benefit from increased productivity and morale in the workplace. Find out whether or not the early bird really does catch the worm by establishing a calming night-time routine to allow you to wake up with the larks.