You hear a lot, especially around the new year, about early birds getting worms and how important it is to start your day off right with all these morning rituals. But what if your morning ritual is sleeping as late as possible, then snapping at everyone in your path until your triple shot of coffee kicks in?
Here are a few strategies to train yourself to be a morning person.
Get enough sleep.
This is the number one most important factor to waking up fresh: getting enough sleep. Try to normalize your sleep routine. Start going to bed religiously at a certain time that leaves you sufficient sleep before your desired wake-up time. Be consistent. Try to sleep and wake up at the same time every day. If your desired schedule is really far from where you are now, start working back to it slowly, in 20 minute increments until you’re in the groove.
Make waking up a gentle experience.
Turn off that honking awful alarm and switch it to something more soothing and fun that makes you want to get out of bed. If you can, leave your blinds open so you will get a flash of natural light to help jumpstart your body clock.
Protect your time.
Having enough time to do the things you need to do in a day and still take care of yourself can be difficult. Learn to say “no” to added activities and obligations. Slash an hour out of your day that’s just for you (to sleep!).
Create your own rituals.
Give yourself a bedtime ritual and follow it religiously. Turn off your electronics for at least an hour before turning in. Lay out your lunch and clothes and materials for the morning. Make your to-do list for the next day. Have a soothing cup of tea and get into a cozy robe. Make sure you have a nice sleeping area as well—new sheets never hurt at times like these!
Give yourself treats for accomplishing your early rise. Some ideas: set up all the elements to create your favorite breakfast, or save a podcast to listen to while you’re in the shower.
Maintain a healthy lifestyle.
There’s no underestimating eating right and exercise in your new sleep pattern project. Exercise boosts energy—particularly when done in the early morning, and so does feeding your body the good things that it needs. Especially protein. You’ll be setting yourself up for all kinds of success—not just with your sleep schedule.
Give yourself a reason.
Keep your mind on why you’re trying to carve out this new habit. Eyes on the prize. Make it mean something to you and you’re more likely to stick with it.
Try an app.
If you need a little outside intervention, try an app like Better Me, or Sleep Cycle, or Wake n Shake.