How to Become a Morning Person

Chances are, if you say you’re not a morning person, it’s probably because you wake up feeling bad; you’re cranky, slow, lethargic, etc.  Waking up this way doesn’t actually mean you’re not a morning person: it actually means you did not get a good night’s sleep.  It does not mean that you’re not born to be a morning person, so much as it means you have the habits and/or a lifestyle that results in you not getting enough hours of sleep.  This is typically due to going to bed late or not resting enough for how much you’ve been working.  You should be aware that if you had a particularly exhausting day, or series of days, then it may take several days of good sleep for you to recover–waking up tired is a sign that your body needs rest, not a sign that you’re not meant to wake up early.  

The solution is therefore to go to sleep earlier and get the rest that your body is telling you that you need.  Some people think this is an impossible task, but here’s one reason why it’s not: If you fly to another country in a different timezone, you may start off feeling horrible and jet lagged, but eventually, after days, weeks, months at most, you will adapt to the new timezone.

Adjusting your natural sleep and wake up time is like traveling to another timezone, without actually traveling: you need to shift your habits and decision making, and act like it’s 1AM when it’s 11PM. Instead of setting an alarm in the morning to forcefully interrupt your body’s resting period and wake up, set an alarm for 15 min before you want to go to sleep, and when that alarm rings, go into your pre-sleep routine, shutting down all distractions, and wind down the day to go to sleep.  This will allow you to wake up naturally, and improve your overall health.  I like to write down how many hours of sleep I get per day, so if I see a few days go by of not enough sleep, I’ll be sure to schedule in some more time for sleep to make up for it.  (Approximate sleep needs are: Adults, 7-9 hours; 10-17 yr olds, 8.5-9.25; 5-10 yr olds, 10-11 hours.  Try to sleep in 1.5 hour increments, as that’s how long your sleep cycles last, read more )

Getting to sleep early is difficult.  It is a battle between the short term gratification of staying up late and the desire for a healthy improved life.  Winning this battle has two stages, first you have to decide that sleep is a priority, so that given ideal circumstances and self control, you actually want to choose sleep over whatever fun options may be available. You have to want to become a morning person; the reason you want it can be anything, but the fact that you want it needs to be there.  Next, you use self awareness, will power, and self control to make the choice to sleep when the time comes.

In the end, modifying your routine and waking up early is worth it for several reasons: 1. because you’re getting enough sleep, you’re healthier, physically as well as mentally and emotionally.  2. You’re waking up naturally or very close to when you would wake up naturally, so you feel well rested instead of exhausted when you wake up.  3. On the rare days that you wake up unusually early, you get to jump start your day and be extremely productive before the time you or anyone else is usually awake.  It also comes with another advantage: “Take an extra hour for yourself in the morning. Work will just be part of your day, rather than the reason you got out of bed.” – Actual Advice Mallard (link here)

Read my resource to Understand Sleep next!

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