If you would’ve asked me a few months ago whether I was an early bird or a night owl I would’ve answered without hesitation that I would much rather spend my waking hours at night time as opposed to being up with the sun. I was one of those people who never got out of bed before 10 if I didn’t have to, and on days where I had no choice except to be up early for school or work, I shook my head in disdain at all those who actually seemed to enjoy being up at such hours. However, this year my schedule demanded that I be up early most days, and before I knew it I became one of them: a morning person. Considering that throughout all my years of school I’d always had to get up early and had always hated it, I assumed I would just forever lead a life of not being a morning person. So I surprised even myself when I realized that I had actually started to appreciate and even (gasp!) look forward to waking up early in the morning. Now this past weekend as I was reflecting upon these things (at 7 am, as I no longer can sleep in past 7:30, even on the weekends), I realized that there were a few key contributing factors that helped make my transition possible. So I’ve arranged a list of 5 Tips for doing the impossible and becoming a morning person, without drinking any coffee at all.
- Prepare the night before– Nothing is worse than when you have to get up early and you’re rushing around the house trying to remember everything you need for the day. So be proactive and take ten minutes the night before to run through everything you’ll need in the morning; pick out an outfit, pack your work/school bag, make your lunch, etc. It takes hardly any time at all to do these simple things right before bed and it’ll make your morning that much more simple when you already have everything you need packed up so you can easily head out the door.
- Go to bed early– This one seems like a no-brainer but many people often forget it. If you know in advance that you’ll have to be up early the next day, make sure you’re getting enough sleep the night before. Prioritize your work so that you’re completing it throughout the day and that way you aren’t burdened with trying to finish all the tasks on your to-do list late at night when you know you need to be sleeping.
- Wake up to your cell phone– I don’t mean just setting your alarm on your phone, although I do that too, I mean actually opening up an app like Facebook or Instagram and taking a few minutes to scroll through your feed. It may sound silly, but this is actually one of the fastest ways I come out of my morning drowsiness when I first wake up. You see, studies have shown that the blue light emitted from your cellphone screen actually tricks your body into thinking its morning and interrupts the production of melatonin, thus making you no longer feel sleepy. So while using your phone right before bed is a terrible practice, since it makes it harder to fall asleep, using your phone when you first wake up is a simple way to shake the grogginess and gather the energy to get out of bed without pressing snooze one more time.
- Give yourself plenty of time– One of the biggest reasons that I used to hate mornings is that I was always rushing around. Rushing to get dressed, rushing to gather my things for the day, rushing to eat, rushing to leave the house on time so I wouldn’t be late. So it’s no wonder that I never appreciated or enjoyed mornings; I never had time! Now when I need to get up early, I often will be up a solid hour and a half before I actually need to leave, even though it usually takes me less than 30 minutes to get ready. However, in my spare time I now have the opportunity to make myself a nice breakfast, spend a little more time on my makeup, read part of a book, knock out a bit more homework, or even just sit and enjoy the peaceful silence.
- Be consistent– I would say this is probably the most important step if you want to officially make the transition into a morning person. Even though I technically only had to be up early 4 days out of the week, and two of the days I could have been up an hour later than the other two, I still set my alarm for the same time every day of the week. It’s a lot easier to get up early when it becomes a regular routine, as opposed to sleeping in until noon on Tuesday then trying to wake up at 6 am on Wednesday. It might seem hard at first, especially when all you want to do is take advantage of the days when you don’t have to be up, but if you start making it a habit to be up early then you’ll find it rapidly starts being a lot easier.
I hope that for those of you looking to find a way to make getting up in the mornings more bearable that these tips are helpful to you, as I know they’ve certainly been helpful to me! And since I’ve made the switch to being an early bird, I find that I start my day feeling more energized and refreshed, I get some much needed alone time before my roommates get up, and I often get more things done by noon than I would finish in a whole day when I used to sleep in. So for all you night owls out there, I definitely recommend giving it a shot! It has been a very positive experience for me so far and I think it could be for you as well :).