Waking up early is considered a sign of success in most parts of the world. Most people relate waking up early to catch the worm.
You might also have heard, “Early to bed, early to rise; makes a man healthy, wealthy and wise.” (The same goes for women).
Yet, sometimes our educational, work or personal circumstances cause a shift in our sleep schedule. When you tend to sleep at a particular time for a long period, it becomes your routine. Being a night owl, it can be quite difficult to wake up early in the morning.
Yet, it is not impossible!
It requires a bit of patience and a whole lot of consistency. You can become a morning person in no time if you are determined.
Why can I not Wake Up Early?
Staying in late and waking up during the night has never been considered a good habit. Yet, studies now show that besides habits, some people’s bodies work differently than others. While many people feel more productive during dawn, others are more energetic at night. None of the two is better than the other; it represents two unique Chronotypes.
Chronotypes refer to the pattern your body follows to sleep and wake up. The circadian rhythm dictates our sleep-wake cycles. It is a biological function to control neurotransmitters and hormones in the body, thus regulating sleep. Most people feel energetic during the day and sleepy at night, while others are the opposite. This variability is known as a chronotype. Some people have an early chronotype, and some have a late chronotype. If you fail to wake up early, you might have a late chronotype. Staying up all night may also lead to insomnia and depression.
Yet, you can follow a few tips if you want to change your routine. Here’s all you need to do to become a morning person.
How to Wake Up Early
Changes in Mindset
Any change in your schedule or life requires you to be sure of it. When looking for ways to become a morning person, the first change is your shift in mindset. Instead of “I will sleep in a while” or “just 10 minutes more,” give yourself a deadline. You cannot be happy about waking up in the morning if you do not wish to, so first, configure how to stay happy. You will feel tired and exhausted all day and keep wondering, “I am not a morning person.” It is vital to think, “I am becoming a morning person.” It will allow you to push yourself towards achieving your goal quickly.
The most important part of achieving anything is creating a schedule and sticking to it. Make a schedule according to your feasibility. You might want to start sleeping as early as 10:00 pm. However, that’s not possible immediately if you sleep past midnight. Make changes in your sleep schedule gradually. Let’s say you usually sleep at 03:00 am. Break your goal into milestones. Start by trying to sleep half an hour earlier, followed by an hour and so on.
As mentioned above, waking up early is directly connected to sleeping in time. You do not want to be lethargic all day!
After you have created your schedule, make sure to act on it. Do not delay sleeping but ten minutes every hour. Stick to the routine without any leniency. Sleeping early will not only help you wake up early timely but also impact your circadian rhythm.
Create the Environment
Have you seen that babies usually go to bed if you turn off the light even during the day? That is because parents train them to believe that darkness means sleep time. Waking up during the night and sleeping during the day disturbs your biological rhythm. Your body assumes that it’s the day when your lights are on at night.
Create a suitable environment when you are making an effort to wake up early. Put off your lights in the evening to create a nighttime environment, and turn on lights in the morning. It will enable your body to adjust to the changes. You may also leave the curtains open at night to wake up when the sun comes up.
Set an Alarm
Most of us set alarms before going to sleep but often fail to wake up. One tried and tested method is to set more than one alarm with a gap of five minutes each. You might snooze one or two, but continuous alarms will push you to get out of your bed. Reduce the number of alarms eventually.
Move Your Alarm Clock
Another way to ensure you do not keep lying in bed in the morning is to keep your alarm clock away. How will you snooze it when it is not next to you? Keeping the alarm clock at a distant place in the room will require you to get up to stop it, and there you are! Ready to conquer the world.
Pull Your Curtains
We are sure that you can at least wake up once and get up out of your bed following these techniques. Yet, the battle doesn’t end here. You might want to go back to sleep after getting up to shut your alarm clock. So, the first to do after waking up is to open your curtains. Pull your curtains to let the warm sunshine into your house or apartment. It gives an instant energy boost, and you might not want to get it to bed again.
Inverted snoozing is an excellent method for waking up early, yet unknown to many. Inverted snoozing means snoozing your alarm clock to wake up instead of sleeping. You may go back to sleep on the next alarm if you feel tired. Let us explain that to you.
In this technique, you push snooze on your alarm clock but push yourself to wake up. Get up, open your curtains, turn on your coffee maker, brush your teeth, wash your face, etc. You will likely not feel sleepy anymore.
Workout can work as a dual-stimulant when you wish to become a morning person. Hitting the gym at night will tire you, and you will want to doze off at the earliest. On the contrary, working out in the morning will give you the boost you need to go through the day. We understand that it is not the most convenient to visit gym in the early hours. Work out for a few minutes at your home before going about your day.
Reduce Screen Time
Reducing screen time during the day and night can significantly influence your sleep cycle. Reports show that increased screen time delays melatonin release and leads to less peaceful sleep. It is observed that autistic children have a direct link with increased screen time, resulting in poor health. Make sure not to use your smartphone or laptop for at least an hour before sleeping. Also, do not pick up your phone for at least 30 minutes after waking up in the morning.
Practice Saying “No”
Many people complain that they have been sleeping on time, but a night out with friends disturbs the routine. It is quite understandable that your friends and family want you to go with them to the movies or the club. If you are determined to practice waking up on time until you become a morning person, do not stay out till late. Practice refusing to go out politely as you do not want to stay in bed till late.
Avoid Caffeine at Late Hours
Caffeine is a natural anti-sleep drug that blocks adenosine receptors. Blocking these receptors restrict the production of adenosine involved in making you sleepy. It is best to take tea or coffee a few hours before bedtime. They can also disturb your biological clock in the long run if taken at night for a long time.
A psychological study suggests that adapting any habit requires practicing it for 21 to 40 days at least. So, be consistent in your sleeping schedule for 40 days to make it a lifelong habit without being annoyed in the early mornings. It will require patience and fighting yourself. Yet it’s all worth it in the end!
The Bottom Line
Becoming a morning person is not difficult when you have defined the change you want. Fight yourself and stay consistent in achieving your goals. It would help design a schedule and gradually move your bedtime early. On-time sleeping will allow you to get a good night’s sleep when you want to get up early. Make sure not to take caffeine just before bed. Avoid using your phone immediately after waking up or before sleeping. Set a workout routine in the morning to get an energy boost.
How much sleep do I Need?
The National Sleep Foundation suggests 7 to 9 hours of sleep for adults and at least 7 to 8 hours for the elderly. Babies, young children, and teens should take more sleep for proper development and growth.
Is it necessary to wake up early?
There are no hard and fast rules for waking up or sleeping at a particular time. However, our education or work often requires us to wake up early to perform adequately. Many studies also suggested that the day is for working and the night is for sleeping. Changing natural sleep patterns may also cause mental stress, so if you are determined, find ways to cope with it and create a healthy lifestyle. However, if waking up at night is still crucial, plan accordingly.
the natural patterns of sleep may also cause mental stress. Although, if your tasks require you to stay up at night, you may do per your ease.
Can your Chronotype change?
Changing your routine will not affect your chronotype as it cannot be intentionally altered. However, the chorotype might change with age due to physical and mental health changes.
Anna has completed her degree in Pharmacy from the University of Hawaii. She is serving as a research assistant in a pharmaceutical company. She had a great interest in writing blogs, traveling to different parts of the US, and trying delicious recipes in her spare time.