Everyone is wired differently and not everyone considers themselves a “morning person.” Even if you are not one to wake up early, you can consciously build a morning routine that works for you to get yourself up and start your day off right. Through the process of becoming a morning bird, you should keep in mind to have compassion for yourself and be kind as this is a process. It takes time to build up to waking up earlier, but with that, you’ll need to switch up your sleeping schedule as well by going to bed earlier as well. This is a new habit you’re trying to build and it will take time to adjust to the new sleeping schedule, but over time and with patience, you’ll get there!
Important note: Trying something new is challenging already, so don’t feel like you need to do ALL of the suggested tips below. Start with one and go from there, try to not get overwhelmed by doing too much too soon.
- Consistency is key
As with everything in life, you need to be consistent and stay with a sleeping schedule that works for you. What I mean by that is, you’ll want to pick a bed time and wake up time that will allow you to get enough sleep, around 8-10 hours. So if you are wanting to wake up at 5am, you’ll need to make your bed time around 9pm to get 8 hours of sleep. However, being consistent means that you also have that same bed time and wake up time on the weekends as well as during the week. The body’s circadian rhythm needs consistency, if you wake up at 5am during the week but wake up at 7am on weekends, you’ll be having a hard time getting out of bed come Monday morning.
- Change your mindset
This can be a tough one, but changing how you think of mornings can make a huge difference. If you think negatively of something, it will make that particular habit or goal a lot harder to accomplish. So instead of saying, ” I have to get out of bed at 5am,” say, “I get to wake up early to have a good start to my day.” The way you think of something can completely shift how you feel about it. This will come with practice and time, but when a negative thought comes into your mind about the morning ahead of you, try and switch your words to help change your mindset. This will make getting out of bed a lot easier and worthwhile.
- Think about the delicious breakfast you’re about to have
Following up my last point, getting out of bed will be easier if you are excited about what you’re going to eat! I know I’m personally motivated by food, but thinking about that warm cup of tea or coffee and the waffles or avo on toast you’re about to have just might give you enough fire and want to get out of bed. I find having this thought in your mind the night before can make it that much more enjoyable, something to look forward to the next morning.
- Don’t eat or drink too late into the evening
For better digestion and rest, you want to stop eating and drinking anything 3 hours before bed. By doing this you will help your body get a better nights sleep as your digestion won’t be working overtime, and potentially disturbing your sleep by waking you up through the night. This can also help your body fully rest and recover from the day you’ve just had. Another point is caffeine, try to stop drinking or eating anything with caffeine in it by midday – I usually stop at 1-2pm. The reason for this is caffeine itself can stay in your system for up to 12 hours. At 6 hours, your body would have burned through half of the caffeine you have consumed. So if you stop drinking at 1-2pm by 9pm you would have given your body 7 hours to burn through the majority of the caffeine sitting in your system. This will allow for a better night’s sleep.
- Shift your schedule gradually
If you wake up at 9am most days, changing your schedule to waking up at 5am the next day without giving your body anytime to adjust will end up with you hitting the snooze button until 9am. Instead, adjust your time by 30 min each day. If you wake up at 9am, the next day set your alarm for 8:30am, try that for a few days then once that becomes easy, adjust it again to waking up at 8am and let that new time settle for a few days. Repeat this process until you get to the new desired time you’d like to wake up at. Eventually over time you will be able to get up and out of bed without any issues at all, infact, you may actually wake up just before your alarm goes off!
- Get to bed earlier
I hate to say it, but there is absolutely no way you will get out of bed at 5am if you are going to bed at 2am. Just like slowly adjusting your morning wake up time, slowly adjust your bedtime as well. If you are used to going to bed at 12pm, trying to get to bed at 9pm may be proven difficult. So, just as above, slowly adjust your bed time with the wake up time you are doing. Remember that you want to achieve getting at least 8 hours of sleep a night, so schedule a bedtime and wake up time that works where you will be getting enough hours a night to sleep. Eventually over time, you will have your new sleep schedule and be able to sleep soundly through the night, as long as you work on what’s floating through your thoughts of course.
- Have a morning AND evening routine
Everyone always talks about a morning routine, but ever so often a night time routine is never mentioned. Both routines are important for a better sleeping schedule. The morning routine can help you get out of bed thinking about the things you’re excited to start your day with and the night time routine can help to wind down your thoughts and body into a calm state for a restful sleep ahead. These routines do not need to be lengthy or complicated, find what is right for you and slowly start adding them into your everyday life.
- Have good sleep hygene
What I mean when I say “sleep hygene” is habits like having the room cooler, blackout blinds, decrease light exposure at least an hour before bed, no technology an hour before bed, as I mentioned before – stop eating at least 3 hours before bed, maybe stretch or read before bed to signal to your brain that it’s time to wind down and relax for a restful sleep ahead. I find if you have a busy brain like I do, journalling and breathing techniques before bed seems to help wonderfully for a good nights sleep.
- Morning light
Have you ever noticed how hard it is to get out of bed in the morning in the winter months when it’s cold and dark out, but it’s a lot easier getting up in the summer months as the sun comes up much earlier? This has to do with the body’s natural circadian rhythm, when you see light your body knows it’s morning and time to wake up. This also triggers the body to drop melatonin levels and start producing cortisol and other hormones to wake you up. Try to walk outside first thing in the morning for about 5-10 min to kick start your body into the day ahead. I realize this may be difficult in the winter months as it’s dark, but once that light starts to rise try to go outside for a bit if you can. I promise you’ll feel a big difference doing this.
- Try to cut back on caffeine first thing in the morning
Woah! Don’t kill the messanger, hear me out. I know some people live off caffeine, especially parents of young children. But try to go the first 1-2 hours of the day without any caffeine and let your body do what it naturally does without the assistance of that warm cuppa or cup of joe. By waiting a few hours in the morning you will be able to help your body take control and regulate your energy levels. Just think of how much better that cup will feel and taste after only a few hours extra before having it.
- Don’t snooze your morning away
We have all been there, our alarm goes off and we shut it off right away and say to ourselves, “Five more minutes.” But in reality another hour or 2 goes by and then we finally get up. Instead of shutting it off right away, sit yourself up and then shut it off, this way you’re already up. Another trick is putting your phone or alarm that you use aross the room so you have to get up to shut it off. The hardest part is getting up out of bed, once you get past this point, you’re good to go. You can also try a light alarm if it’s the winter months that you have a hard time waking up in, these alarms slowly light up the room as if the sun is rising.
- The 5 second rule
Another trick you can try is the 5 second rule. I’m not talking about the rule where you’ve dropped part of your breakfast on the ground and as long as you pick it up in 5 seconds, you can still eat it…you’d be lying if you said you haven’t done this. The author, Mel Robbins, wrote about a rule where you count down from 5 to 1 and just do it. This rule isn’t just for waking up in the morning but can also be used with pretty much anything else in life that you may be procrastinating on. So, when you wake up, count down from 5 to 1, and once you hit one, push yourself up out of bed and get your day rolling.
More and more research is starting to come out on the importance of sleep, but if you’re wanting to become a morning bird, above are just a few tips of how you can get yourself closer to your goal of getting up earlier. And remember, take it one step at a time, pick a few and work on those first, then start adding more. If you enjoy the process you will be more likely to continue it.
Keep being legends and thank you for reading my blog 🙂