Most believe that there are two types of people in the world: Night Owls and Early Birds.
If you’re a morning person, you’re full of energy in the morning, you have no qualms about rising early.
But if you’re a night owl, you probably detest that lifestyle. You’re the most active at night and never wake up in time to see the sunrise.
However, being an early bird means fewer alarms, more time for yourself, and increased productivity. Studies have also shown that morning people are generally happier and healthier than night owls — yes, the truth hurts.
As the old adage goes, ‘The early bird catches the worm.’ What’s the quickest way to become a night owl to an early bird? And, can a night owl truly become an early bird?
Like any good habit, change takes time and effort. In this article, we share 6 ways you can trick your brain into being a morning person.
1. Have something to get up for
One way to wake up earlier everyday is to have — something to look forward to. It could be sitting with your beloved pet by the balcony, lighting up your favourite scented candle, stretching your body or going for a mindful walk.
For me, mornings are the most beautiful time of the day. What I love most about waking up early is the tranquillity during the wee hours of the day.
It’s also the quietest time of the day, so you get to spend quality time with yourself, and not risk getting disturbed by people or the bustling city life.
2. Exercise during the day
Yes, you saw that coming! Having moderate aerobic exercise helps to facilitate sleepiness, because being more active in the day makes you more inclined to sleep better at night. Go for walks everyday and move around more in the day. They do not have to be too vigorous!
One thing to note however, is to avoid exercising three hours before bedtime. Too much exercise releases adrenaline which keeps your mind active at night. You don’t want that when you’re about to sleep!
3. Be careful with coffee
As an avid coffee lover myself, I hate to break this to you, but resist the temptation to get your late afternoon coffee! Caffeine contributes to night wakefulness and fragmented sleep.
So, never have caffeine 6 hours before bedtime - even if you think you’re not sensitive to it! You could substitute coffee for kombucha, apple cider tea, or fruits.
This way, you’ll get to appreciate and savour your morning cuppa even more!
4. Gradually shift your bedtime
The most effective way to wakeup is to go to bed earlier. Start small, and aim to go to bed 10 minutes earlier every night.
By the next few weeks, you’d have no trouble going to bed an hour earlier!
After going to bed early, the next step would be to regulate your sleep cycle to make it consistent. Go to bed at the same time every night, and wake up the same time the next morning. Remember, being consistent is key!
5. Create a night time ritual
Do you have a bedtime routine? Most people find it restorative to have a bedtime routine, as it’s therapeutic and eases them to sleep better.
Firstly, resist the scroll! 30 minutes before bedtime, leave your electronics alone. Instead, take a warm bath, read a book, close your eyes and listen to calming music.
You could also stretch, breathe, and do some light yoga! They help to release any physical and mental tension you may have. If it helps, you dim the lights, pull down your curtains and transform your bedroom into a relaxing oasis.
6. Don’t use your phone as an alarm
Ah, the daily grapple with the snooze button. It’s so easy to press snooze on the phone that it’s almost become muscle memory for many people. Not to mention the daily morning scroll which keeps us in bed for another 30 minutes.
As reluctant as you may be, put your phone in another room before you sleep.
Have a Good Night’s Sleep
Learning to become a morning person might be a feat, but if you make little adjustments to your lifestyle, believe me, you’ll love waking up early — even for night owls! A good guideline would be getting 7-8 hours of sleep every night. You know your body best, so clock in the number of sleeping hours you need.
I hope that these tips have been helpful in helping you become an early riser. Instead of making a huge shift, take small and gradual steps. Develop a ritual that you’ll look forward to and make waking up early a breeze, rather than a chore!