There’s something so relaxing about being awake while everyone else sleeps. And no, we’re not talking about the middle of the night. Getting up early is not only calming but also motivating and healthy. But for the typical night owl, this might seem impossible. Need some tips to become a morning person? With this guide, you can make it happen.
1. Exercise Regularly
Exercise seems to be the answer to everything, and rising early is no different. When you’re more active, sleep comes easy at night.1 According to the National Sleep Foundation, sleep quality improves when you sleep early and wake up early, so you’ll actually feel rested.2 Come sunrise, getting up will be a piece of cake!
2. Avoid Late Caffeine Intake
Night owls often use caffeine to operate on a “normal” schedule. And while it can get the ball rolling, poor timing will equal a late night – and a late morning. Experts recommend having your last caffeinated drink 6 hours (or more) before bedtime. For example, if you want to rise at 5 AM and get 7 hours of sleep, aim to sleep at 10 PM. Your last dose of caffeine should be at 4 PM or earlier.4
Remember, the effects of caffeine last 4 to 6 hours, so plan carefully.5 Don’t forget that chocolate and some herbal teas also have caffeine.
3. Nap Carefully
A 7- to 10-minute cat nap improves brain function, but anything longer will disrupt your sleep.6 Stick to 30 minutes and no more than one hour.7 8 Can’t keep your eyes open? Be mindful of your caffeine intake. Go for a walk or eat a banana for a caffeine-free energy boost.
4. Turn Off The Electronics
Good sleep hygiene isn’t possible without restricting your electronic use. When your eyes absorb the blue light from devices, a group of nerve cells in the brain, called the suprachiasmatic nucleus (SCN), is thrown off. Melatonin is also suppressed, making it hard to fall asleep.9
To avoid overstimulating the mind, turn off the electronics at least an hour before snoozing.10 This includes television, smartphones, and computers.
5. Have A Purpose
Give yourself a reason to get up. The night before, plan out what you’ll do with the
The Pros Of Being A Morning Person
If you’re a night owl who usually sleeps for at least 7 hours, you might wonder what’s the point. Isn’t it enough to get the recommended dose of sleep hours? Not necessarily. Your internal body clock, or circadian rhythm, is affected by light and darkness. This “clock” comprises the SCN. It communicates with the eyes, which absorb light. Darkness makes the SCN produce more melatonin, the hormones that regulate sleep.
Rising with the sun promotes a more natural circadian rhythm. Disruptions also increase appetite, paving the way for weight gain. And if the body clock stays wonky? The risk of obesity increases.11 You’ll also feel
Of course, becoming a morning person won’t happen overnight. It’s a lifestyle factor that takes time and patience. For an easy start, go to bed 15 minutes earlier each night.
|↑1||Loprinzi, Paul D., and Bradley J. Cardinal. “Association between objectively-measured physical activity and sleep, NHANES 2005–2006.” Mental Health and Physical Activity 4, no. 2 (2011): 65-69.|
|↑2, ↑3||How Exercise Affects Sleep. National Sleep Foundation.|
|↑4||Drake, Christopher, Timothy Roehrs, John Shambroom, and Thomas Roth. “Caffeine effects on sleep taken 0, 3, or 6 hours before going to bed.” Journal of clinical sleep medicine: JCSM: official publication of the American Academy of Sleep Medicine 9, no. 11 (2013):
|↑5||Medicines in my Home: Caffeine and Your Body. Food and Drug Administration.|
|↑6||Lovato, Nicole, and Leon Lack. “9 The effects of napping on cognitive functioning.” Progress in brain research 185 (2010): 155.|
|↑7||Sleep Hygiene. National Sleep Foundation.|
|↑8, ↑10||Sleep Hygiene. Indiana University Health.|
|↑9||Hatori, Megumi, Claude Gronfier, Russell N. Van Gelder, Paul S. Bernstein, Josep Carreras, Satchidananda Panda, Frederick Marks et al. “Global rise of potential health hazards caused by blue light-induced circadian disruption in modern aging societies.” npj Aging and Mechanisms of Disease 3 (2017).|
|↑11||The Rhythms of Life. National Institute of General Medical Sciences.|