If the sound of your alarm clock makes you groan every morning, then it's likely you consider yourself a night owl. About 20% of the population would consider themselves night owls, which means that one in five people might find it hard to get enough restful sleep (1). By going to bed later, you could be missing out on REM sleep in the morning. This type of sleep is extremely important, as it is crucial for your memory, learning, and other functions, too (2). If your lifestyle requires you to start getting better at waking up in the morning, follow these tips to become a morning person.
1. Get more sleep
While it seems like a simple solution, it’s truly a great way to help you learn to love the mornings as much as you love evenings. If you go to bed earlier, your wake-up call will be less painful. If you currently go to bed late, you’ll want to start small. By aiming to go to bed 5-10 minutes sooner each night, you can comfortably adjust to an earlier bedtime. If you try to go to bed hours earlier than you’re used to without adjusting, you may find yourself staring at the ceiling for hours before you get any shut eye.
2. Plan something to look forward to
For families that celebrate Christmas, you know how easy it is to get everyone up on Christmas morning. With the thought of presents brought by Santa on the horizon, getting out of bed is a piece of cake. While you can’t have a tree surrounded by presents waiting for you each morning, try to think of something to look forward to each morning. Maybe you get a tasty creamer to go in your coffee, or you plan to go for a morning walk, or schedule a call with a friend. Whatever gets you out of bed in the morning, try to put some more of it in your week.
3. Prepare for bed
By this point, most of us are aware that our smartphones, laptops, and TVs can deter us from getting a good night’s sleep. For one, technology can make us procrastinate sleep. Whether you’re watching an extra episode of a show, texting friends, or checking your email, all of those activities are keeping you from shutting down, both your mind and your devices. In addition, the blue light from your devices restricts the production of melatonin in your system (3). This means your phone is making it harder for you to fall asleep, as well as harder to wake up in the morning. It’s recommended to power down your devices an hour or two before you want to go to bed. If that sounds like a difficult feat, you can start small and adjust here, too. Soon enough, you could be picking up a book rather than your phone before bed.
So, if you’re looking to become a morning person, start with these three steps. Once you feel the benefits of getting a good night’s sleep, you may look forward to the mornings as you once looked forward to the evenings.