5 Ways Anyone Can Become A Morning Person
By Jen Dennis
Does it take you a minute (or an hour…or three hours) to get going in the morning? Do you wish you could spring out of bed, like those chipper, productive morning people? Same. Author, health coach, and self-proclaimed night owl, Locke Hughes, knows the struggle and has cracked the code to becoming a willful, happy early riser. Here’s her secret sauce.
1. Go to bed on time
Sorry, you can’t Instagram binge past midnight and expect to feel psyched at 7 a.m. But what if you’re the type who feels strangely energetic in the evening? “We all have these biological rhythms within us. But the mind is a powerful thing. The biggest realization I’ve had from my research—and my own experience — is that you can trick your mind into being a morning person,” Hughes explains. Experts call these sleep profiles, like early birds and night owls, chronotypes. Even though they’re genetically predetermined, you can still establish healthy sleep behaviors to set yourself up for a morning win. That starts with taking bedtime seriously.
Consider this: You need 7-9 hours of shuteye each night, and it can take up to 20 minutes to fall asleep. Once you’ve established your bedtime, stick to it, even on the weekends. Stay consistent for about 66 days to let the habit settle in, experts say.
2. Work on your sleep habits
Cut out things that aren’t setting you up for a good morning, like eating excess sugar and phone use in bed. Make sure the thermostat is between 60-67 degrees—the ideal temperature for sleep. Eliminate disruptive light; clear the clutter from your room. Just as important: Set an intention for restorative rest. “Tell yourself, ‘I’m going to get a great night’s sleep,’” Hughes says, and you’ll inspire a relaxed state of mind that becomes a self-fulfilling prophecy.
3. Try sleep sounds
Hughes loves her white-noise machine. Others are crazy about ASMR, which stands for autonomous sensory meridian response. In case you missed it, these sleep soundtracks have a cult following and feature everyday sounds that seem to trigger relaxation and a pleasant tingling sensation. ASMR is just about everywhere, including Spotify and YouTube. You could also try listening to bedtime stories for grown-ups on apps like Calm.
4. Figure out your “why”
Here’s a clever mind trick from Hughes: As soon as you open your eyes in the morning, reinforce the reasons why you’re waking up early in the first place. “It’s much easier to make it stick if you have a convincing ‘why,’” Hughes says. Her why was having time for morning workouts and writing. Your why might be reading, meditating, or making a homemade breakfast—whatever inspires you.
5. Remember all mornings are different
A sleep doctor Hughes interviewed shared an insight that transformed her thinking. “He told me that even ‘morning people’ don’t always wake up ready to go,” she recalls. “It’s perfectly normal to need five or ten minutes to feel awake.” This is critical to winning the wake-up game: If you’re not that into it when you first wake up, that’s totally normal. Motivate yourself to get going anyway. Trust that your morning-person attitude will come to you eventually. It’s just hiding under the covers—or behind your coffee cup.
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