Waking up earlier is the perfect way to get more out of your day. Staying up late can help you wrap up the day’s activities, but nighttime hours aren’t always productive for work if you need to confer with your boss or speak to someone at the bank.
Some people are just naturally early risers – their eyes pop open when the sun breaks the horizon, and they’re full of energy and ready to face the day. It’s more of a struggle for other people, but that doesn’t mean it has to be.
Research shows us it’s easier for older people to be early risers than younger folks, but there are many benefits to rising with the sun, no matter how old you are. You have more energy, for starters, and morning people are happier and easier to get along with.
There are many natural ways to wake up with full energy and alertness every morning. This guide will examine some easy ways to train yourself to be a morning person and make the most of those extra hours.
Natural Ways to Become a Morning Person
Your body’s biological clock, or circadian rhythm, tells you when to wake up and when to go to sleep. You can become a morning person by teaching your internal clock to start ticking earlier in the day. Just try these simple adjustments to your daily activities:
Change Your Internal Dialogue
Getting up early seems like a chore for many people, most of whom tell themselves how terrible it will be when that alarm goes off so much earlier than usual. How you talk to yourself affects all parts of your life, so try reminding yourself how fun this new journey will be and all the things you’ll accomplish.
Make Your Bedroom a Sleep Oasis
Design your bedroom for sleeping first and foremost. Use soft colors and a mixture of fabric textures for optimal comfort, and add plenty of candles and soft lighting to make things cozy. It’s best not to have a television or use your electronic devices in your bedroom, especially before bedtime. The room should be dark, cool, and quiet, perhaps with a white noise machine to help drown out any noises. Make sure you have a comfy mattress, and a cooling pillow can help even more.
Have Dinner Earlier
Your digestive system continues to work for two to three hours after you eat. Going to bed with a working digestive system can mean trouble falling and staying asleep. What you eat also has a significant impact on your sleep, so avoid alcohol and caffeine after 2 p.m. and eat your last meal from 7 p.m. to 8 p.m. Herbal supplements like chamomile and lavender also help improve sleep when added to your daily diet. These all might seem like minor dietary tweaks, but they’re essential changes when you want to become a morning person.
Create an Evening Routine
What you do just before you go to bed helps change your sleep and wake patterns. Learning to go to sleep isn’t easy after a lifetime of nocturnal activity. Setting a routine makes the transition smoother. Calming rituals like aromatherapy, deep breathing, journaling, and meditation help get your brain ready to sleep. Soothing music or nature sounds can also help. TV or smartphone activities, on the other hand, can stimulate your brain and work against reaching a point of calm and relaxation.
Create a Morning Routine, Too
Morning rituals set your intention for the day and largely govern your mental status. Doing something positive and uplifting first thing in the morning gives you a better chance to keep that positivity lingering all day long. Many people like to work out as soon as they get up, others prefer journaling or meditating, and still, others enjoy a healthy breakfast with people they love or a quiet morning alone. Make your mornings something to look forward to.
Scheduling works, so decide what time you’ll go to bed and what time you’ll wake up. Keeping consistent with bedtimes and wake-up times is critical in changing your internal clock to become a morning person. Schedule at least eight hours of sleep, and set a reminder on your phone to start winding down and turning off those sleep-killing electronic blue lights.
Schedule your new morning hours by setting an alarm for your wake-up time – and don’t even think about hitting snooze. Schedule at least 30 minutes to an hour to work out, meditate, get in some yoga, or care for your houseplants. You’ll be surprised how much more energetic you feel by taking time to center and focus before the day’s activity begins.
Adding even a mild exercise routine to begin your daily activities helps make an early bedtime easier. Yoga is a morning person favorite, because it incorporates deep stretches and breathing exercises that help relax the mind and body. The effects of yoga also last all day, which can help you be less agitated and a better problem solver.
Becoming a morning lark can seem impossible when you’ve been a night owl all your life, but it’s very doable. You can become that morning person who wakes up with the sun and doesn’t even need an alarm if you put the right tools to use.
Get Professional Guidance From a Top Washington D.C. Naturopathic Doctor
Changing your circadian rhythm to become a morning person takes a bit of holistic knowledge. Dr. Karen Threlkel is a naturopathic doctor serving primarily women in the greater D.C. area. She provides a holistic approach to medicine (mind-body-spirit) and natural-focused remedies for treating both symptoms and underlying conditions.
Dr. Threlkel has a wide-range of knowledge and training in natural remedies and treatments. Contact our office today to schedule a consultation or for more information about changing your internal clock naturally.