Are you the type of person to wake up even before the alarm sounds, or do you hit the snooze button too many times because you just can’t seem to find the energy to get out of bed? There’s nothing wrong with being a night owl but if you want to interact with people while the rest of the general population is awake, you might want to change your sleeping hours. Here, we will take a look at the top ten inexpensive ways for you to become a morning person.
Why Does It Pay to Be a Morning Person?
Generally, there are three sleeping patterns or categories which are called chronotypes:
- 20% of people are considered late chronotypes or night owls. These are the individuals who wake up late and sleep late.
- 10% are under the early chronotype category. These are people who wake up very early and accomplish a lot of things during the first part of the day.
- 70% of people fall under the intermediate chronotype. This is everyone else who are a cross between being night owls and morning people.
If you are a morning person, you will find out that the peak of your brain activity spikes as early as 9 in the morning.
For night owls, their brain activity does not peak until 9 in the evening – or at least late into the day. If you would like to shift from being a night owl into a morning person, what benefits can you reap?
As a morning person, you will display more positive social traits. Early rises are usually more proactive, optimistic, are less prone to depression, and do not fall victim to depression or addiction. They are also more productive, are generally healthier and live longer.
Night owls, on the other hand, have lesser production of serotonin or dopamine which are feel-good hormones, so they are more prone to sadness or depression. The upside is that they are usually more creative, they take more risks, and they have higher cognitive abilities.
10 Inexpensive Ways to Become a Morning Person
If you have always been a night owl, you might think that it’s virtually impossible to make the switch so that you can be a morning person. The good news is that it is never too late to change your sleeping habits. Take a look at the top ten ways for you to become a morning person, without having to spend a single cent:
1. Focus on why you would like to be a morning person in the first place
During casual conversation, you always tell people that you are not a morning person. There may be some truth to this but what if you change your story? What if you consciously try to become a morning person so that you can enjoy more sunlight, or marvel over the quiet during the wee hours of the morning?
Being a morning person or a night owl is typically a personal preference or a behavioral pattern and you consider yourself as such because that’s what you have always done. By focusing on why you would like to become a morning person in the first place, you can take that first step towards changing your sleeping pattern.
To do this, write down your goals once you successfully become a morning person.
If you wake up an hour or two earlier than you usually do, would you have time for an early morning jog? Would you linger over coffee and not have to rush through the motions of preparing for work? Would you like to spend the extra time cuddling with your significant other or greeting your kids a good morning?
When you have such goals to look forward to, you can be on your way towards becoming a morning person.
2. Move the alarm clock across the room
If you use your mobile phone to set an alarm in the morning, it is very easy to reach for it under the pillow or beside your bed and hit the snooze button, then sleep some more. Whether you’re using your smartphone or a traditional clock as an alarm, moving it across the room will require you to move to put a stop to the annoying sound.
Instead of going back to bed, having to get up to stop the alarm will give you that first movement of the day, and allow you to proceed from there.
3. Go to bed and wake up at the same time every day
If you’re a night owl, how can you reset your internal body clock? First, wake up a little earlier every day. Let’s say that you are an at-home worker and you usually sleep in until 11 am.
Set the alarm so that you can wake up at 10:30 the next day, then 10:00 am the following day, then 9:30 in the morning and so on – until you reach your early morning target time. When you adjust your waking time, you can do the same for your sleeping time so that you can get sufficient sleep.
Once you manage to reset your internal body clock, you can actually train yourself to wake up even before the alarm sets off by waking up and sleeping at the same time every day. Even if you want to sleep in during the weekends, it’s better to wake up at the same hour so that your internal body clock will not be messed up. To make up for not sleeping in during the weekends, what you can do is allow yourself the luxury of a short nap.
4. Excercise in the morning
If you’re waking up an hour earlier than usual, use the time to exercise early. Sweating it out in a treadmill or by jogging outdoors will increase your body temperature, and help you stay awake. Another good thing about sweating it out in the morning is that exercising at early leads to lowered blood pressure. It also becomes easier for you to sleep at night.
5. Watch what you eat
Eat your protein sources during the day because it is more difficult for the stomach to digest. Having protein-heavy dishes at night might disrupt your sleep cycle, so stick to light fare for dinner. You can, however, use warm milk as a way to sleep more quickly at night. Dairy food items are rich in tryptophan, a substance that induces sleep.
6. Avoid artificial light, especially close to sleeping time
The human brain has pineal glands that produce melatonin, a sleep-inducing chemical.
When the eyes stop sensing light, melatonin is produced so it’s easier for you to fall asleep. This is the reason why you should not use playing with your glowing gadget – a smartphone or a tablet computer – as a way to make yourself fall asleep at night.
Turn off appliances which have a glowing light and your eyes will easily adjust to the darkness, making it quicker for you to get some shut eye.
7. Avoid napping
If you must nap during the day, use 10 to 15-minute power naps. Anything that’s longer than 25 minutes will make it more difficult for you to sleep at night.
8. Know when to steer clear of chemicals
Chocolates, tea, and coffee all have caffeine which might keep you awake at night. Although coffee is an excellent perk-me-up drink first thing in the morning, drinking it later in the day will make the caffeine stick to your system. This might lead to difficulties with getting some quality shuteye at night.
Smokers might still crave nicotine even while they sleep, which is why it causes insomnia and restlessness. If you can’t quit smoking just yet, at least try to remove it from your night time habits.
What about alcohol? Drinkers might consider alcohol to be an excellent way to get some good quality sleep. However, the alcohol content of drinks – even wine – might lead to headaches, sweats, nightmares, or sleep interruption. If you must drink at night, dilute the effects of alcohol by taking one glass of water for every drink.
9. Have a pre-bedtime routine
Some people find it soothing to have a warm bath before going to bed. Others use mood music, while others simply drink some warm milk. No matter which of these activities work for you, having a pre-bedtime routine will tell your body that it’s time to go to sleep.
10. Use your bed only for sleeping
Finally, keep the television set out of the bedroom. Saving the bedroom for sleep and other intimate activities will condition your body to recognize it as a sleep stimulus. Maintain a cool, comfortable temperature inside your bedroom and invest in a good quality mattress, sheets and pillows. By turning your bed into a warm, comfortable sleep haven, you can get good quality sleep every single night.