As the sun begins rising earlier and earlier, it may not be a bad idea for you to follow its lead. Waking up earlier can give you more energy, better health, and ultimately allow you to get more done during the longer days, rather than let the vacation vibe get the best of you.
And maybe you’re thinking that a morning person just isn’t you, or that you weren’t cut out for it. Don’t think that. No matter how much those snooze button-filled mornings may make you believe that morning people have simply inherited the habit at birth, that’s far from the case. Rather, waking up early is merely lifestyle trait: a choice you train yourself to make each and every morning until it’s something you can actually enjoy.
And even for the most night owl of populations, college students, whose sleep schedules are all regular, the unseemly enemy that is the morning is conquerable.
So if it’s to exercise, study, or to just have some leisure time to yourself before starting the day, here are some steps to becoming the early riser.
Really, it can be that simple. Aside from the pleasant alarm that nature provides to the well-hydrated, making a point to drink more water will make your mornings more energetic all around. Your appetite for a healthier breakfast will improve, you’ll be less groggy and sensitive to light, and you won’t get headaches due to the early hour or lack of sleep. Keep water by your bed to drink before and after sleeping, and keep on drinking it throughout your day.
Develop a sleep schedule
The not-so-big secret to morning people is that, well, that they get enough sleep the night before to be in good spirits about waking up the next morning. To develop sleep patterns that compliment your schedule and sleep cycles, try a tool like Sleepytime to plan and motivate improvement.
Develop a routine
Since sleeping itself is on a cycle, it’s important to maintain your own “cycle” for both evenings and mornings so as not to disrupt your sleep. Begin thinking about your mornings the night before: what you’ll need prepared to go to work or school, what you’ll wear, what you’ll eat. This will not only help maintain your bedtimes and rise times, but it will help those who have trouble getting out of bed by having a morning routine they can “visualize” the night before and execute when they wake up, rather than feeling disorderly and simply going back to bed.
See the light
No matter how much sleep you get, the brain is naturally sensitive to sunlight and will begin waking up when exposed to it. So when you know you can’t afford to hit the snooze, keep the shades wide open before going to bed, or, if you’re getting up before the sun, make sure the first thing you do when you get up is turn on the lights. Your mornings will be much more enjoyable when your mind and not just your body is awake.
Stretch, make your bed, get yesterday’s mail. It doesn’t have to be especially stimulating, but doing something relatively active will “rev you up” for the day. The archenemy to an active morning? The snooze button. Instead of hitting the snooze, begin training yourself to use one alarm, and get up as close to its ringing as possible. This will add a “do” attitude to your entire day, rather than the temporary pleasure of a “10 more minutes” one.
Set goals and reflect
The morning can be a peaceful, even spiritual time. There’s a renewal in the air that even the biggest of sleeping-in aficionados envy. So use your extra time to go outside and see the sunrise, or set your goals for the day. The brief moment will refresh you and stick with you for the rest of the day and ensure that you won’t feel a single ounce of regret for rising early.
Why do you rise early? Why do you want to? Let us know on Twitter at @ACISpecBenefits or on facebook, Google+, Pinterest, or YouTube. Also feel free to contact ACI Specialty Benefits at (800) 932-0034, or email firstname.lastname@example.org