The thought of being dragged out of a sumptuous dream by a blaring alarm is enough to make any person consider packing up their life and searching for some occupation that would make sleeping in every single day a possibility. But waking up doesn't have to be hard—and that's the secret that morning people have been keeping all to themselves.
When you're not a natural morning person, doing something as simple as making a nice breakfast at home before work feels like an accomplishment.
To become a morning person, all you really need is a good dose of patience, self-discipline, and an open mind. Forcing yourself to get out of bed and on with your day means training your mind and body to love the early hours of the morning and adjusting your internal clock. You'll also have to become the type of person who cooks a wholesome breakfast, goes to the gym, and reads the newspaper (or at least taps through your friends' Snap stories), all before 9 a.m.
Wake up just an hour earlier (just one!) and you'll instantly have a time slot all to yourself.
Granted, becoming a morning person will not be easy for every person. My alarm clock still sounds grating to me, and I sometimes struggle with insomnia as I try to get to bed earlier. But still, when you're not a natural morning person, doing something as simple as heading to the gym or making a nice breakfast at home before work feels like an accomplishment—and when you can be proud of yourself before you've even left the house, then you set your whole day up for success.
New habits can replace your old ones: instead of staying up late lost in the internet, wake up early enough to write in a journal. Don't think, just write. After a few pages, you might just find yourself fixing mental blocks and coming to new realizations about yourself. Instead of lying awake late at night, go for a walk in the morning with nothing but your thoughts. For most people, the morning is a totally untapped resource for self-exploration and focusing—it's time to make the most of it.
Still need convincing? Here are the benefits you'll enjoy when you learn to love the morning.
Early Riser Win No. 1: You'll Have More Energy
Yes, really! For the first few weeks or so of a new routine, you might find yourself chained to your coffee maker (or heavily relying on your barista), but rising with the sun will help you to get in tune with Earth's circadian rhythms—which essentially means you'll end up getting better sleep and feeling more rested in the long run.
Early Riser Win No. 2: You'll Open Up More Me Time
When your day is locked around work or school and your evenings get filled up by plans with friends, it can easily start to seem like the only time you have to yourself is the time you spend alone in bed, likely with a melatonin-suppressing digital screen in front of your face. Wake up just an hour earlier (just one!) and you'll instantly have a time slot all to yourself, when you likely have no responsibilities to anyone else—just time to go for a run, read a book, catch up on TV, start a project, or even, yes, make breakfast plans with a friend for later and proceed to feel so accomplished.
Early Riser Win No. 3: You'll Have Better Productivity
According to a 2010 study of college students by biologist Christoph Randler, those who identify as morning people are more likely to make long-term plans and address problems proactively. Starting a new passion project? Try swapping your late night brainstorm session for an early morning meeting—your goals might just come into fruition earlier than you anticipated.
Early Riser Win No. 4: You'll Feel Less Stressed
Sleeping through an alarm is not a pleasant experience for anyone. Waking up late on a Saturday may be harmless, but sleeping in on the weekend and then forcing yourself to wake up hours earlier during the week is a sometimes excruciating experience that makes Mondays pretty unbearable. This phenomenon is known as sleep debt, which describes the rolling deficit of sleep you need versus the amount of sleep you actually get. The greater your sleep debt, the greater your cognitive skills, memory, and vision will suffer.
When you train yourself to stick to a schedule in which you go to sleep early and wake up early, you rule out the potential for running late, giving you time to mentally, physically, and emotionally prepare for each day—all you have to do is stop hitting snooze.
Need some help becoming an early riser?
Morning Win No. 1:
Kello Smart Alarm Clock, $109, getkello.com.
To make waking up less painful, opt for a cute alarm clock that analyzes your sleep patterns—it will help you break that nasty snooze-button habit.
Morning Win No. 2:
Penguin Press, $7, andrewneyer.com.
Slap a fun sticker on a French press and you'll have incentive to wake up early enough to brew your own cup. (And just think of the money you'll save by not buying a $5 latte every morning.)
Morning Win No. 3:
Balanced, free, itunes.apple.com.
It takes 21 days to form a new habit, and an easy-to-navigate app can help you to reach the finish line. Fire up Balanced to set your daily goals, and you'll boost your productivity.
Morning Win No. 4:
Classic Bathrobe, $99, parachutehome.com.
Too cold to get out of bed? Keep a cozy plush robe nearby that you can slip into as soon as you roll out from underneath the covers.
Morning Win No. 5:
Beauty zzZz, $10, humnutrition.com.
The process of becoming a morning person begins the night before. Turn to melatonin for help falling—and staying—asleep when you need to.