How to be a Morning Person: Your Easy Step-by-Step Guide
I am a morning person. Are you? I think I am naturally like this, but I still hate getting up earlier than I am used to. My body protests, my eyelids refuse to open, my head hurts, it’s cold in my apartment. I don’t want to get out of bed.
People need different amounts of sleep. Adolescents (teenagers) need between nine and 10 hours of sleep every night, according to some studies. The older you get, the less sleep you need.
I used to work in radio. Like badly paid doctors, radio announcers have to work shitty hours and most public holidays. The worst shift I ever did was midnight to 9am – it was shockingly bad. After doing that shift for three months, I practically begged my boss to fire me. He was nicer than that and put me back on normal hours because he could see that I was about to lose it.
No, really – sleep deprivation can make you mentally ill
According to Discovery Health, sleep deprivation can cause
- Memory loss
- Weight fluctuations
- Sleep paralysis – (this is where you are unable to move upon waking – read about sleep paralysis here.)
- A Weakened Immune System
- High Blood Pressure
It’s true! But this is not a post about that. This is a post about how to be a morning person. Because I have so much experience with this – I can give you some tips and advice.
Step 1: Know what early is
Anecdotally, there is evidence that more people pass away between 3 and 4 am than at any other time, due to their circadian rhythms. These determine when the body is most alert and most relaxed. A recent paper by Harvard discussed this, saying in the November 2012 article “Annals of Neurology” there were findings that “could help with scheduling shift work and planning medical treatments, as well as in monitoring the conditions of vulnerable patients”. Have a look at the article here.
For me – early is anything before 5 am – and the earlier it is before 5 the harder it is to get out of bed. I held one job for over a year where my alarm clock went off at 3:15 am and I had to be at work by 3:45. It was a real challenge and affected my whole life. Know what early means for you. Is it 4:30? 6am? Find your cut-off and realise that anything before this time will take extra planning.
Step 2: Go to bed early
Yes, it seems obvious, but work out 8 to 8 ½ hours from the time you need to wake and go to bed at that time. No exceptions. For example, if you need to be up at 6am, you need to get to bed by 9:30 – 10pm. Plan for 8 hours’ sleep, even if you don’t get it.
Step 3: Have your tools ready to go
- Alarm clock
- Clothes ready the night before / gym gear / laptop + accessories
What do you mean I must not look very sexy for my boyfriends? Ear-plugs can be cute, can’t they? If you need to consistently get up early, invest in these things. Yes, they are uncomfortable, but they will help when you get used to them. If your boyfriend complains, just pop on a sexy set of underwear and he won’t care what the hell you have in your ears. (Or between them in some cases!)
Step 4: Look after your body
- Booze dehydrates you.
- Smoking kills you and gives you rattly lungs.
- Over-eating at night will keep your tummy churning and your digestion will keep you awake.
- Eating too little will keep you awake too – because you will be focused on hunger.
- Make sure your bedroom is not too hot, cooler air facilitates sleeping.
- Make sure you have adequate bedclothes and are dressed warmly enough.
Step 5: The next day
- Plan the night ahead to get where you need to go with minimum effort.
- Know exactly how long it will take you to get to your destination – if in doubt, leave extra time.
- Make sure your car is full of gas, your bike’s tyres are pumped up or that you have appropriate footwear.
- Make sure you either have time to eat breakfast or you have something to grab to take with you.
“I think sleep’s really important. I value it as much as waking up and having a full day.” Jena Malone
What are some of your tips for waking up with ease?