How to Become a Morning Person
Your responses to my post about my overwhelming desire to become a morning person blew me away. SO MANY GOOD TIPS! I read each one, feeling simultaneously inspired and like this shift, from my night owl ways, is totally doable. Several of you messaged me to ask for a step-by-step guide based on the suggestions in the comments. The fantastic Maggie Royce, who is helping me out this summer, compiled them into a handy guide.
PREP THE NIGHT BEFORE. Set yourself up for success for your new morning routine by prepping the night before. Try laying out your clothes, packing your lunch or setting a plan for breakfast. Freeing yourself up from those chores will allow you to enjoy your new “me” time a bit more.
GIVE YOURSELF AN EARLY BEDTIME. An earlier start, for most of us, means going to bed earlier. Give some thought to the amount of sleep you will need and do the math backwards to find the optimal lights-out time.
WELCOME THE WIND DOWN. Devise a new evening bedtime routine. About an hour before that, put your phone away (so hard, I know!) and begin relaxing (so fun!). Try a hot bath, a good book, or meditating.
Emily swears by the latter, especially if you are having a hard time falling asleep: “When I'm not entirely tired, but I know that I need to go to sleep because the next day is an early morning, I will lie in bed, not move, and start counting my breaths. One inhale and exhale combination is ONE. If I think of anything else, at all, then I start the count over. If I move, I start the count over. I've honestly never made it past seven - I always fall asleep.”
GO ALL IN *OR* EASE IN. When it comes to your earlier wake-up time, you have two choices. You can just go for it, set that alarm for your goal time and vow to not hit snooze. Sounds a little harsh? Totally get that! Ease into the routine. Gradually push your alarm back by 15 minutes every few days until you reach the desired timed.
LIGHT THERAPY. Hate hearing the blaring beep of an alarm clock or that annoying ringtone on your phone? Try a sunrise alarm clock. It simulates the colors of a sunrise, which sounds glorious, and gradually wakes you up.
Brittany wrote, “Getting a sunrise alarm clock has really helped my husband and I. We found it on Amazon and about 30 minutes it starts to slowly shine a light as if the sun were rising. Super helpful.”
FIND SOME MOTIVATION. Set a game plan for your mornings that includes a hefty dose of get-out-of-bed motivation. Write a to-do list, sign up for a work-out class or program your coffee machine to turn on automatically (my sister-in-law stashes cold brew in the refrigerator, so genius!). Exercise, even a brief walk, was cited over and over as a way to start the day off right.
Lara, a self-described “previous night owl,” has changed her ways by making her mornings more fun. “Coffee, yoga, reading. I love my morning routine now so much I’m willing to get out of bed for it (and get to bed early for it too).”
NO SNOOZING ALLOWED. Do not, under any circumstances, hit the snooze button. It is the enemy. Avoid it at all costs.
As Bonnie says, “Snooze is the enemy.”
DON’T WORRY ABOUT YOUR SIGNIFICANT OTHER. Don’t worry if your partner is on board or not. Maybe s/he is a night owl and content to stay that way? That’s fine! A little solo time is good for everyone.
BUILD IN TRANSITION TIME. Several people said it was very hard to start, but life-changing in the end. Don’t think you, or your body, is going to love this new routine right away.
Tessa said, “The first week was ROUGH - I had a support group of women who were all trying the same transition. Knowing I was accountable to them helped. As did giving myself permission to go to bed right after my kids. And about a million alarms.” But, she adds, “It is totally WORTH IT.”
STICK WITH IT. Once you’ve figured out the right amount of sleep and the achievable wake-up time, stick with it. Even on weekends. Consistency will help your body adjust to the new routine.
Ok, go forth and rise early! For those interested, please give it a try and report back in the comments.
Full disclosure: I’m going to wait until after I have this baby to attempt to change my ways. But this gives me so much hope for fall!