Wake Up with the Sun: How to Become a Morning Person

If there is one thing trending right now in the personal development field, it is waking up early. I know, it sounds horrible right? What you have to understand is that being a morning person isn’t what the majority of people are born with. They become morning people thanks to the habit of getting up early, shifting their mindset, and finding really good reasons to wake up early. Ask one of your friends who you know is a self-proclaimed morning person WHY they get up early, and more importantly, that they enjoy it. In most cases, they will answer with they like the quiet of the morning, they enjoy their peaceful morning routine, or it gives them more energy as they go through the rest of the day. While it takes quite a bit of adjusting your schedule and daily routine, you can be a morning person too. There are so many amazing benefits, both for your physical and mental health, that it is worth at least giving a try.

Benefits of Being a Morning Person

It can seem a little intimidating right now, but there are a lot of great health benefits to being a morning person, or at least forcing yourself to wake up earlier. This isn’t just waking up early because you need to get ready for work, but choosing to wake up earlier than you really have to. Some of the benefits include:

  • Having time for morning workouts. If you find that you struggle to exercise every day, that extra hour in the morning is the perfect opportunity to fit in some yoga or light cardio.
  • Eating a healthier breakfast. When you get up earlier, you are more inclined to not only eat breakfast, but choose something a little healthier.
  • Increasing productivity. This is more than just having more time in the day to get things done. You don’t feel rushed in the morning when you wake up earlier than you need to, which can help you stay focused and give you more energy.
  • Self-care and alone time. Again, having a little extra alone time helps so much with self-care. You get to choose how you want to spend this time, and it is wonderful for your mental health.

Why Do You Want to Be a Morning Person?

This is where you can start setting your intentions for waking up earlier each day. Do you know why you want to be a morning person? Are you hoping to be more productive? Do you find that you stress a lot because of the alarm clock? Or maybe you just want some quiet time in the morning. Here are some tips for choosing why you want to be a morning person, and help with setting these intentions.

List Your Top 3 Reasons

Instead of overwhelming yourself by trying to come up with every possible reason you could ever want to be a morning person, just make it simple. List 3 reasons why you want to start waking up earlier and becoming someone who enjoys being awake early. You could always make a list of whatever you think of first, then choose your 3 most important reasons from that list. This helps you see overall what kind of benefits there are to being up earlier in the morning, but also helps you identify what is most important to YOU.

What Do You Hope to Get Out of it?

The next thing to do is consider what you really want to get out of being a morning person. This is similar to listing your reasons for waking up earlier, but think more in the future. Think about how you want it to change you, or how your life will hopefully be different by waking up earlier.

  • Do you have personal or professional goals to reach?
  • Do you feel like you need that personal, quiet time in the morning?
  • Do you keep missing your workouts because you run out of time in the afternoon?
  • Are you stressed because you get up after hitting snooze 10 times?

You really need to think what you want to get out of it and what you hope will change in your life.

Benefits Can be Completely Personal

Remember that other people’s reasons for waking up earlier are not necessarily going to be yours. As far as the general health benefits, you can definitely see many of those and read about them. But don’t feel like it won’t be good for you, because you can’t identify with some people’s personal accounts about getting up earlier. This is going to be personalized for just you and your daily habits and routines.

Start a New Nighttime Routine for Better Sleep

Everyone needs good sleep for health, clarity, and overall wellness, but even more so if you want to start waking up earlier. Not only are you creating a new morning routine, but a good nighttime routine as well. This ensures you are getting to bed early enough to where you are well rested as you begin waking up earlier.

Stop These Bad Habits

Your nighttime routine is just as important as your morning routine when you start waking up earlier. If you have the same routine before bed as you always did, you will probably be up too late and will have a much harder time getting up early. Here are some bad habits that you need to stop right now when improving your nighttime routine:

  • Eating or drinking too close to bedtime. You may need to adjust the time you eat dinner or when you enjoy drinks in the evening, since you are now going to bed a little earlier. If you used to go to bed at midnight, having drinks with friends at 8 might not have been a big deal, but now it is probably much loser to your bedtime, making it MUCH harder to go to bed at a decent time.
  • Falling asleep to the TV. We will discuss this more in the next section, but now is the time to stop this bad habit. It is going to keep you from going to sleep at a decent time, and can also interrupt your sleep even after you have fallen asleep.
  • Napping in the afternoon. This might not be part of your nighttime routine, but rather in the afternoon. Now is a good time to start skipping your afternoon naps so you are tired by the time your earlier bedtime comes around.
  • Sleeping on the couch. Yes, it can be fun to sleep in the living room, especially when you just pass out to the sound of the television. But this is one of the worst things you can do for sleep. Couches are not as supportive or as comfortable as beds. You need to be in your normal sleep environment to sleep soundly throughout the night and wake up early the next day.

What Can Help Improve Your Sleep

Looking for ways to improve your sleep so you can set up your nighttime routines? Here are some helpful things to add to your new, nightly ritual:

  • Eat carbs at dinnertime. If you don’t do this already, it can help a lot with making you tired. Carbs, especially refined carbs like bread and pasta, can make you feel sleepy. If you want to get tired within a couple hours after eating dinner, try adding some of these satisfying carbs to your meal.
  • Skip the alcoholic drinks with dinner. This doesn’t go for everyone, but many people find that their sleep is interrupted with alcohol. It can seem like you fall asleep faster, but your sleep is much less even, with a lot of waking up and tossing and turning throughout the night.
  • Take a bath shortly before bedtime. Relax your body and mind with a hot bubble bath before bedtime. Try this at least a few nights a week to be completely soothed enough for a good nights’ sleep.
  • Try meditation before bed. If you have had a particularly stressful day, you will have a hard time getting your mind to be quiet enough for early sleep. In this case, try incorporating a short meditation session.
  • Get an essential oil diffuser. Another great option is to start using essential oils at night. There are many great ones that can help to relax your mind and body at night, including lavender, chamomile, and bergamot.

Keep Screens Out of Your Bedroom

This can be a tough one, but it is highly recommended if you struggle with getting up early. Far too often, screens, keep you from getting good sleep, staying up too late, and disrupting your sleep. If you find that you check your phone every time you wake up in the middle of the night, your brain probably focuses on what notifications you have, increasing your stress, and making it very hard to get good rest. For now, it is a good idea to keep all screens out of your bedroom, with the help from these tips:

Use a Real Alarm Clock – One of the biggest excuses people have for keeping their phone by their bed and turned on, is using the alarm. While smartphones have some really helpful apps for getting you up, it’s not a good idea for everyone. For example, if you find that every time you wake up, you check your phone and sometimes get anxious over the notifications, then it could be keeping you from sleep. The easiest way to prevent this is to start keeping your phone turned off and away from the bedside table. To wake up early, you will instead need to use an alarm clock.

Keep Your TV Turned Off – Falling asleep to the TV is a bad habit that really needs to be broken if you aren’t getting good sleep. Some TVs will automatically turn off at a certain point, but many of them just go to the home screen, instead of shutting off completely. You might not hear anything, but the lights coming off the television might still be too bright for proper sleep. If you have a TV in your bedroom, try to turn it off completely before you go to sleep. 

Try a White Noise Machine – For sound, skip using your phone or TV, and get a white noise machine instead. These are small, easy to put on your bedside table, and have different types of sounds and volumes. They also work on timers, so after a few hours, it will turn off and not interrupt your sleep. 

Keep Using Your Fan – A good alternative to a white noise machine is to use a fan in your bedroom. Many people like to use fans not just for controlling the temperature in your bedroom, but for the light noise. You don’t want it to be blasting air in your room where it is too loud, but on a low or medium setting. This helps to keep you cool, while also allowing you to have some noise to fall asleep to.

Adjust Your Morning Routine

Once you have made some preparations to get better sleep at night, it is time to work on your morning routine. Being a morning person is more than just waking up earlier and setting your intentions. You also need to build up a habit with a new morning routine. Here are some tips for creating your new morning ritual:

Make a List of What to Accomplish in the Morning

To start working on changing your new morning routine, make a list of what you want to get done in the morning. Keep in mind that you will be waking up earlier, so you’re now going ot have some extra time to work with. This is great news! You can take your time getting ready, and will be able to fit in some more activities. Think about the amount of time before you have to get ready for work or running errands, and be realistic about what can be done in that time frame. For example, a short workout followed by cooking breakfast. Maybe you want to write in a journal or planner, or do a little meditation in the morning. Have a book you want to read? Add a few minutes for that as well. Just pick a few things so you aren’t too overwhelmed in the beginning.

Change Your Morning Routine Gradually

If you have ever tried to change your daily routine and given up quickly, the problem was probably that you attempted to change too much. If you are going from sleeping in and having a cup of coffee in the morning, to waking up several hours earlier, doing a workout, having lemon water, making breakfast, doing yoga, and writing in your journal – you are going to be completely overwhelmed. You need to switch things up gradually. Start with just waking up earlier, but keep your morning routine about the same, with maybe one or two things changed. Then as time goes on and you adjust to the earlier wakeup time, you can start adding more things to the morning routine. The morning routine is a BIG part of becoming a morning person and waking up earlier, so it is a really important part of this entire process.

Have Something to Look Forward to

In addition to having your regular morning routine, you want something to look forward to. There should be at least one thing you will do in the early morning that is exciting to you. This can be working on a hobby, having your morning cup of coffee in peace and quiet, or reading a chapter in a book. Really think long and hard about what you most look forward to, and write it down in your journal. Here are some ideas to spark your creativity about this subject:

Choose a Creative Activity or Hobby

You want this to be different than just what you feel like you NEED to do for work or personal reasons. Think of something really fun that expresses your creativity. A craft or hobby that you rarely have time for and know you would be excited about. Maybe this is drawing or painting, learning how to knit or crochet, taking Skillshare classes to learn something brand new, or getting into graphic design. It can be anything you want, as long as it is something you will enjoy and that will get you out of bed a little early each morning.

Find an Exercise You Love

The reason so many people talk about exercising in the morning when you change your routine is because of how beneficial it can be. It gets exercise out of the way first thing in the morning, and gives you loads of energy throughout the day. However, if you are forcing yourself to do something you don’t enjoy, you will not only dread exercising, but dread getting out of bed. Instead, find an exercise you absolutely LOVE. There are so many ways to move your body, you don’t have to run on the treadmill or do yoga if you don’t want to. Try Tai Chi, riding your bike ,going for an early morning hike, or dancing to some fun music.

Bonus Tip: Protein in the morning, carbs at night.

When it comes to your health, there is one more tip that can help you with your morning routine. This is going to help you stay awake during the morning hours, but be sleepier in the evening when it’s time for bed. Try eating a high protein breakfast, and saving most of your carbs for dinner. It works wonders!


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