If you belong in the group of people on this planet that feel energized in the morning, that can get up and get going, that enjoy watching the sunrise, and feel productive in the AM, congratulations. I’m jealous. I have a one cup minimum requirement of coffee, and that usually entails espresso.
If, however, you are like me, and want to become more of a morning person either because you want to start waking earlier, or you want a head start to your day, then this one is for you.
- Get more sleep
Seems like a no brainer, yes, I know. Getting your eight hours can have surprising benefits— for one, it can improve your memory. Recent studies have suggested that not only REM (rapid- eye-movement; your dreaming state) plays an important role, but slow- wave sleep does as well. Research has shown that the sleeping state of a person is important in aiding memory to become more solid and stronger, as opposed to the waking brain. The process of making a memory stronger, also known as consolidation, comes from newly encoded representations of memory. This occurs during the previously mentioned slow wave sleep mode. This takes the information and integrates it into the long term memory “file” we keep in our brains.
2. Make a night time routine that is right for you and your lifestyle, and stick with it.
While YouTube is flooded with night time routine videos, some are so extensive and elaborate, surely these people can’t be doing these 18 step processes every night before they go to sleep? A simpler, streamlined night time routine can set you up for success in the sleep department. By repeating the same process every night before you settle into bed for the night, your body learns to pick up on this pattern and sends signals to your brain to start getting sleepy. This could be a quick stretch and meditation session, and then heading to the bathroom to wash up— hands, face, teeth. It could be having a nightly warm shower and a cup of warm tea. It is literally up to you. Find something that suits you and your lifestyle, and make sure you stick with it.
3. Limit the screen and the caffeine
By limiting caffeine to around six hours before you aim to go to sleep, the caffeine ingested earlier on in the day will be digested and processed by your body. Its effect will be limited to the hours you need it to work, and start to wear off as the day presses on and is time to head to bed. Similarly, there have been countless of studies on the benefits of limiting screens in the bedroom. The blue light strains our eyes, and makes our brains go into overdrive working hard to filter the harsh light, and process all the information that is being thrown at it from whatever is on our screens. I must admit, I don’t follow this rule, and will have a hard time adjusting to this rule, because I love a good Instagram scroll before I fall asleep. But you live and learn.
4. Set a morning routine
I know, that’s a lot of routines to set up out of nowhere. But, it will help, I promise. If you get up and get moving as soon as that alarm hits, and don’t press the snooze button, you will feel more energetic and fresh. And if not, try getting out of bed and washing your face with cold water. Similarly to helping your body let you know it’s time to sleep with a night routine, help your body understand that it is time to wake up with a morning routine. I know that many times all you want to do is lie in bed, under that warm and fluffy duvet, especially during the winter months. But it is so important to get. Out. Of. Bed. And get going. Just try it once, and see what happens. It should be easier now that the weather is warming up.
5. Have something to look forward to
Whether it be a good workout to really wake you up and get that blood flowing, or that special almond milk creamer in your coffee you love so much, make sure you have at least one thing to make you want to get out of bed. See: Incentive. Having a good workout will help set yourself up for success and a healthy lifestyle, which is really the whole point anyway. If you can’t bring yourself to get into that exercise gear at 7am, at least try and find something else you love to do. Perhaps a part of your morning routine can include waking up twenty minutes earlier so you can have the house all to yourself and get in a little reading of your favourite book. The possibilities are endless.