I have never been a morning person. In high school, I would repeatedly wait until the last minute to drive to school. It got so bad my brother refused to ride with me and started taking the bus instead!
Now, at 31, gone are the days of sleeping in. Sleeping in now means 7 a.m. I would be remiss if I did not mention that having a child has played an integral in the formation of my current sleeping habits. I have often wondered if morning people were born that way or if their habits formed over time.
Now, I won’t claim to be the expert morning person, but do I think I have made great strides in this area over the past few years. Here are a few things that help me:
• Plan Your Day the Night Before: If not your day, at least plan your morning. On work days I find it incredibly helpful to organize my to do list the night before, move any unnecessary tasks off my calendar and have a plan for what I’m going to do first when I get to my desk. The times I do not do this planning, I find, often lead to chaotic mornings where I flit from task to task and accomplish little.
• Go to Bed on Time: Everyone requires differing amounts of sleep. I do believe I’ve always been in the eight to 10-hour crowd. But I’ve met many people that can comfortably function on six hours of sleep. Figure out what your requirement is and then plan your bedtime accordingly. I know if I stay up too late and sacrifice sleep I am dragging the next morning. Also, drinking Sleepytime tea helps!
• Exercise: While we are on the topic of rest, I have also found I rest best, and my mind wanders the least, when I have exercised that day. For some, evening exercise can make them feel too awake. Whether it’s running, yoga or at home workout DVDs, it’s important to find what works for you. Julie wrote about her morning routine which includes a morning workout.
• Morning Motivation: I’m not going to lie. Getting to my first cup of coffee is one of my biggest motivators in the morning. In fact, I just ordered a new programmable coffee maker with the hope that I can set it to brew upon waking. If you aren’t a coffee drinker your morning motivation could be a tall glass of lemon water, your favorite breakfast, a warm shower, journaling or meditation.
• Don’t Think, Just Do: Lastly, I have found if am lying in bed after the alarm goes off debating pressing the snooze button, or dreading any part of my day, it makes being a morning person that much harder. Jumping (or getting) out of bed and just starting to go through the motions of my morning works best. Every time, within 10 to 15 minutes I am more alert and eager for my day.
What are your tips for becoming a morning person?
*This post was originally published in 2011 and has been updated and republished for accuracy and comprehensiveness.