Ten Ways to Become a Morning Person (When You Really Aren't)

I have a confession to make: I've never been much of a morning person. I find it so hard to get up in the A.M. and would do anything for an extra hour (or two) in bed. Unfortunately, that's not always possible and I've found that when I do manage to get up early, I'm more productive and motivated, get more accomplished throughout the day and end up sleeping better the next night.

If you're like me and love the idea of being a morning person but struggle with getting up when your alarm goes off, here are some tricks I've learnt over the years to make things a little bit easier. 

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1. Prepare the night before
Before you go to bed, set out everything you'll need for the next day. This could include choosing your outfit, writing a to-do list, packing your work bag and prepping breakfast. This will make life so much easier in the morning when you won't have to run around looking for things. I also make sure the house is tidy and any washing up is done before I go to sleep - waking up to a messy house and a sink full of plates can be really demotivating and put you in a bad mood for the day.  

2. Get a good night's sleep
If you want to be a morning person, you'll need to get sufficient sleep. Go to bed early and set your alarm for the same time every morning, even on weekends. Your body will get used to the pattern which will make it much easier for you to get out of bed in the morning. If you have trouble sleeping, try reading my post Seven Ways to Have a Perfect Night's Sleep for some tips. 

3. Get up straight away
Snoozing your alarm multiple times is a great way to ensure you wake up feeling worse. To keep falling back to sleep just to be woken up again every ten minutes will make you feel more tired and groggy than just getting up as soon as your alarm goes off. As tempting as it may be, resist the urge to hit that snooze button. If you really struggle, this runaway alarm clock is a fun way to force yourself to get up - it will run around your room beeping loudly and the only way to turn it off is to catch it. 

4. Get some light
As soon as you jump (or roll) out of bed, open all the curtains and let the sunshine in. Natural light regulates your circadian rhythm and wakes up your brain, telling you it's time to start the day. Walking around a dark house will keep you feeling sleepy and yearning to crawl back into bed. 

As the winter months are approaching and there's less natural light in the morning, it might be a good idea to invest in a Lumie bodyclock - an alarm clock which imitates sunrise and wakes you up naturally. I've had one since 2005 and swear by it. 

5. Brush your teeth 
Clean your teeth pretty soon after getting out of bed. The minty freshness will make you feel more awake and get rid of that horrible taste you can have in your mouth when you've just woken up.

6. Drink water
Downing a big glass of cold water first thing in the morning before you eat anything or pour yourself a coffee will rehydrate your body, give you energy and make you more alert. Squeeze some lemon juice into it for added health benefits.

7. Don't skip breakfast 
Food has a great way of waking us up - even the smell of someone cooking can rouse us from a deep sleep. Eat your breakfast within an hour of getting out of bed to raise your blood sugar levels and kick-start your metabolism for the day. A good breakfast consisting of protein and complex carbohydrates should give you enough energy for the day ahead.

8. Take a cold shower 
This is not the most pleasant experience in the world, but it's definitely an effective way to wake up. The cold water shocks your body, causing you to breathe deeper which in turn increases your oxygen intake and gets your heart beating faster. If you're not brave enough to step into a freezing shower yet, just splash some ice cold water onto your face.

9. Have some caffeine 
If you find it really hard to get going in the morning, give yourself a kick start with a cup of coffee or tea. If too much caffeine gives you the jitters, try making the switch to green tea. A cup of coffee can contain up to 200mg of caffeine whereas green tea typically contains about 35mg - it'll wake you up more gently and won't cause you to crash later on. Green tea also offers a wide range of health benefits so it's a great thing to drink on a daily basis. 

10. Work out 
This may be the last thing you want to do when you've just woken up, but trust me, even gentle exercise will get your heart beating and blood pumping through your veins. Going for a morning run or brisk walk is one of the best ways to wake yourself up and put you in the right frame of mind for the day ahead.

Are you a morning person or a night owl? Do you have any tips for getting up in the morning?

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