For those who naturally open their eyes before the sun peaks over the horizon, we applaud you, and for those who don’t, we’re here to help you. Some of us force ourselves to wake when our bodies are fighting the alarm clock. Others gave up and created lives that allow them to sleep till mid-morning. Whatever your lifestyle or natural sleep cycle, here are some tried and true reasons to want to wake up in the morning and how to make that time an asset for the rest of your day.
Have you ever heard the adage, ‘the early bird gets the worm?’ This tidbit of wisdom is conveying much more than the availability of breakfast. Many studies have been performed on the advantages of waking early and starting the day. They show early risers to be go-getters, with take charge personalities. They tend to be more perceptive and have better problem-solving skills. With those extra morning hours, they can get more done in their day both personally and professionally. Believe it or not, morning people also seem to be less grumpy and have a glass half full mentality. With the added quiet time, they are even less stressed as they are not running late, activating cortisol while running around in a panic looking for the keys or fighting deep lines of traffic.
Those are some really good reasons to turn back the alarm clock, and maybe you’ve tried, but it’s not as easy as it sounds.
The biggest curve ball for night owls is learning to go to sleep! Sleep cycles are based on an internal clock called our circadian rhythm. Plants, animals and even the planet run on this biological process of essentially 24-hour blocks of time. We can actually align our rhythm to that of the sun and moon by training ourselves to begin preparing for sleep once the sun goes down and begin waking as the sun comes up. Tests show that once you are in this planetary flow, your sleep will be more beneficial.
There are a few tips to get yourself into a state of relaxation and ready for bed at earlier hours. First, cut all caffeine after mid-morning. Even if you don’t feel its effects, your adrenal glands might and can continue to release hormones that block deep sleep. Avoid electronics and blue light for two to three hours before bed. If evenings are your TV time, try bumping it up to an afterwork treat and using those later hours for reading, cleaning the house, meditation, prepping for the morning or even your daily exercise. No, it won’t keep you awake. In fact, it could help you fall asleep more easily.
There are certain gentle herbs and teas that can facilitate sleep adjustments like Terra Origin Healthy Sleep supplement or a warm cup of valerian and hops tea.
This next little trick is probably the most important thing we can share with you. To convince yourself to get up early, you need to have a motivation or reason that you really believe in. If you say it is to meditate, but you’ve never built up that practice, it will be too easy to rationalize going back to bed and trying again tomorrow. You need to really decide for yourself the reasons you want to get up and play those in your head the moment your alarm goes off.
Now that morning has arrived, we encourage you to not hit the snooze button. You may even need to set an alarm across the room or in the bathroom. Do something that gets you out of bed.
Here’s another key point. Have a plan! If you wake up groggy, wishing to go back to bed and have nothing to fill that morning time, you’ll be asleep on your couch in minutes. Exercise is one of the best ways to wake yourself up, even if it’s only for a brief walk around the block. This gets your body activated. Follow a quick sweat session with a cold shower, and there is no way you’re crawling back into that bed.
If that sounds like torture, then take it more slowly. Start by getting dressed! Even if you aren’t leaving the house, the act of putting on clothes, brushing your hair and teeth and completing whatever morning routine you have will get your brain into motion.
Next, we strongly recommend giving your metabolism a reason to start burning! Breakfast may not be for a few hours, but mix up something nutritious like Terra Origin Vanilla Bone Broth Protein or Healthy Reds SuperFoods to give your morning a boost.
Lastly, be sure to take it slow. It’s unlikely that anyone can stick with a drastic two or three hour shift. Try 15-30 minute incremental changes. A good rule of thumb is double the time at night and half the time in the morning. So go to bed thirty-minutes earlier and wake up 15-minutes earlier.
It may feel like a serious challenge at first, but as you slowly work to recalibrate your inner clock, your body will reward you with deeper sleep, more energy and improved mental and emotional well-being.