As a working professional, there are very few things in your daily life that will have as much of a positive impact as being a morning person. The additional daylight hours can result in increased productivity. The absence of wasted time rolling around in bed and pushing the snooze button can now be a thing of the past. Even that mad dash through morning traffic to arrive in your cubicle on time can go the way of the dodo birds. All these only scratch the surface of what being a morning person can do for you. Attorney turned author Steve Berry offered even more pro-morning people evidence, “I'm a morning person because I learned to write my novels while still practicing law. I would get to the office at 6:30 a.m. and write until other people arrived, around 9. Now I still do that.”
While becoming a morning person does not entail writing a book while maintaining a job as a lawyer, a larger point holds true. Whether you like the morning or not, there is no shortage of positive reasons for making this part of your life as it can revolutionize you as a professional. However, this is far easier said than done.
Chances are, you are much more of a night owl than anything else. And honestly, you bear little fault for this. Between the internet and artificial lighting, what was once the normal, human sleep schedule, is anything but. Napping in the middle of the day just to make it through is commonplace for some. In fact, this trend has come to a point recently where people feel as if sleep is nothing more than an optional accessory for life rather than a necessity. This line of thinking has resulted in unhealthy outcomes to say the least. To avoid all this and help you make the most out of your day, we put together a list of habits that will make you a morning person.
Your routine is your priority
The harsh reality of becoming a morning person is that you must wake up early every single morning. Being a morning person does not take a day off just because your job does. It is a schedule you adjust your body to and subsequently keep.
“As a morning person, I know that continuing this trend is about mindset and personal actions more than anything,” said Ryan Rottman, Co-Founder and CEO of OSDB Sports. “Whenever I have hit the snooze button in the morning, I’ve bucked my own trend making it harder to get back on the proverbial horse.”
The example given here is worth a little analysis. The act of hitting the snooze button is one of pure emotion – exhaustion or the desire to rest more being the primary cases of this. Obviously, emotions are part of the human experience. But when emotions begin to dictate your sleeping patterns, becoming a morning person becomes that much more of an uphill battle.
Something similar was said by Fred Gerantabee, Chief Experience Officer at Readers.com about the evening hours as well, “Whenever you let your feelings decide when it’s time to go to bed, you’re setting yourself up for failure the next day if you’re intent on becoming a morning person. Instead, find the bedtime you want to keep and no matter what, you should find yourself in bed at that time.”
Simply put, you must dedicate yourself to becoming a morning person daily. Otherwise, those lazy mornings you are used to will return without hindrance.
Remodel your sleeping situation
If you take the time to think about your quality of sleep over the last month, would you rate it highly on a scale of one to 10? If not, that might be what is keeping you from becoming the morning person you desire to be. Afterall, how are you going to make it out of bed at the crack of dawn if every fiber of your being is telling you more rest is needed?
“The actual space you sleep in has the ability to make or break your efforts of becoming a morning person,” said Melissa Rhodes, CEO of Psychics1on1. “Truthfully, it’s up to you to make this space work for you so do whatever it takes. Including renovating every aspect of your sleep space. From the lighting to the bedding, make it luxurious and make it yours.”
The second item mentioned here, bedding, is where the real rest takes place. Be it Amazon, Bed, Bath & Beyond, or another retailer entirely, trying to shop for a mattress is like trying to find a specific piece of hay in a haystack. Every mattress looks like the one after and before it. You can try them out for a few minutes in person, or read all the reviews you want, but how will you know which specific mattress suits you? Jeff Goodwin, Sr. Director, Performance Marketing and E-Commerce from Orgain has an idea for you, “Anyone who listens to podcasts regularly knows there are more than a few startup mattress companies which advertise on these platforms. Most of them have a satisfaction guarantee so don’t be afraid to shop and try around until you find what’s right for you.”
Learn to enjoy it
You probably know as well as anyone, drastic changes are almost never enjoyable. Especially when you are venturing away from long-standing habits. There is even more additional truth to this where sleep is involved. As mentioned earlier, the act of sleep is very habitual. Your body subconsciously learns what is happening in and around sleep and adapts to this, in hopes of creating better sleep. On top of this, you are the one responsible for building sleep habits. Should you build bad, or unenjoyable habits, it will become that much more difficult to maintain an early morning routine. These habits can look like the sound of your alarm of the food your first consume.
“The best way for me to get going in the morning is to listen to a song I’ve really enjoyed recently,” said Natália Sadowski, Director of Aesthetics at Nourishing Biologicals. “So long as it’s positively inclined, it’s a wonderful boost to jumpstart any morning.”
On a basic level, practicality involving your personality is the theme behind this aspect of becoming a morning person. As stated above, there is not a specific song you should be listening to. Just one that you enjoy. This same idea applies to the big picture of your sleep. There is no “best” time to wake up, just one that is best for you.
“To become a morning person, you have to know yourself, or at least get to know yourself,” said Michael Van, CEO of Furnishr. “Does a fresh cup of coffee bring a smile to your face in the morning? Or is it sunlight instead? Whatever makes you happy to be awake is what should be part of your morning routine.”
Eliminate all distractions
Did you know that even when you are asleep your eyes are active? That’s right. With your eyelids closed and your body in full hibernation mode, your eyes can detect changes in light. This same concept is true of all your senses and their respective stimuli. While sleeping, when any of your sense’s experience something new, it disturbs your rest and in turn, can keep you from waking up early. This may be overwhelming to realize. However, the solution is really very simple.
“I would guess that most of us know plenty of people who sleep with the TV on or a phone on the other pillow,” said Jorge Vivar, Creative Director of Mode. “You might even do it yourself. Unfortunately, this is one of the worst things you do for yourself because you’ll never rest well.”
This point is key to realizing what it takes to make you a morning person. To make the early morning seem like the best time for your body to be awake, it must be fully rested. There are no two ways about this. So, returning to the larger point here – to rest well you cannot be distracted by outside stimuli.
“For whatever reason, people don’t give enough consideration to the things around them when they go to sleep,” said Rym Selmi, Founder of MiiRo. “A pet making noise or a change in temperature can easily ruin your rest cycles. Plan out where you’re going to sleep instead of simply making do.”
Place emphasis on mindfulness
“What activities are part of your life currently that allow you to relax?” said Loic Claveau, CMO of Prom. “Maybe it’s a small treat, meditation, or time spent listening to music. Whatever you find it to be, incorporate it into your evening routine. Because relaxation leads to rest and rest in the early morning.”
This statement hits the nail right on the head. Another way of saying this is, the people who think ahead become the best morning people. A quick scroll up this article supports this idea to the enth degree. No matter which of these routes you decide to go, spontaneity is not going to cut it.
"Planning ahead is probably the most effective way to begin waking up early," said Christy Pyrz, Chief Marketing Officer at Paradigm Peptides. "This starts with mindfulness regarding how you spend your time, both in the morning and evening. Something calming in the latter and invigorating in the former will do you good."
In social circles, the icebreaker question "Are you a morning person or an evening person?" is popular. However, there is a significant issue with it - it assumes being one or the other is a choice. All the evidence above should serve to show you otherwise. Author George Saunders went deeper on this point,"The scariest thought in the world is that someday I'll wake up and realize I've been sleepwalking through my life: under-appreciating the people I love, making the same hurtful mistakes over and over, a slave to neuroses, fear and the habitual."
Photography by: Stock Image