Many of us envy those up can jump up straight out of bed in the morning full of life and energy. We cannot stand those who are 'morning people' (or larks) as we still feel sluggish and half asleep.
It's a common thought that being a 'morning person' is hardwired into us. We are built with those genes that make us such a person. A person that can start each day full of vigour.
And to put it bluntly, those thoughts are right. About one in ten of us are considered 'morning people', while two in ten are 'night owls' who become more productive during the wee hours of the morning.
The rest of us (the majority) fall in the middle. Labelled as 'hummingbirds' we could have our most productive hours both early and late into the day. So if you genuinely feel very sluggish in the mornings, it's not entirely your fault.
The good news however, we can modify our daily behaviour to help encourage our body and mind to become more like a morning person.
Here are 6 tips on how to become a morning person.
Stop hitting that snooze button
Hitting that snooze button when our alarm goes off is incredibly tempting. But what you may not realise is that you may be doing more harm than good. Our bodies are programmed to naturally wake up and the advancement of technology has robbed us of getting proper rest.
Many of us live in a state of sleep inertia which is the feeling of 'morning grogginess' that is followed by an abrupt awakening.
While we need our alarm clocks to help us to get work on time, we don't need those extra 5 or 10 minutes that snoozing gives us. As the old saying goes, "you snooze you lose".
When we start to snooze, our bodies start the sleep cycle over again. Breaking this sleep cycle when it's just started makes us even more tired than when our alarm originally went off.
So instead of setting your alarm for earlier than when you actually want to get out of bed, set it for the exact time. This will leave you with no time to snooze and over time, will help you wake up brighter and happier.
Workout in the morning
Working out in the morning has a vast amount of benefits that can help all aspects of your day. Working out is often a task left to the end of the day when the majority of our energy and willpower has already been spent.
Throughout the day, we can create a lot of excuses not to workout at the end of the day. Such excuses as "I've already had such a hard day" or "I have so much to do when I get home".
But if we tackle our workout routines first thing in the morning, we can feel great about the rest of the day. Research has shown that our willpower is at an all time high during the mornings, which slowly depletes over the course of the day.
Early morning workouts can help increase our energy levels for the rest of the day. This is due to the increased body temperature and the elevated adrenaline levels.
Stick to a routine
Having a routine is key to becoming more of a morning person. Routines make sure our bodies are not shocked into something they are not prepared for. If we go to bed and wake up at the same time each day, our bodies will get used to this. They are prepared!
A routine is easier during the weekdays as most of us will be getting up for work. The trouble starts at the weekend. But it's highly encouraged that we stick to our routines during the weekend.
Plan for the next day ahead
Stress can wreak havoc on our sleep and energy levels. Planning for the next day have great influence on how happy we are. It's said that 25% of our happiness hinges on how well we're able to manage our individual stress.
So before you hit the sack, make sure you plan for the day ahead. Write down what you want to achieve, make your lunch and pick out your clothes. Doing all this will ease the stress on your mind, leaving you to have a more productive and stress free morning.
Remove screens from the bedroom
This may be hard for some people but you should be removing all electronic screens from your bedroom. This includes all phones, TV’s and laptops. Studies have shown that watching TV before bed can have an impact on how quickly you fall asleep and how well you sleep.
This is mainly due to being exposed to artificial light that suppresses the release of the sleep promoting hormone, melatonin.
Removing screens from the bedroom will encourage you not to use them before sleep. Instead, reading a book or taking a bath can help promote a good night's sleep.
Limit the caffeine and alcohol
Caffeine and alcohol are terrible for sleep promotion. Caffeine, while great for the morning to get you going, ingesting it too late in the day can have an influence on how quickly you fall to sleep.
Research has suggested that caffeine can reset your internal body clocks, delaying the rise in melatonin levels. The sleep hormone is vital for us to get a good night’s sleep, and anything that gets in the way of melatonin will end up making us feel groggy in the morning.
There is a large misconception that alcohol can help you sleep. While it may get you to sleep quicker, the quality of sleep you have while alcohol is in your system is far less great than without it. Interrupted sleep will leave you wondering if you actually slept at all.
Try and limit the consumption of both caffeine and alcohol, especially a few hours before bed. Instead, drinking a calming hot drink such as chamomile tea can actually help you sleep.