I know what you’re thinking. Why should I and how will this positively impact my life?
The main reason is it aligns you with your body’s natural circadian rhythm in response to sunlight rather than going against it which can overtime impact our wellbeing. We may already be genetically programmed to be a ‘morning person’ or a ‘night owl’ on top of other contributing factors such as hormones, our age, where we live. That’s not to say we can’t re-program this chronotype, and why not give it go if you feel its something that might benefit you day to day.
Here are the top tips to becoming a morning person so you can tackle your to-do list minus the anxiety and add a spring in your step:
- Start a relaxing night time routine: This is where an hour before your set bed time you turn off any overhead lights, do your night skin care routine, pour yourself a sleepy tea like I Need a Moment, and maybe grab a book or pop on a pod cast or guided meditation.
- Have good sleep hygiene: Aim to have your screens off at least 30 mins before bedtime to allow your natural melatonin to kick in. Our circadian rhythm responds to sunset so if you have a salt lamp, turn that on and turn off any overhead lighting.
- Stay on a consistent sleep schedule: A consistent bedtime is going to be your best friend but don’t stress if this isn’t feasible every day to start with.
- Gradually shift your bedtime earlier: Start to edge your bedtime forward by 20 mins at a time over a couple of weeks.
- Develop a morning routine: Start by drinking a full glass of water as you rise (have it next to your bed ready to go the night before), try some exercise in the morning if you can and make use of your rising cortisol, it gets the lymphatic system and circulation going too even if its just star jumps or gentle stretching. You will feel accomplished and will start your day by filling up your own cup.
- Try a warm lemon water or herbal tea like Alive + Energise BEFORE any caffeine to allow your body’s cortisol to wake you up naturally so it doesn’t become dependent on that caffeine hit.
- Exercise regularly: moving your body ensures you are releasing any excess stress hormones and using energy so you can rest at night time and have a better quality sleep, just try to do it earlier than later in the night so your not revving up your cortisol all over again.
- Shift mealtimes earlier: aim to have eaten by 7pm at the latest, and then nothing at all after that. Digesting food close to bedtime is counter productive to a good night’s sleep as it spikes your blood sugar and is also slightly inflammatory so it’s not ideal especially if you are trying to maintain a healthy weight.
- Keep track of the positive impacts: “If I get up an hour before the kids I can fit in a 30min work out and get ready for the day and start on the front foot”. Winning!
- Do 1-2 things before bed to set you up for the next day: looking after future you so the morning isn’t overwhelming. Clean the kitchen, fill up your water bottle and lay out your gym outfit, or prep some overnight oats. Nothing worse than walking up frazzled and facing a mess in the sink from the minute you wake up.
Lastly, don’t be hard on yourself if you snooze that alarm. It literally doesn’t have to happen overnight!