There has been a lot of mom blog traffic going around lately about how to become a morning person. If that’s something that’s important to a lot of parents out there, then it’s something I want to be able to help you with!
Here are my two cents on the subject.
I have always been a morning person. Both of my parents are morning people.
Somehow my brother missed that gene. 🙂
Here is the truth though: There are a lot of misconceptions out there about us morning people. Here are four examples.
We enjoy waking up early.
Now, if I’m at the beach, looking out at a sunrise as the waves crash along the sure… Yes! I love waking up early.
But if it’s a usual humdrum day, where I have to get up and go to work before it’s light outside… No. I don’t like waking up early any more than you do. I would love to sleep in a little, snuggled up cozy in my “fortress of warmth” (as my husband likes to call it).
Once a morning person, always a morning person.
I don’t think this is true at all. While some people may find they have more energy at night or in the morning, my experience tells me that this can be changed based on habits.
For instance, when I was in college, my best friend was a night owl. Not a hint of morning person in her. So I changed my routine so that we could spend more time together. We would hang out with friends until the wee hours of the morning. And while it was difficult for me at first, my body eventually adjusted to the night owl life and I was able to function perfectly well. She now has a toddler, and has become much more of a morning person than she ever was before. 😀
I know lots of people who started out at night owls, but developed habits and routines that allowed them to transition into morning larks.
It can be done.
We always wake up early
I would love to always wake up on a set schedule at a nice early hour and start the day off in a productive manner. But the truth is, like the rest of you, I get tired if I stay up late. Or if I do hard work. Or if I socialize too much (introvert here). When I get on a set schedule, I usually wake up naturally around the same time each day. But life happens, and schedules get messed up, and there are days I’ve slept in until noon because I was so exhausted.
We may not be inclined to sleep in late every morning, but unless we’re going to bed at an early enough hour to provide our bodies with the sleep they need, that sleep has to come from somewhere. Sometimes morning larks sleep in a little bit too.
It’s easy for us.
This is somewhat true, but not because we have some natural ability that nobody else in the world possesses. We’ve just figured out the secrets that make waking up early a little bit easier. And I’m planning to share those with you today!
Here are my secrets to becoming a morning person.
Wake up 20 minutes earlier
WHAT?! Waking up earlier makes me lose MORE sleep? How is that going to help?
A lot of people I know have a very rushed morning. No one wants to wake up to chaos. Five minutes to grab some clothes, run a comb through my hair, and grab my coffee on the way out the door?
You know what feels better? Giving yourself enough time to relax in the morning.
Trust me, you’ll dread mornings a lot less if you have time to dress nicely, fix your hair, and enjoy your breakfast. Which brings me to my next point.
Part of becoming a morning person is rewarding yourself for waking up earlier. If you don’t think a delicious breakfast is a good reward, I’m not sure what to do with you.
Plan your breakfast out ahead of time. Maybe you even want to make it the night before. It’s hard to come up with breakfast plans when you’re in zombie mode.
Picking food you’ll enjoy for breakfast will give you something to look forward to when your head pops off the pillow.
Make a routine
This is key for me. When I first wake up, I don’t want to have to think about what I’ll do first. Make a routine that you can follow from muscle memory until your brain kicks in. My morning routine looks like this:
- Turn the kettle on for tea
- Get dressed while the kettle boils
- Pour the tea
- Make breakfast while it steeps
- Enjoy a nice cup of tea with breakfast until 5 minutes before I have to leave
- Put my hair up, shoes on, and jacket
Getting into a routine makes it less likely that you’ll forget to do something, because there is a place and a time for everything you need to do.
Go to bed earlier than you think you need to
Don’t we all fall into this trap? We think that if we need 8 hours of sleep, and are planning to get up at 7, we should go to bed at 11.
But somehow, it never works out that way. 11 rolls around, and we decide to start getting ready for bed. Pajamas on, teeth brushed… Then we remember that we forgot to wash dishes earlier. “It will only take ten minutes.” Then we see a funny video on Facebook and before long, midnight has come and gone and we still haven’t gone to bed.
7am comes a lot earlier than we expected.
Save yourself that nonsense. If you know you have a tendency to fall into that trap, give yourself extra time. Plan to go to bed at 10 instead of 11. You’ll thank yourself in the morning.
No computer/phone/TV before bedtime
Media screens trick the brain into thinking it’s still daytime, which makes it much harder to fall asleep right after using them. Designate a time at least half an hour before you go to bed, and don’t use your phone, computer, or watch TV after that time.
What can you do instead?
- Listen to music
- Talk with your partner/spouse
- Make a to-do list for the next day
- Make breakfast or lunch for the next day
- Take a warm shower or bath
- Stretch or yoga
- Tidy up
Don’t lounge in bed
The bane of the night owl – lounging in bed in the morning. Many a morning event has been missed thanks to this simple mistake.
Here the scene: Your alarm goes off, it’s not quite light out yet. You wake up, but don’t feel like getting out of bed. Just five more minutes. The blankets have claimed you as one of their own. You are basking in their warmth. Your eyes are closing again.
Then you wake up an hour late for work.
Sound familiar to anyone?
It’s a trap. As soon as your alarm goes off, GET OUT OF BED. It will get easier the more you do it.
Turn the lights on
A lot of people like to get ready in the dark, because then you don’t have to face the terrible eye-piercing beams of light.
But turning the lights on tells your body that it’s time to wake up. Even if you just start off with a lamp, giving your eyes a little bit of light helps your brain wake up and shake off that lingering drowsiness.
Following these simple tips will help you IMMENSELY in your journey towards making mornings easier. Try them out and let me know how it goes. 🙂