When that alarm starts buzzing at 6:00 a.m., we know how tempting it can be to just hit snooze and bury yourself back under the covers! Now that the days are getting shorter, the longer nights (and darker mornings) seem to keep calling us back to dreamland. You may grumble at that co-worker that always seems to be in a cheerful mood first thing in the morning, but making a few small changes can get you on their same happy wavelength. Pretty soon you'll be rising more easily each day and getting half of your to-do list accomplished before lunch time! Here are some simple things you can start doing in order to become a morning person:
Get plenty of sleep. This sounds really obvious, but the later you hit the pillow the longer youll want to stay there! If you have trouble falling asleep, try creating a nighttime ritual - brush your teeth, turn off electronics, write in a journal, and start winding down. Your brain will start getting the signal that its time for bed, and youll sleep more soundly for a better morning.
Work your way up (to waking up). If you want to get up at 7 a.m., set the alarm for 6:40 and allow a couple of hits on that snooze bar. Little by little, move the time forward in 5-minute increments until you don't need the snooze anymore at all.
Let the sun shine! Let the sun shine in! Light is what helps to wake us naturally from sleeping, which is why its easier to snooze for longer in a dark room. One simple solution is to leave one of your drapes open during the night so that the sun can work as a gentle and natural alarm clock.
Hold yourself accountable - with a buddy. Have a friend that also struggles with getting up early, but that also wants to get healthy? Work together! Set a time to meet at the park each morning for a walk. If you know you're meeting someone, you'll be more likely to keep your promise. Bonus points for starting your day with some exercise as well.
Pound some water! While most people reach for coffee, it turns out that drinking a big glass of water can do even more good. During sleep, our bodies are naturally fasting from water. Giving cells a jump-start of hydration will perk up every inch of your body!
BONUS TIP: Refrigerate some bottles of water pre-spiked with True Raspberry Lemonade. You'll be more tempted to get out of bed and drink up when a tasty and hydrating drink is ready to go!
Prep for breakfast. We all know its the most important meal of the day, but what if upon opening the fridge we don't find anything appealing? Spend a little time on Sunday night preparing some easy breakfasts for your week. Pre-portion your oatmeal in small jars, make some hard-boiled eggs that are ready to grab, or even make some breakfast burritos wrapped in foil for the freezer that you can pop in the oven. Having breakfast ready to go will not only ensure you reach for something healthy, but also give you the energy to start your day on the right foot.
Give yourself a little extra. Starting the day with high stress (and rushing to get out the door) only sets us up for a tired slump the moment we get to work. Instead, give yourself an extra 10-20 minutes of wiggle room when you're setting the alarm. Use that time to read the newspaper, catch up on social media, do some easy morning stretching, or have a quick meditation session. Use it however you like, but just don't use it for extra snooze time! When creating any new healthy habit, its important to be patient with yourself. These changes don't happen overnight, but with a little effort and planning you can gradually start seeing positive results. Soon you'll be proud to call yourself a morning person! Ready to take on the new season? We've got some simple tips to keep you healthy and happy this fall!
[Credit: Schwecherl, Laura. Hey Sleepyhead! How to Become a Morning Person. Shape Magazine.]