At 6 am, we’re lucky if we have the energy to reach for a cup of coffee. Mornings may be rough for some of us, but hold off on sleeping in: There are perks to waking up with the sun. (And we have some tips to make it easier, too!). (Check It: How to Never Be Late Again)
Snooze and Lose — The Need-to-Know
The old “I’m just too tired” complaint may be more than a sorry excuse for waking up late. Research suggests there are biological differences between early larks, who wake up at the same time every morning and feel most active around 9 am, and night owls, who get more sh!t done once the sun goes down
Good Day Sunshine — Your Action Plan
But night owls aren’t totally out of luck. One study found evening lovers are more productive than morning people are at night
- Get enough sleep. It may seem obvious, but getting those recommended seven to nine hours will make getting up earlier easier. Pro tip? Keep the laptop and other work out of the bed to sleep soundly.
- Stay consistent. Try to set the alarm clock for the same time every morning — including weekends. A constant wakeup call may make it progressively easier to jump out of bed.
- Start slowly. Pick a new wakeup time and gradually work towards it. Want to wake up at 7 am but stuck at 8 am? Start by setting the clock for 7:45, and move down in 15-minute increments until that new time goal is reached.
- Skip the snooze. Disrupting sleep an hour or so before actually getting out of bed may disturb our REM cycle, which helps stimulate brain regions linked to cognition. Don’t want to mess with that (or bug a roommate with multiple alarms!). Set one alarm for when it’s time to rise — and maybe another a few minutes later in case you snooze through!
- Set some happy sounds. Skip the beeps and blares and set an alarm tone to something soothing or fun. Need an idea? Here are 10.
- Let in the light. Research shows a little light may be all we need to reset the body block
Jet lag and shift work sleep disorders: how to help reset the internal clock. Kolla, B.P., Auger, R.R.Mayo Center For Sleep Medicine, Mayo Clinic College of Medicine, Rochester, MN. Cleveland Clinic Journal of Medicine, 2011 Oct;78(10):675-84. doi: 10.3949/ccjm.78a.10083.. A simple solution is to keep the blinds open during the night. Orgreet the day and brush your teeth outside! (While waving to the neighbors…)
- Eat breakfast. Sleepiness doesn’t disappear just from drinking a cup of coffee. Having enough time for some green eggs and ham (or maybe just a yogurt parfait) will also provide energy, not to mention it’ll boost that brainpower, too.
- Hit the gym. Those tired eyes may go away once a morning workout routine is in order. Exercise will definitely boost energy — give these early-bird exercises a try
Physical activity and feelings of energy and fatigue: epidemiological evidence. Puetz, T.W. Department of Kinesiology, University of Georgia, Athens, GA. Sports Medicine. 2006;36(9):767-80.!
- Treat yo’self. Have a reward waiting in the a.m. to motivate climbing out of the covers. Dive into some freshly baked fruit and nut bars, or slide into a warm bath instead of taking a quick shower.
- J.F.D.I. Sometimes we need to bite the bullet and “just f’ing do it.” Researchers have found that creativity may flourish when we feel groggy, so don’t let a little drowsiness interrupt seizing the day!
Need a bigger push? Check out our super comprehensive (and fun!) How to Become a Morning Person guide!