(This post contains an affiliate link.)
A morning person’s world
The world is basically a morning person’s world. Workdays start at 8 or 9 AM, and stores shut down by 10 PM. (Unless you’re a 24-hour Wal-Mart.) The world does not cater, generally speaking, to night owls. I myself am a natural night owl. If I let myself, I can easily stay up past midnight, 1:00, or even 2:00 AM.
As a former homeschooled kid, this worked out well for me. No need to get up early for class! However, once I stepped into the “real world,” I had to start changing – and it was not pretty or fun or easy. Getting up for an 8 AM class in college (the first time) was absolute misery. When I started working, I once again had to get up before 7 AM in order to get to work on time. I was CONVINCED that I would NEVER be a morning person. There was just NO WAY.
Can you change into a morning person?
Or was there a way? Over the years, I have learned that many of the obstacles we face are in our minds. Not that our problems are just “in our heads,” but that many barriers exist because WE put them there. I’ve discovered that not becoming a morning person was one of those mental barriers I had created.
As I’ve embraced the concept of waking up earlier, I have actually started to thrive on it. Now, it does involve work (like getting to bed at a decent hour), but it IS possible. If you tell yourself “I will never be a morning person,” guess what: YOU WON’T. I say this from experience. I am a night owl at heart. But because I have wanted to change, I have. (And the advantage: I can easily vacillate between being a morning person and a night owl. I have the best of both worlds when needed!)
Fellow night owl’s: Rejoice!
So my fellow night owls, I’m here for you! Check out these steps that can help you become more of a morning person. It’s a constant work-in-progress for me too, so let’s do this together.
1. Change your mentality
This is THE #1 step to becoming a morning person. Like I said before, if you say you can’t, you won’t. Don’t let your mind be your biggest obstacle. Overcoming your night owl mentality may take awhile, but I assure you that it’s half the battle.
2. Make a list of the advantages of being a morning person
This can be a great exercise if you are having trouble with changing your mentality. It helps to see why it is good to be a morning person. (Other than adhering to the world’s schedule, there are health benefits that I will talk about in a future blog post.)
3. Change your bedtime
After mentality, this is the biggest step. You can’t just get up early and expect to run on less sleep. That would definitely be a health detriment! I understand how difficult it is to get in bed earlier. Natural morning people don’t get it, but night owls can so easily stay up until the wee hours of the morning. The key here is baby steps. Start moving your bedtime earlier by 10-15 minutes each day or every other day. Is it really worth it to stay up for that late-night comedy show? (Because come on, there’s DVR!)
4. Create incentives
If you need an extra push in going to bed earlier, create incentives for yourself. Pick out a good book or magazine subscription that you can only read at night in bed. (Just make sure it’s not too scintillating, or else you’ll just keep yourself up!) Make your bedroom a haven. Don’t bring your work to bed, ever!!
5. Develop a relaxing routine at night
This ties into #4. My nighttime routine looks something like this: put on my blue-blocking glasses when the sun goes down (more on this in a future post), stop computer work by 9pm, get a warm shower, turn the A/C down to 69 (because the body sleeps better in cooler air), and sip on a hot mug of tea while reading a good book. I also use a lavender-based essential oil blend before going to sleep. I love this routine and I feel “off” if I don’t do it. Am I perfect at it? No, sometimes the computer stays on later. But this is my goal.
6. Develop a motivating morning routine
It does no good to have a relaxing night routine to then wake up to stress. Even if I’m rushed, I have habitual steps that I perform. This will look different for every person. Some people find it motivating to immediately exercise. Some go right to getting ready for the day (as I do). But make sure that you develop a rhythm that works for your morning schedule. This can include fun things like listening to a podcast, upbeat music, or watching Snapchat stories as you eat breakfast.
7. Get 7-9 hours of sleep and don’t get up SUPER early
Americans are chronically sleep-deprived, and this has many health detriments – from being linked to obesity to diabetes. Don’t think you can skimp on sleep!! I did for years (5-6 hours was my average), and you WILL eventually crash. Sleep deprivation definitely led to my health crisis a couple years ago. If you have a proper bedtime (10-11 PM is ideal, midnight at the latest), then you shouldn’t have a problem getting enough sleep. Also, don’t get sucked into the “5 AM Club” phenomenon. Contrary to popular belief, super early rising is not better. In fact, getting up before the sun is just as detrimental as staying up really late. Try to rise with the sun if possible.
8. Don’t rely on caffeine
I know many will balk at this, but relying on caffeine in order to be a morning is just a crutch. If you’re relying on caffeine, you probably aren’t sleeping enough, and again: you will crash eventually. I used to be addicted to caffeine but I was able to go cold turkey by using essential oils and whole food supplements. I do not regret my decision one bit, and I still have coffee! (Water processed organic decaf tastes great!)
9. Plan your days
If you don’t have a plan for the next day, it’s easier to stay up late because you don’t have clarity. The hours will fly by and you will wonder where they went! I plan each week on Sunday and tweak as needed. I know exactly what is coming up the next day by a glance at my paper planner.
It IS possible to change! Share your morning tips!
Those are my tips on becoming a morning person, from one night owl to another! It IS possible to change. Start with changing your mentality, and go from there. If you have any tips on becoming a morning person, help complete my list by commenting below. If you are a night owl striving to be a morning person, I want to hear from you. You can do it!!