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  • Jennifer Bradford

How to become a morning person

So this is something that I am trying to adjust to currently. I thought it would be a good topic to discuss, too, because it can be helpful in attaining goals and just feeling better.

Here are some things that you can do to become a morning person and optimize your sleep quality:

alarm clock on bed

Set your goals: When to get to bed and when to get up

Plan your sleep just as you would plan your day. What time are you planning on getting to bed? What time are you going to wake up? You may need to set an alarm to remind yourself to go to bed just like you would set an alarm to wake you up!

Shift your timing

A good sleep goal for adults is 7-8 hours of restful sleep. But this means how long you are actually asleep, and not just how long you are in bed. To get this amount of sleep, you may need to adjust the timing of your sleep. So, you might need to work backwards here. If you want to start your day at 5 AM, you need to be asleep by 9 PM to get 8 hours in an ideal situation. If you are going to bed now at 11 PM, your body isn't going to be ready for sleep at 9 PM, so you'll need to slowly adjust the timing of when you go to bed. Start going to bed about 30 minutes earlier for several days (in this example, at 10:30 PM) and then continue working backwards until your body adjusts, you're tired, and able to fall asleep easily by 9 PM. This whole process of adjusting the timing of your sleep is going to vary for everyone. In general, I'd take at least a few days in between adjustments.

Keep a consistent schedule

This probably comes as no surprise. I think most people know they should stick to a regular sleep schedule, but few actually do. We tend to get up earlier on weekdays or days we have work and school and we tend to sleep in on the days that we are off. This can actually be pretty detrimental to your overall sleep health. Our bodies thrive on consistency and if we are always changing the time we get up and go to bed, it is going to work against you. As best you can, try to get up and go to bed at the same time everyday no matter the day's activities.

Have a morning routine

Do a few things you can look forward to first thing in the morning to help you get out of bed. Maybe you enjoy doing your work out first thing. Maybe your day starts with a cup of coffee and writing in a journal. You don't need to go insane and have a 3 hour morning routine like some influencers you see online. Simply, getting up at 5 AM and having a cup of coffee and walking your dog prior to getting a shower and leaving for work is a routine enough. Do anything that you enjoy and that will get you in the right mindset for the day.

Optimize sleep environment

When going to bed, there are a few things that you can do aid your sleep quality. Lighting and temperature are two big ones. It should be dark in the space you're sleeping in. Some people have small lights on (hall lights, bathroom lights) or even keep TVs on to "help them sleep", but this can negatively affect overall sleep quality. If you have a TV in your bedroom, remove it. Also, the temperature of the room you're sleeping in is very important. The ideal sleeping temperature is about 68 degrees. This is in general. Personally, I need it a bit warmer or it's too uncomfortable for me. Others might need it colder. If you're not sure, start at 68 and adjust up or down to what works for you.

Prepare things the night before

This is helpful if your mornings are usually nuts. Try to do whatever you can the night before to help ease the morning rush as much as you can. Set your coffee pot to start brewing at a certain time, set out your clothes, prepare your breakfast as much as you can, get all your bags ready to go, etc. Anything you can do prior to going to bed (this can be apart of your bedtime routine, too!) do it so your mornings are not a struggle.

sleeping in bed holding on to glasses

I'm trying to incorporate the above tips into my own schedule. I've changed my sleep timing a bit to try to stay more consistent and get to better quality sleep overall.

What's really nice is that in the mornings, I work-out on certain days, but the days I do not, I have some quiet time to enjoy a cup of coffee and read while my husband is working out and my son is still asleep. It's just a bit of alone time prior to the day starting and is so nice.

Go ahead...try some of the above tips and see how not only your quality of sleep improves, but also your overall health and wellness.


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