7 steps to becoming a morning person this winter
Morning person 101: Plan ahead
Without preparation getting out of bed can feel like stepping into chaos every morning. Realising at 8.30am that your shirt is not ironed isn’t the best way to start your day, so it’s high time you set an evening routine that will make life so much easier come the morning.
Decide what you plan to wear the evening before and prep a healthy lunch – shortening your morning to-do list before work is sure to make it easier to roll out of bed.
Improve your sleep cycle and ban screens for the final hour before bedtime. Instead, enjoy a more relaxing activity such as reading. Research has shown that the blue light emitted by electronics like laptops and mobile phones disturb sleep even more than natural light, so power down to catch those z’s and you’ll be leaping out of bed in the AM!
Eat and drink smart
Avoid going to bed too full or too hungry, as the discomfort may keep you awake. Caffeine and alcohol in particular are known to disrupt sleep, so avoid these beverages and eat your evening meal no later than 8pm to enjoy a great night’s sleep, helping your energy levels when your alarm eventually goes off the next day.
Finding the right alarm and where to put it can have a big impact on your wake up routine. Try experimenting with the sound, timing and location of your alarm to discover what suits you. For example, some alarms wake you up gradually with the pleasant sound of birdsong, making the transition to waking up less unpleasant. Another practice is to place your alarm across the room as opposed to on the bedside table. The necessity for movement makes you more likely to get up, and stay up.
Don’t hit snooze
As tempting as it might be, those extra ten minutes snoozing are counter-productive and can leave you feeling groggy. This is because we risk falling into a deeper phase of sleep that is more difficult to wake from. Our deepest sleep, or rapid eye movement (REM) as it’s technically referred to, usually lasts between 70 and 90 minutes, and this is the point in the cycle where we dream so it’s often harder to wake up from. On the other hand, if you wake up naturally and feeling rested an hour before your alarm is set, there is no harm in getting up and starting your day.
Let there be light
While the nights are longer, rise with the sun when you can. Fall asleep with your curtains slightly ajar and let the natural light ease you out of sleep. Exposing yourself to sunlight in the morning can enhance your alertness and energy levels throughout the day.
Get up at the same time every day
Do you ever wake up just minutes before your alarm sounds? That’s your internal clock. Don’t mess with it. Set your alarm for the same time every day and soon you might not need one. Also, try not to use weekends as an excuse to sleep in. Though tempting, it can throw off your body’s rhythm.
Martin Ricketts is CEO of Plutus Health