A Night Owl's Guide to Become a Morning Person

  • By Dr. Anand Thakkar
  • 16 Mar, 2016
As a night owl, you enjoy staying up into the late hours of the night. However, late nights usually lead to bad mornings. Not only do your mornings lack oomph, but a study done by the University of Pennsylvania also suggests late nights may increase chances of weight gain.

So what can you do if you are a born and bred night owl? You don’t have to dread getting out of bed every morning. With just a few simple changes you can transform your morning from half-closed eyes and dragging feet to walking out the door on time and ready to take on the day.

Here are some simple morning routines that will supercharge your day:

Prepare the Night Before

Don’t worry; you don’t have to go cold turkey on staying up late. Instead, give yourself more time to sleep in the morning by preparing what you will need for the next day before you go to bed. This will allow you to sleep in as long as possible.

Consider setting out clothes, packing your lunch or taking a shower before you go to bed. You can sleep in an extra 20 minutes by cutting down your morning routine. This will help you feel less stress when you wake up because you no longer have a million things to do.

As you prepare the night before, pack a healthy snack that you can eat before lunch. Make your snack a food that you will look forward to eating later. The anticipation will help your morning stay positive.

While packing your lunch is helpful before bed, there are other activities that are not helpful before bed. Many people who tend to stay up late end up watching television or playing on their smartphone to help them “wind down” before they fall asleep. However, electronics don’t help. Some research suggests looking at a screen before you go to bed may prevent deep sleep. Turning to electronics to avoid sleep may actually increase restlessness, causing you to stay up even later.

Additionally, you may have a hard time sleeping after going to the gym because your heart rate is higher. If possible, work out earlier in the day and avoid looking at a bright screen before you go to bed.

Develop a Sleep Schedule

One or two hours before you normally go to bed, your body naturally prepares for sleep. Your heart rate and temperature drop and your body releases melatonin into your bloodstream. You should work with this cycle and develop a sleeping schedule to help your body sleep and wake better.

You should set your “bed time” eight hours before your alarm clock is set to go off. Try and go to bed around the same time every night.

This sleep schedule applies to weekends as well. Whenever you interrupt your natural body clock, you risk throwing off your sleep cycle. This means if you want to feel refreshed in the morning, set a bedtime.

Make Yourself Walk to Your Alarm Clock

Now that you know how to avoid going to bed late, it’s time to avoid staying in bed. Don’t make hitting the “snooze” button easy. Placing your alarm clock right next to your bed allows you to make the decision to sleep in while you are still half asleep. And sleeping in always sounds good when you’re in bed.

To avoid this, put your alarm clock away from your bed so you will have to walk in order to turn it off. If you still need help waking up, set an alarm for 30 minutes before you need to get up. This will allow you to wake up gradually.

Move Before You Realize What You’re Doing

A great way to help your mind and body wake up is to start moving while you’re still in a tired state. If you decide the night before to work out in the morning, you can avoid the typical excuses you may give yourself. Moving right when you wake up increases your metabolic rate and your energy for the day.

You can stretch, lift weights, or do high intensity interval training to get your heart rate up. If you don’t think you will make it to the gym every morning, do whatever you can from home. Even simple movements are a step in the right direction.

Don’t Waste Breakfast

Most people know that you should eat breakfast in the morning. However, what you eat is just as important as eating. If you don’t get enough protein, fiber, fat, and calories your body won’t have the nutrients to last until lunch. You don’t need to eat a buffet for breakfast to ensure you won’t get hungry before lunch. Just choose healthy foods that will fill your stomach.

Now that you know how to start your day in a healthy way, check out our other blogs for more health tips and tricks.
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