Not everyone is a morning person by nature — but you can be more of a morning person if that’s on your list of goals! Reclaiming your morning is an incredible way to get yourself on track for your goals, make a personal boundary for more “you time,” and so much more. Here’s how to do it — even if you’re more of a night owl.
The Benefits of Waking Up Earlier
Before we get too deep into this, let’s be clear: if getting up early means sacrificing your sleep hours (due to your work schedule or anything else) then please — prioritize hours of sleep first! Getting up early is great, but getting adequate rest is much more important for your health. Cool? Cool.
So! You want to know some scientifically-backed (and perhaps some qualitative) benefits of getting up early, do ya? How about these…
Your Mental Health May Improve
Some research has suggested that early risers have better mental health than night owls. This doesn’t mean you’re doomed to depression if you’re a night person, but you could see a shift in your mood and wellbeing if you decide to go on this early-AM journey!
You Could be More Active
If you’re looking to up your fitness game or add more movement into your routine, an early rise time may be the ticket! Scheduling your workout in before your busy day gets going guarantees that you’ll get your sweat sesh in.
You Could be More Productive
Giving yourself that extra time in the morning could help your productivity levels. You don’t need to be a part of the 4 AM club to be successful, but an extra hour before the rest of your day starts allows you to start tackling things with gusto — and some research showed early risers get better grades, which may indicate better cognitive performance!
You’ll Have More Time to Yourself
This one is less research-based, more lifestyle-focused. Getting up before the rest of the world (or at least with more time before your workday starts or before your kids are up) can give you some much-needed time to take care of you. Meditation time, exercise time, breakfast time, even just sitting, reading a book, or watching a show in peace. Go for a walk, sit at a café — the world is yours for a couple hours.
5 Habits to Help You Wake Up Early (With More Energy!)
So how do we DO this? Fortunately, science has some advice on this one, too.
Start With a Bedtime Routine
Psychologists and psychiatrists, sleep doctors, and general physicians will tell you: a bedtime routine can set you up for successful sleep. And when you get more rest (and better quality sleep!), you are more likely to wake up on time when your alarm goes off — without slamming the snooze button and cursing the sun. Try starting off with some meditation, perhaps a cup of tea, a warm shower, and reading or journaling to start to cue your brain for slumber.
Ease Into it
Forcing yourself to wake up early straight out the gates or scaling your wake-up time back by hours on the first day can actually be disruptive, interfere with your cognitive function, and impact your energy levels and health. Just like you’d ease into a new workout, ease into your new circadian rhythm, and don’t shock your system! Start by moving your bedtime back, then move your morning alarm back a bit. Do this little by little.
Maximize Morning Sunlight
Up with the sun! If you are able to, get some sun immediately after waking up — whether that’s through a window, on your porch, via a walk through your block, or sitting outside with a book or your to-do list. Your brain’s detection of light through the retina cues your body to wake up and get the day going — and it will help you adjust to this new schedule (and stay on it!).
Keep a Routine
For as much as humanly possible, keep a fixed bed and wake time. The more consistent you are with this routine, the easier it will be to get up early day after day — your body will start to automatically get up, sometimes even before your alarm. Consistency is key here!
Need another reason to eat a nourishing breakfast? Making a nutrient-rich meal first thing in the AM will provide your body with the fuel it needs to get the day going with some energy (no caffeine required). If you need some healthy breakfast ideas, FitOn PRO offers hundreds of recipes, customizable for your own meal plan.
Wake Up Early Without Feeling Tired
Everyone’s brain wakes up at different times (we all have different ‘optimal times’ for cognitive function), but there are serious advantages to waking up early if that feels right for you. If you’re ready to take on this new task and join the forces with the rooster crowd, consider using some of these tips to help you not only wake up earlier but wake up with more energy too.