If you clicked on this post, either you are already a morning person or you want to become one. Till a few months ago, I would never be able to get out of bed before 9:00 a.m., sometimes later, but now I’m up by 6:00 a.m. every weekday and between 7:00 and 8:00 a.m. on weekends.
The catalyst, for this change in my sleep cycle, was my son starting school. After a couple of weeks feeling sleep-deprived and irritable, I began looking forward to the early mornings. Now waking early has become a healthy habit!
If you’re not convinced about the merits of being a morning person, here are some pointers in its favour that might change your mind:
- You are more productive when you get an early start. Your mind is fresh and you are not in a hurry to finish any task, as inevitably happens towards the end of the day.
- You can enjoy leisurely me-time. Before everyone else in the house is up and demanding your attention, you can take some time just for yourself. Meditate, check your social media- whatever’s your jam!
- There are many studies to suggest that exercising in the morning, gives more effective and long-lasting results, as compared to exercising in the evening. Waking up early allows you to exercise before starting your daily tasks. You will love the early-morning calorie burn, and the release of endorphins will enhance your mood.
- You can enjoy the peace that nature provides. Five minutes spent in your balcony listening to the birds results in a more real and lasting happiness, than late-night Netflix binges.
- You can spend quality time with your children (or family) before they head off to school/office. I love to be involved in my son’s morning routine and chatting to him without interruptions. This also sets a good example for him, showing him a good role model for life.
- You will feel less stressed out, peaceful and happy. Unhurried early mornings are essential for mental equilibrium.
- The best part about being a morning person is that you automatically enter a healthy routine. If you wake early, you can finish all your work early, go out less, eat your meals early and sleep on time at night.
If you are now convinced of the merits of becoming a morning person, here are some easy-to-follow tips that have helped me make a smooth transition.
- SET AN ALARM AND DON’T SNOOZE IT!
This is the most obvious tip, yet the most disregarded one. Earlier, I would earnestly set an alarm every morning and snooze it multiple times before shutting it off altogether. However, the strict school timings left me no room to snooze, forcing me to be disciplined. Now, waking at 6:00 a.m. has become a habit and my body clock wakes me up before the alarm goes off!
Discipline yourself for the first three weeks and you won’t have to rely on any alarm after that period.
- SLEEP WITH YOUR PHONE ON AIRPLANE MODE
This has been a real game-changer for me. Sleeping with the phone on airplane mode saves you from the harmful radiations that phones emit. It also stops the annoying blue light of notifications from bothering you at night. Once the quality of your sleep improves, you won’t need to sleep longer hours in the morning.
- GET YOURSELF A FITNESS BAND OR SMART WATCH
After investing in a MI Band, I became very conscious of completing the minimum 8000 steps per day (as recommended by the World Health Organisation). Fitness bands and smart watches that calculate steps, work on a 12:00 a.m. to 11:59 p.m. shift. Hence, the earlier you wake up, the higher your chances of completing the required steps within a 24-hour period. The joy of going over and above the set goal of daily steps, is a strong motivating factor in making you a morning person.
- EAT DINNER EARLY
The human body is not meant to digest heavy foods at night. Most of us are used to eating dinner at 9:00 p.m. or later, which pushes bedtime really late. When you eat your last meal of the day at 7:00 or 8:00 p.m., the food is digested earlier and you are ready for bed at a reasonable hour.
You can also try intermittent fasting for 16 hours. This practice, though hard, makes you feel instantly healthier and more productive.
- JOIN A GYM OR FITNESS CLASS IN THE MORNING
When you pay for early morning workouts in advance, you have a higher incentive to attend the sessions. Morning workouts set a positive mood for the rest of the day, and boost your metabolism so you burn calories at a faster rate, as the day goes on.
If you make a commitment to your trainer or group instructor, you are more likely to wake up early and follow through. Maybe you could work out with a friend or your partner, and keep each other accountable.
- READ A BOOK INSTEAD OF BINGEING ON NETFLIX
Most of us are guilty of staying up late, fixated on a TV show. It’s never just “one more episode”, is it?! I’m not telling you to stop your TV binge sessions, but you can definitely make some changes, to become more productive in the mornings.
Keep your TV show viewing restricted to the weekends. If you feel the need to relax/wind down before bed, read a good book. It will calm your mind instead of over-stimulating it, in turn making you feel sleepy. If you are not fond of reading, you could try listening to audio-books or podcasts. In fact, even short YouTube videos are better to watch than TV shows that require a lot of time.
- ORGANISE YOUR SCHEDULE BEFOREHAND
The Calendar App on my phone is perhaps my most used one! I input all commitments, meetings, deadlines and information meticulously, so I am well-prepared. My husband and I have synced our calendars through Google, which further helps in planning our day-to-day lives. This method of organisation makes me feel efficient, excited and prepared for the day ahead.
- KEEP SOCIAL COMMITMENTS RESTRICTED TO WEEKENDS
Keep a few things in mind when deciding to go out on a weeknight- is the venue close by? Is it going to be a late night? Is it really necessary to go to every place that you are invited to? Is it possible to make a plan with the same people over the weekend instead?
You must bear in mind that your health and well-being is your topmost priority. Parties and events will keep happening.
- IF YOU MUST GO OUT ON A WEEKNIGHT, STICK TO A ONE-DRINK RULE
I have recently started following this rule and it’s working wonders. There are many advantages to sipping on just one drink throughout the night. You won’t get drunk, you won’t feel hungry and hence won’t overeat, and you will enjoy a more sound sleep.
These basic tips can be easily followed by everyone. There is nothing stopping you from becoming a morning person. If you are hesitant or feel that you won’t be able to make the switch, begin with a few pointers before trying the others. Trust me, starting your day early will instantly make you feel more productive and happier!
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