Yes, it's possible to work your way toward becoming a morning person. Even if you're more of a night owl, you can slowly integrate waking up earlier and some simple strategies to make the most of your mornings.
How to become a morning person has more to do with your circadian rhythm, also known as your inner clock, than anything else. It's possible to become a morning person over time as you adjust your circadian rhythm by changing your sleep schedule and starting your days with great intention.
Morning people usually wake, with energy, before 7 a.m. Early birds usually feel their best in the first half of the day and often turn in quite a bit earlier than their night owl counterparts.
Understand Your Chronotype
Your chronotype (your body's natural preference for when to wake and when to sleep) can be largely influenced by your genetic makeup. Understanding your chronotype can help you set realistic goals with regard to becoming a morning person.
- Lion chronotypes are natural early risers.
- Bear chronotypes, making up most of the population, wake and sleep with the sun.
- Wolf chronotypes are natural night owls.
- Dolphin chronotypes are sensitive sleepers, often rising early and going to bed late.
Knowing your type is important and can help you see the ways in which becoming a morning person may be challenging for you. If you can lean into your chronotype with regard to your sleep schedule, you may find you're most energized by honoring your type as much as possible.
Even if you may never be a natural morning person, a few lifestyle changes can help you dread mornings a little less.
Prioritize Truly Restful Sleep
If you want to feel energized when you wake each morning, any ordinary sleep just won't do. Prioritizing truly restful and restorative sleep is one of the key components to becoming an early bird.
- Keep your sleep space clean, comfortable, and relatively dark.
- Breathe in and out through your nose while sleeping to ensure quality rest.
- Don't drink caffeine too late in the day.
- Use lavender scents in your bedroom (maybe as a pillow spray or in your laundry detergent) to encourage calm sleep.
- Use white noise to drown out sounds of traffic, neighbors, or night owls in your home.
Slowly Adjust Your Bedtime
If you're used to staying up close to midnight, going to bed at 8 p.m. is probably going to be tough. Rather than laying there for hours and forcing yourself to keep your eyes closed, try to gradually move your bedtime forward over the course of a few weeks or months. As you slowly adjust your bedtime, your circadian rhythm will tune in to your new routine.
Absorb Natural Light First Thing Each Morning
If you can start your day with sunlight, you'll feel able to lean into the morning person life a little easier. Try to get outside or sit by a window first thing in the morning. Take in the sunlight, breathe the fresh air, and embrace a brand new day as an early-bird-in-progress.
Few people, even natural early birds, enjoy rising while it's still dark and attempting to start their day. If waking earlier means opening your drapes to a sun not yet above the horizon, try mimicking real sunlight as best you can.
- Swap blue light exposure for red light therapy lamps early in the morning.
- Try an alarm clock that gradually fills your room with light, mimicking a rising sun.
- Swap LED lamps for SAD lamps in the space you spend most of your morning.
Avoid Blue Light After Sunset
Blue light exposure (like the light from your television or phone) can suppress your body's ability to produce melatonin (the sleep hormone). Since blue light can have such a large impact on your circadian rhythm, it's important to limit your exposure within the hours leading up to bed time.
If you need to use something that emits a blue light late in the evening, try wearing blue light glasses to reduce your exposure.
Movement has so many benefits for our minds and bodies, including providing us with better sleep at night and more energy in the morning. Add some meaningful movement to your morning routine and start reaping the benefits of exercise on your sleep schedule.
Consider Adding Magnesium to Your Supplement Routine
Some researchers believe magnesium is important for helping the body's central nervous system relax, resulting in a better quality of sleep. Although research is limited, some studies suggest that there is a link between magnesium and an improved sleep experience.
If you have a magnesium deficiency or are not at risk for magnesium toxicity (meaning you have too much in your body), adding the supplement to your routine might help you sleep better and have more energy the next day.
You can also apply magnesium topically to help absorb the mineral and even aid in muscle relaxation.
Be Consistent — Even on Weekends
As with any goal, consistency is key. Though staying up late on a Friday night and sleeping until lunch is tempting, it will slow down your progress in becoming a morning person. Try to keep your same sleep routine, even on weekends and vacations, to maintain your new early bird chapter of life.
Skip the Midday Nap
It's funny how our opinions of naps change throughout life. We despised them as kids and longed for them in college. Those midday naps may be tempting now that you're well into adulthood, but if they're a consistent part of your daily routine they could make becoming a morning person more difficult. Try to save your sleep for after sunset and focus on quality rest at night rather than making time for naps during the day.
Being a Morning Person May Be Temporary
As we've already covered, being a morning person is partly nature and partly nurture. Even if you finally feel that you've earned early bird status, it may not last forever. Different seasons of life, aging, and other environmental factors may call you back to the night owl life later down the road.
Leaning into these strategies and tips for embracing your mornings can be a whole new experience for some people, and they may fall in love with their new morning routines. But regardless of whether it's a long-term or short-term change, for now, you can enjoy all the benefits of being a morning person and feeling energized when you wake up.