In many cases, people tend to fall in one of two categories:
- Morning person – wakes up around the same time every morning and feels most active at 9am.
- Night owl – takes roughly all morning to wake up and feels most alert and productive later on in the day.
If you are morning person, you are scientifically proven to be happier, healthier, and more optimistic. You are also far more proactive and conscientious than night owls, and a recent study on University undergraduates found that those who said they function better in the morning received higher grades than those who preferred to work in the evenings.
Clearly the early bird seems to get a lot more than just the worm. Night owls – and those who stay under the covers till mid morning – on the other hand, are more likely to be stressed, overweight and depressed.
So if you’re keen to get on the early bird bandwagon and get a piece of the healthier and happier action, we have put together a guide to help you on your way:
Get plenty of sleep
It’s a no brainer – getting a good amount of sleep will make getting up earlier easier. Aim for eight to nine hours to ensure the best kip and try to avoid using smartphones and other devices once you get into bed as these can disrupt your sleep.
Getting into routine will ensure that waking up early gets progressively easier as time goes by. Set your alarm clock for the same time every morning – even at weekends – to provide the best results.
Start off slowly
If you have a specific wake up time in mind, set yourself mini goals to gradually get there. This will help your body clock to adapt to earlier rises. For example, if you want to wake up at 7am, start by setting your alarm for 7.45, then decrease this by 15 minutes every week until you feel confident setting your alarm at 7am.
Skip the snooze button
As tempting as it is to go back to sleep after your alarm goes off, pressing the snooze button is counterproductive to getting up easily. In fact, disrupting sleep an hour or so before actually waking has the potential to disturb our REM cycle, which is important for stimulating brain regions linked to cognition. So skip the snooze and get up straight away.
Cheer up your alarm
Set your alarm to a fun and cheery tune that is guaranteed to get you up and about. Alternatively, you could also consider setting it to a really annoying tune that you won’t be able to bear listening to for a long period of time.
Eat a yummy breakfast
Coffee, unfortunately, is not a cure for sleepiness. Food however is hugely important for energy and brain-power. Getting up early will give you extra time to prepare breakfast and if you make it delicious – summer fruits and yoghurt, your favourite cereal, beans and eggs etc., – you will be more tempted to get up early for it.
If you feel other areas of your life could do with a boost and new direction, you may want to consider coaching. Life coaches specialise in many different areas, including personal development, career, relationships and health. Please see our life coaching areas for more information.
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