We all have that one friend who rises at the crack of dawn, achieving more in those early hours than most people do in a single day.
Getting up early is one of the most universal success secrets out there, the life hack shared by everyone from Apple’s CEO Tim Cook to Oprah. (She wakes up at 6:30 in the morning and never sets an alarm because Oprah.)
But morning people aren’t born that way, they’re made. That’s right: You can train yourself into becoming a morning person by following a few simple steps.
1. Choose your new wakeup time and work your way up to it
Want to get up at six every morning, but you’re more used to a leisurely eight o’clock start? Don’t bump the alarm right up to six on the first day you try. You’ll just end up snoozing it four or five times.
Instead, set your alarm fifteen minutes earlier than you usually would and incrementally wind the clock back over the course of a few days or weeks. That way you can give your body time to adjust to its new rise and shine time.
2. Once you’ve decided on your new routine, be consistent
After giving your body a bit of a run-up to the new regime, make sure that you stick to it. That means even on weekends, at least for the first few weeks or months. Wake up at six (or five! Or whatever you choose) every day for the next little while so that your body learns that this time, whatever it may be, is when it needs to get up and go.
Don’t worry, you don’t have to stay like this forever, just long enough to teach your body these new sleep habits. But if your body has consistent messaging that this is the time it needs to wake up it will make it easier to get out of bed every time the alarm goes.
3. Open your curtains
How do you solve jetlag? By getting sunlight on your skin, which tells your body that it’s daytime wherever you are and that you need to stay awake.
The same idea applies to getting up early: By sleeping with the curtains open, or making sure that you’re getting daylight on your skin in the early hours of the morning, you can reinforce to your body clock that it’s time to get up.
4. Make your morning routine easier
If you find getting up in the morning difficult then you might need to streamline your morning routine. That doesn’t mean paring it back but rather making small adjustments that will make your life easier in the early hours of the morning when you’re sill struggling to wake up.
Lay out your clothes the night before, have the coffee pot set and ready to go, make sure you have a fridge stocked with overnight oats, chia pods or anything that makes for a quick breakfast.
All these things will help you get going faster and will make life easier for you when you’re stumbling around your house half asleep in the morning.
5. Make plans for the mornings
The best, surefire way to get up is to fill your calendar with obligations. Sign up to an early morning yoga class, meet some friends for a pre-work coffee, set a longstanding reminder to go for a swim, make that FaceTime date with your friend living overseas.
If it’s something that you love and want to do then you won’t have any trouble waking up for it.
6. Don’t reach for your phone first thing
One of the first things we do when we wake up in the morning is reach for our phone and scroll through emails, Instagram and social media. It’s a bad habit and one that you need to break if you want to become a true morning person.
The endless social media scroll is detrimental to your mental health first thing in the morning. Something far better is to get out of bed, have a shower and then prepare your coffee and breakfast. While you drink and eat take out your phone and have a look at the pressing emails and Instagram pictures (no judgment).
Still, leave the bulk of it for the office hours. The only way to become a true morning person is to change your mentality in those early hours. Looking at social media first thing in the morning kickstarts a cycle of introspection. Wouldn’t you rather start the day energised and refreshed? We know we would.
If you are concerned about your health, wellbeing or sleep, your first port of call should be your GP, who will advise a correct treatment plan.
Now that we’re on the topic, here are 10 simple ways to enhance the quality of your sleep – starting from tonight! – plus the 7 surprising things making you tired.
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