5 reasons to become a morning person (and how to do it)

5 Days of Waking Up Early Challenge
5 Days of Waking Up Early Challenge

You've been late to work three times this week. There's no hard start time, but you know everyone else beat you to their desks by at least 28 minutes. It's time to make a change: you need to become a morning person. The thought of going to be bed, waking up, and it still being dark may scare you now, but all it takes are few lifestyle changes to see just how compelling being a morning person can be.

Contrary to what you might believe, however, being a morning person isn't something that simply happens overnight. Below are a few of the reasons that it's worth changing the way you do the a.m., and along with each reason is a method by which you can reach that goal. Try them out for yourself this week, and you may never want to go back.

Better Sleep (Sleep Better)

Common sleep studies tell us that the average human adult needs somewhere between 7-9 hours of sleep. Different mothers-in-law have different opinions on just how many hours it takes to get to that sweet spot, but the only way you'll really know is if you try it.

Stop keeping yourself up until one in the morning with the kind of activities that are supposed to make you relax. Do you generally relax with a cup of tea and the next Harry Potter spin-off? Yes. Are you relaxed after four hours of sleep? Debatable.

More Discipline (Turn Down for ... Yourself)

Being a morning person takes discipline, as John Zeratsky showed us in his Medium post. That means you're going to have to be intentional about creating a space for yourself to go to bed early and wake up early. That also means getting into a routine on both ends of the alarm button. John's approach? He made his own "turn down" service.

Some time before you actually need to go to bed, start to lower the lights, turn off the TV and get into whatever you call pajamas. Your body will start to take that as a signal that you're ready to shut off, and it will make falling asleep at 10:00 p.m. seem less infantile.

New Habits (Drink Better Coffee)

Another part of creating routines is finding habits that your body can get used to in the morning as you wake up. One of the most universal habits we modern humans have held dear for millennia is the art of coffee. Don't let it be that thing that burns your esophagus on your out-the-door slurp — make coffee making an experience.

Start with buying whole beans and grinding them yourself. You don't need to be a barista to know how to make a decent cup of coffee, and going through the motions might help you to wake up just a little easier.

Heightened Energy (Block out the Blue)

Listen closely: Turn. Off. Your. Screens. If you didn't read it on Twitter last night before bed, holding those blue lights three inches from your face for two hours every night as you're nodding off, according to the Huffington Post, is terrible for your health.

The blue light from your phone, as the HuffPo article mentions, is suppressing the melatonin in your body, making it harder to fall asleep, and preventing you from reaching your deepest sleep levels throughout the night.

Block the blue, catch more Zs.

Increased Productivity (Stop Rushing)

As Fast Company astutely notes, pulling all-nighters or barely sleeping doesn't make you a more productive person — despite what the rings around your eyes and hallucinations may be telling you. When you're getting proper sleep, the article says, you'll rely less on that alarm clock, you'll get more done at work, and you'll become more consistent in your daily habits.

A good night's sleep isn't just motherly wisdom: it may be the missing ingredient in your success at work.

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