All of you are familiar with the unwelcoming sound of your alarm. It’s early and you spent the night either partying or binge-watching Netflix. Either way, you were up late and now you are exhausted and have to drag yourself out to that 8 AM class. It appears, that in the life of a University student, sleep tends to be “optional”. As I’m sure you know, sleep is crucially important to our overall health and studies say that early risers tend to be more productive, happier and, of course, sleep better than those who are late owls. As much as you may detest it, waking up earlier on a more consistent front is beneficial. Here are nine tips that will help you become a morning person (or at least as close to one as you can get!).
1. Stick to a Schedule
The reason why early risers tend to feel more refreshed and energized in the morning is because they stick to a regular sleep schedule. Prioritizing a good sleeping routine will allow you to determine how much sleep your body needs (adults tend to need 7-9 hours of sleep per night).
If you are finding sticking to a particular schedule more difficult than expected, try gradually adjusting your bedtime. Start going to bed a few minutes earlier than normal. After a week or so, aim for being in bed an hour earlier than originally. That added hour of sleep can make a world of difference.
2. Prepare Your Surroundings
It’s truly hard to have a well-rested sleep when you are distracted by the chaos that is your room. Make sure to keep your surroundings clean and uncluttered. Huge piles of dirty laundry and old plates of food will only hinder your ability to achieve a good night’s sleep. If you can, try and decorate your area in soothing colours (cool tones) and smells (lavender or chamomile). Make sure you have absolutely no artificial lights such as your television or computer on when you are trying to sleep. Any kind of light, even the light from a phone, can throw off your body’s natural clock and cause wakefulness. Lastly, open up your curtains, unless of course you live in the basement (I’m sorry). The natural light in the morning will help wake you up.
Avoid eating or drinking caffeine at least 4-6 hours before bed. Unfortunately that means coffee, chocolate, and even some types of tea. Caffeine is a stimulant and will only cause you to feel restless. Try having a cup of decaffeinated tea instead!
4. Calm Down
Practicing a relaxing pre-bedtime routine is a guaranteed way to prep your mind and body for sleep. Stress can easily prevent you from getting your zzz’s so make sure you take the time to calm down before bed. Try some light exercise such as yoga or practice meditation. Have a warm bath and listen to soothing music. Also, make sure to turn off all technology at least an hour before bed. I know this is easier said than done but you need to give your brain some time to cool down after all that technological stimulation. Read a book instead! Find whatever strategy works best for you. Going to bed will soon become a treat rather than a burden.
We all do it! The snooze button is probably the best and worst invention in alarm clock history. Yes, it gives us 8 more beautiful minutes of sleep but trust me, the snooze button is not our friend! Pressing snooze will disrubt your sleep cycle, and cause you to feel drowsy for a longer period of time.
6. Move Your Alarm Clock
Such an easy tactic and yet so effective! Move your alarm clock (more likely your phone) across the room so that when the irritating chimes begin, you have to get up in order to turn it off. This also helps us avoid hitting the tempting snooze button. Just try to resist slipping right back into bed after getting up.
Ah, good ol’ exercise. A morning workout will not only energize you but it will release happy endorphins, which will make for a good day! It will also make falling asleep later that night easier. If you are not the exercise in the morning type person (I know, me too), then try something light such as a walk or quick stretch. Even a small round of jumping jacks in the morning will make quite the difference to your day!
What better way to start the day than by pumping yourself up with some tunes? Headphones may be required if you live with other people. Put on some energetic music that will get you moving and ready for the day! Here’s a playlist that is guaranteed to wake you up. Remember dancing is always optional!
9. Fuel Up
We’ve heard it a million times; breakfast is the most important meal of the day. Make sure you eat a nutritious and balanced breakfast not too long after waking up. A healthy breakfast will kick your brain in gear for those early morning classes!