Rise & shine. It seems like Kylie Jenner's broken the internet... again. Which has inspired us to really look at our morning routine.
Because you know what they say. The early bird gets the worm. But what if you’re more of a night owl than a morning lark? Is it possible to change your ways?
Many studies have shown that morning people are often more successful than evening people, because they tend to be more proactive. Another study has revealed that many CEOs of successful companies are up by 5AM.
With a little bit of structure, routine and work, you can change your habits. Changing your “chronotype” (these are part of your genes that determine whether you are a morning or evening person) takes roughly two weeks, but you have to stick with it. If you slack off… well, you’ll drift back to your natural tendencies. We’ve got 6 simple tips you can master to adjust your internal clock:
1. GET MORE SLEEP
Sounds pretty simple right? Duh. But let’s get the most obvious and irritating one out of the way. Most of us wish we had more sleep, but we actually need more sleep. Just like we need to make time for working out, we need to schedule 7-9 hours of sleep into our day, as it becomes one of the most essential parts of our health. What our bodies achieve from a good night’s rest cannot be supplemented elsewhere. Let’s break it down.
Getting a healthy does (7-8 hours) of sleep on a regular basis is linked to:
- Increase memory consolidation
- Better metabolism and weight
- Heightened mood and concentration
- Lower bloody pressure and stress levels
Put it this way, If you don’t get enough sleep, your body is not going to be good at changing other habits, your motivation and production levels are nowhere near they can be.
2. USE A SMART ALARM
The snooze button was originally designed for people to “go back to sleep” for a few minutes, without reentering a deep sleep cycle, but it can hinder your transformation into an early riser.
There’s nothing intrinsically wrong with it, but if you want to wake up at a certain time, you’re not in a cognitive state of mind to make a decision about whether or not you need to add those extra seven minutes of sleep.
Use a smart alarm like SLEEP CYCLE, which wakes you up naturally before or at the time of your alarm. For example if you need to wake up by 530AM, the alarm can detect when you are entering your conscious state between 5-530AM, so you wake up slowly rather than a jolting, disruptive alarm.
3. LET THE LIGHT IN
Whether its natural or artificial, light is important because it tells our brain the day has begun and sends a signal to our body to stop making melatonin - the hormone that regulates sleep.
It’s also important to expose yourself to vitamin D throughout the day. Go outside for 15 minutes a day, get some fresh air or sit by a window that exposes you to natural light.
4. WAKE UP AT THE SAME TIME EVERY DAY
Eventually, you won’t even need an alarm clock. Your body will wake up naturally. After two weeks, try to go to bed without setting your alarm the night before. You know that moment when you creepily wake up just minutes before your alarm goes off? That’s your internal clock. Don’t mess with it.
Also, try to limit the amount of time you spend sleeping in on the weekends as this can throw off your body’s rhythm.
5. GET MOVING
Okay, you’re probably thinking, are you insane? “I can barely wake up in time to get my morning coffee, let alone the gym.”
But doing exercise first thing in the morning realises bad toxins - the ones that negatively affect our sleep. It can be something as simple or gentle as yoga or a quick jog. It also helps reduce your blood pressure, reduce stress and anxiety, and helps you sleep better at night.
Plus its sure to make you feel more inclined to eat healthier throughout the day, you are getting it out of the way first thing, so you don’t have to worry about it later and when 6PM rolls around, you’ve already have your move time clocked in.
6. NO MORE SCREENS IN THE BEDROOM
Or at least make it so there are as few as possible. Avoid using your iPad, phone or laptop in bed. Your bed should be used for two things only. Sleep and sex. Don’t laugh, its true.
Although a lot of us use our phones as alarms, don’t let that screen be the last thing you look at before trying to sleep… Most of us spend our entire days looking at screens and this can be confusion for our brains. Restrict your contact with screens at least an hour before bed.
When you wake up, avoid checking your phone first thing. Most of us wake up, open up our Instagram or Twitter and while our brains are in their most natural conscious state, we start our day off on the wrong foot, instantly comparing ourselves to someone else’s lives on social media or reading a bad email. Take 5 minutes to stretch or even better yet, write in your journal and let the creativity flow.
Once you are able to start waking up earlier, the way you spend your time is yours. Maybe you want an extra hour every morning to work on that secret side hustle you’ve been dreaming about. Maybe you’ll find you need that extra me time, enjoying your lemon water, completely alone in the kitchen. Take some time at the start of your day to focus on being present. Life is hectic, we are constantly being pulled in opposite directions.. the morning is the perfect time to catch up with yourself.
The morning can be a time you can enjoy - start your day with calmness, mindfulness and gratitude - this will help set the tone for the rest of your day.