Becoming a Morning Person

Becoming a Morning Person

Five Ways to Wake Up Bright Eyed and Bushy Tailed

Do you see why it's hard for me to get out of bed in the AM?

My entire life, I’ve been what you call not a morning person. I need nine to 10 hours at the minimum, and I’ve been known to need 12 to 14 when I am feeling deprived. I desperately want to be a morning person. My belief is that the benefits of becoming a morning person will far outweigh the benefits of sleeping, like getting a lot of things done before the rest of the world is up and having extra time in the evening to have a life.

In January, I set a goal to become a morning person. Definition: Get out of bed by 7 AM everyday and wake up naturally, excited and not grumpy. When I set said goal in January - I was living on the west coast. My plan worked! I was up at 7 AM, even earlier everyday, for at least a month. After the first 30 days I was waking up on my own, without an alarm. I was very proud of myself.

How did I do it?

1. Set up something like a phone call or gym class, that I was fearful to miss. I forced myself out of bed by setting work calls at 6 AM. I did set a few workout classes at 7 AM, but I wasn't as motived by a workout and canceling on a class as much as I was motivated by canceling or no showing a business contact.

2. No technology in the bedroom. No phones. No iPads. One of my biggest problems wasn't waking up, it was actually getting out of bed. The second my alarm would sound, I would pick up my phone, get on Instagram and spend an hour reading news.

3. Repeatedly wake up by 7 Am for 28 days straight. Physicians say it takes 28 days to break a habit.

4. Go to bed by 11:00 PM or earlier each night to train my body that it was bedtime. Even if I couldn't fall asleep. Even if I had no life, even if something fun was going on. I had to stick to a strict bedtime schedule the first few weeks.

5. Limit Caffeine! Especially after noon. I basically quit coffee and didn't allow myself tea after noon so I could naturally feel tired in the evening. Yes I wasn't as productive, but the end goal was to have more hours to my day in a few weeks. It was worth it!

Moving back to the east coast in May has totally messed up my circadian rhythm - AKA that alarm that naturally goes off in your head when it's time to sleep and wake up - so I am back at it again. Let's be real here. It's cold, and darker in the morning, but I am up for the challenge. Anyone else want to do it with me?

**An interesting read from Forbes on Five Things successful people do before 5 AM.