Are you a morning person or a night owl? For many of us, the thought of starting the day bright and early sounds like a great idea. In reality, though, hitting the snooze bar is generally the far more desirable option. That’s because each of us has an internal, circadian body clock that dictates our rhythms throughout the day and night. If you’re one of the lucky ones who bounds out of bed each morning ready to conquer the world, congratulations! If not, read on.
Even if your body resists awakening early, there are ways to retrain yourself to be a morning person.In fact, there are many benefits to the practice, including better health and performance. According to a South Korean study, night owls are at risk for a variety of health maladies, including diabetes and obesity. A UK study found that those who awaken later are at higher risk of unhappiness and depression. Early risers are more likely to maintain an exercise routine, are more highly regarded at work, and tend to perform better in school. Ready to make some changes? Here are some tips to get you started:
- Shut down earlier each day. It can be tough to do, but eliminating an hour of activity from your evening schedule can get the ball rolling on an earlier wake time. For many people, simply turning off the TV an hour sooner will do the trick.
- Make the bedroom a screen-free zone. Banish TV viewing, Facebook, and other screen-based activities from the bedroom. In addition, no screens an hour before bedtime – blue light emitted from screens disrupts natural sleep.
- Let the light in. Try leaving blinds open in the evening to let the morning sun gently awaken you.
- Make grooming easy. To maximize morning time, consider showering in the evening. Also, experiment with low-maintenance hairstyles, like a stylish braid or twist, to cut down on primping.
- Eat a protein-rich breakfast. Starting the day with a healthy, stick-to-your-ribs breakfast, such as Greek yogurt with granola and fruit, is a great way to start the day right and avoid a morning slump.
- Reward your good behavior. Give yourself an incentive for rising early by incorporating something you love into your morning routine – read, have an extra cup of coffee, or spend a few minutes on a hobby project. Make morning your favorite time of day!
Resources:morning person, rise and shine