No matter how many alarms you set on your phone, you never seem to get out of bed on time or in the right mood. It’s just a fact of life that mornings suck. But here are some ways to make them a tiny bit better.
1. Slash an Hour From Your Day
If you want to wake up earlier, trim down those evening obligations. We know what you’re thinking: How can I not overextend myself? We typically overestimate how much available time we have and take on projects that we have no business committing to. “For the sake of decompressing your day, assume you have one less hour in the evenings and say no to things that infringe on that time.” Sorry, Saturday Night Live.
2. Wake up to natural sunlight
Most morning-person articles stress how important it is to have natural sunlight. But I live in a small studio apartment with a windowless nook for sleeping. I know this sounds cozy, and it is—until you want to wake up (there’s basically zero morning light).
3. Get up Much Earlier
There’s plenty of get-up-early advice out there that advocates for getting up just a little earlier each day. For instance, incrementally, set your alarm back 15 minutes until you get to your desired wake up time. This makes sense in theory, but for some reason it didn’t work for me. I honestly don’t know why.
4. Drink a full 8 oz glass of water as soon as you wake up.
Studies conducted have shown that the boost of energy you get from waking up and drinking an ice cold glass of water daily will not only burn calories, but help to kick start your metabolism. After all, if you’ve just slept for eight hours, that means you haven’t drank water in eight hours, either. Our bodies need to rehydrate! Your mood will instantly improve after drinking the water, and you’ll be ready to tackle the day.
5. Have a routine.
Have your clothes laid out and ready for the next day before bed. Have your lunch packed and prepped to go straight into the lunchbox. Make it a habit of keeping your keys by your bedside, so you know where they are in the morning (this is also a good idea if you live alone—have the panic button right next to you in case you hear an intruder. This has saved lives!). Whatever your morning routine is, try to incorporate as much of it into the night before.
6. Stop hitting snooze.
One survey found more than half of us do it every day. But hitting snooze to get more sleep actually has the opposite effect: It makes you groggier by interrupting your body’s natural sleep cycles. Plus, it’s just not a great way to start your day: Snoozing inadvertently becomes a reactive choice, which leads to further reactivity. “When you begin the day reacting to your environment instead of proactively shaping it, you find yourself on the defensive.
7. Do something positive and productive.
Getting out of bed on the right foot can impact your mood for the entire day, research shows. That’s why experts suggest planning a healthy and positive activity. For some, this may be a workout, but I liked other simpler suggestions: meditating, writing down three things I’m grateful for, reading an uplifting article, or listening to an inspirational podcast. It could even be something as simple as enjoying a delicious cup of coffee or breakfast.
While there is no one successful way to retrain your body (or brain) into becoming a morning person, there is hope! The one thing that we all tend to want and need is more sleep. The easiest way to avoid the doomsday of morning is to get enough rest so that when morning comes, you are a pleasant human being, prepared to join the living.