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Are you tired of sleeping in until those final few moments where if you don’t get out of bed right this second, you will be late to work again? Do you envy that peppy morning person who prances into the day after having already worked out, showered, AND had a full breakfast?
Training your body to wake up early when you’re usually best friends with your snooze button will not be an easy task, however it is completely doable. All you need to do is truly commit yourself to making a few minor changes, and you too can be a morning person too.
Have you ever tried to get into a cold pool by dipping your toes in and then walking in little by little? It takes your body so much longer to adjust to the temperature then if you just jump in. Waking up early is very similar in this way.
We all have our different goals, but whether you’re trying to wake up before noon or if you want to be a 4am early bird, the method is the same. Pick your ideal wake up time and stick to it, don’t try to slowly adjust.
Your body has a natural sleep rhythm, if you slowly try to wake up earlier and earlier each day, it will take your body’s natural sleep rhythm longer to adjust. The fastest way to get to your ideal sleeping schedule is to start now. Yes, you will be tired at first but your body will adjust much faster than if you try to get up earlier little by little.
Now, you might think we are crazy, but listen in. Your focus needs to be on when you wake up and less about when you go to sleep. If you really stick to a schedule and wake up at the same time every morning, your sleep schedule at night will naturally follow. Once your body gets into the rhythm, even on your days when you accidentally stay out later than usual, your body will still wake up at the same time.
So don’t fret over your bedtime and instead focus on being as consistent with your wake up routine as possible. We suggest following our Guide to Optimizing Your Sleep to make the most of your nightly routine.
If you are not a morning person already, then it is highly likely that you have difficulty waking up and staying awake. One trick that we have for you is to use light. It is difficult for anyone to wake up in complete darkness. If you’re getting up before the sun, we suggest getting some kind of light alarm clock that slowly lights up your room, simulating the rising sun.
You may be surprised how well this works as the first line of defense for waking you up in the morning. It is gentle, yet effective. When sunlight (or simulated sunlight) slowly fills the room around you, your body begins to produce hormones to wake up your body.
There are many on the market, however we really enjoy the Philip’s Hue Go Lights. We love these lights because they can be stand alone, but they also work with Alexa and smartphone apps. You can schedule your Go Light to slowly filter in light for an hour and stay on for however long you like. You can even schedule the light to go off at a set time. They have many other features that are lots of fun to play with.
Get your body moving and your heart rate up every morning. If you are not a gym junkie, then you don’t have to do a full work out. However, a quick walk around the block or a couple laps up and down the stairs will inform your body that now is the time to be awake. If your mind is conscious in the morning but your body is still resting, then your body is not going to get the memo that you’re training to wake up earlier.
Working out first thing in the morning will also make the rest of your morning easier. When you raise your heart rate, your endorphins begin to kick in and give you an extra boost of energy. Even better than coffee.
Speaking of coffee, you’re more than welcome to caffeinate while adjusting to your new morning schedule. (Lets face it, you’re probably going to need it.) However, we suggest skipping the sugar in your morning cup of coffee. Sugar and carbohydrates tend to give you peaks and valleys in your energy level.
While a sugar rush might help get you out the door, you will likely crash before you hit lunch time. Instead we suggest sticking to light breakfasts that are high in proteins and low in sugar and carbs.
While you’re still transitioning, you will likely feel the urge to take an afternoon nap. Try to avoid this temptation, instead ride that sleepy train until it is time to go to bed for the night. If you take that nap, you will likely stay up later making it much harder to wake up early again the next morning.
You may also be tempted to treat yourself to a weekend sleep in. Besides, you don’t have to go to work and you’ve done well waking up early all week. While this sounds like a treat, this will likely spoil any progress you’ve made so far.
Remember that your sleep rhythms can’t tell the difference between the weekend and a weekday. So if you sleep in Saturday and Sunday, your body will want to sleep in on Monday as well.
Consistency is key to becoming a morning person. When you hit the snooze button to get an extra couple of ZZZs, you’re training your body to ignore the alarm clock and fall back asleep. So instead, train yourself to get up the first time your alarm clock goes off. It takes some true determination, but eventually your body will adjust and it will become much easier the more you do it.
Still can’t do it? Need a little extra help? Try the snooze button deterring alarm clock rug. The genius behind this rug is that the alarm won’t go off until your feet hit the floor. This forces you to face the hardest part of waking up, first thing.
Every night before you go to sleep write down your intentions for the following morning. Be as specific as you can, write down what new exercise class you are going to go to, or what time you’re going to take the dog for a walk. By writing down these intentions right before you go to bed you know exactly what to expect when you wake up in the morning. The less decision making you need to do in the morning means the less excuses you will have for going back to sleep.
Have a friend who wants to start waking up early too? Or know someone who already does? Become accountability buddies! Make plans to go get coffee together in the morning. Go to a new workout class together or schedule a quick call/text to make sure you’re both up at a certain time.
Having someone who will hold you accountable to your new schedule will help you to stick to your schedule when you feel like going back to old habits.
Having something pleasant to look forward to every morning makes it a lot easier to get up. Find something small that you can manage to do for yourself every morning. Whether it is a relaxed yoga session, journaling, reading your favorite magazine, or watching a bit of that show that your spouse or roommate can’t stand. Just make sure it is something that will help to wake you up and can be something just for you.
This will look a little different for everyone, but one journal option we really enjoy is the Sunrise Manifesto. Simple and quick, this guided journal helps you to prepare for the day ahead and maintain a positive outlook.
Waking up earlier can add a lot of free time to your schedule. Free time that you can use to treat yourself and even tackle some personal goals.
While becoming a morning person is no easy task, it is absolutely an attainable goal. The great news is that once you get into the practice of waking up earlier, it will eventually become easier.
Just remember that consistency is key. Stick with it long enough and you will be waking up before your alarm clock, feeling rested. It sounds like magic but it is all about training your body.
Are you a morning person? Tell us what works best for you! We would love to add your insight. Simply contact us with how you’ve turned into a morning person and we would love to add you personal journey to this article!