Early riser undoubtedly have the upper hand. There's reason for the cliché, “the early bird catches the worm” – as our often inflexible working lives mean it's difficult for night thrivers to achieve as much as their opposites. And for those people, there's nothing more anger-inducing than stumbling into the office just in time, with sleep still in their eyes, whilst their wide-eyed colleague sits their smugly after a morning workout and an hour or two of work...
But is this something you just have to deal with, or is it possible to train your body to wake up early (ideally without 10 cups of coffee)? Here's our top tips...
This one's backed by science. Research shows that moderately intense exercise can improve your mood for up to 12 hours afterwards - therefore leaving you feeling far more awake than if you'd have opted for an extra half an hour in bed. But this is easier said than done for a morning-hater. Partly this is down to creating a habit. When it's a question, the smallest flicker of doubt can seep into your sub-conscious, and the pull to turn over and go back to sleep will likely win. Try making a commitment - meeting a friend for a run or booking into a class to take away your option to bail. Or even try a 20-minute home workout instead. It'll be easier to persuade yourself into this, and you might even have time for a leisurely breakfast afterwards – surely that’s motivation enough!
When you're looking forward to your day, it always makes getting out of bed so much easier. Which is why you rarely snooze through your early morning alarm before a vacation! So try to start the day with something positive, that you enjoy doing. It could be working out, but it could also be something more relaxing, like writing in a journal, reading a book with a good cup of coffee, or just listening to your favourite podcast on your way to work.
Swerve The Snooze
The snooze button is enemy number 1 when you're battling to get up early. To avoid pressing snooze (and losing both your early morning head start & quality sleep), try changing your alarm to a song or radio channel that you enjoy listening to; which will mean you're less likely to turn it off. And try moving your phone away from your bed. If you have to actually get up to turn it off, then you’re much less likely to climb back into bed and drop asleep!
Say Goodbye To Screen Time
Screen addictions are a major factor to our society's current sleep epidemic, thanks to late night Instagram scrolls and youtube holes. The blue light emitted from laptops and phones keeps your brain alert, effecting your ability to drift off, and your sleep quality too. We recommend aiming to shut down all devices at least half an hour - an hour before you'll get into bed - signalling to your body it's time to wind down.
Go to Sleep
Let's take it back to basics; being a morning person is mostly down to one simple factor; getting enough shut eye. You can’t just expect your body to just cope with getting far less sleep, so if you want to wake up earlier, go to bed earlier too. It's a tough habit to get into, but after a while your body will eventually adjust. So if you really want to become an early riser, you better get ready for a lot more 10pm bedtimes!