If you’re a night owl, you’ve probably spent most of your life not wanting to crawl out of bed. “Night owls often struggle against a society that is geared to early risers,” Terry Cralle, a registered nurse and certified clinical sleep educator, told CNET. “Obviously, this can result in sleep deprivation and all of its consequences if their working hours are not in alignment with their body clock.” The good news is you can work to become a morning person with a few simple strategies.
A good place to start is to let natural light kick-start your morning routine. “Light exposure is the most important thing by far,” Dr. Nathaniel Watson, co-director of the University of Washington Medicine Sleep Center, revealed to the BBC. “It affects the circadian rhythm (your internal clock) the most. It’s way more powerful than any melatonin or medication that you can take.” This means ditching the blackout curtains and letting the rising sun ease you awake. It doesn’t cost a cent and could help you wake up more easily and in a better mood.
Turn off your screens to become a morning person
Another strategy to adopt is powering off your cell phone, television, tablet, and computer before bedtime. “What you’re doing [when you’re online] right before you go to bed is blasting your brain with these blue wavelengths,” Watson explained. “You’re telling your body it’s time to be awake and that’s not the message you want to send.” You’ll want to go completely dark at least 30 minutes before you’re ready to fall asleep, recommends the National Sleep Foundation. It’s may not be easy, but it will help you feel sleepy and drift off sooner — which is important if you want to wake up earlier.
Lastly, it’s crucial that you try and stick to a sleep schedule, aiming to go to sleep and wake up at the same time every day of the week (that means no more all-nighters). “If you go to bed later on a Sunday night but have to wake up early on Monday then you could see a real (negative) effect on your performance,” revealed Watson. So if you want to become a morning person, it’s key to become a creature of habit.
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