How To Be a Morning Person

Morning people are often portrayed in a positive light. To achieve maximum productivity, many of us search high and low for answers on how to become more successful by first inculcating the widely-touted habit of waking up early.

But the truth is, not everyone is biologically wired to perform their best in the wee hours of the morning. Simply put, not everyone is born an early bird. Some are naturally night owls, who on the other hand, thrive later in the day. 

So which one are you, and what good does waking up early actually do?  

The Benefits of Waking Up Early

As the saying goes, the early bird catches the worm. In fact, it can catch many worms if it can make the best out of the morning. There’s a wide range of reasons why it might feel great to wake up early to seize the day:

  1. You get to enjoy the peace and quiet in the morning
  2. You can plan out your day, which can lead to better productivity
  3. You’ll experience more daylight (depending on your location), which can make it feel like there’s more time in the day for you to do more
  4. You’re more likely to start the day with a hearty breakfast, which has been touted to be a good lifestyle habit
  5. You may experience improved mental health
  6. You may procrastinate less
  7. You may have gotten restful sleep (how else would you be able to wake up that early, right?) 
  8. You’re more likely to exercise
  9. You may have a better work-life balance, with more energy and opportunity to spend time with your loved ones

So What Makes You a Morning Person?

There are a few ways to see if mornings are more productive periods for you than nights. If you wake up bright-eyed, gain energy quickly in the mornings and find it easy to get your day started, you’re clearly a morning person. Morning people tend to slip into a less productive state in the evening, and find it increasingly hard to focus on tasks late at night. To them, the evening is when they relax and wind down, which helps them drift away to dreamland much quicker than night owls. 

Morning people have a natural tendency to sleep and wake up earlier, without having a hard time doing so. This actually all boils down to science and your chronotype, which is influenced by your genetics, age and relative light exposure! Most people fall somewhere in the spectrum in between an early bird and a night owl – which means it’s possible to strike a balance in this respect too! 

Chronotypes aside, there are also three other factors that affect when you’re naturally more inclined to go to and get out of bed: 

First, is your circadian rhythm, which refers to your internal body clock. This can be adjusted based on your lifestyle habits, one of which is your light exposure. It is the most significant factor that can start and stop your circadian clock, changing its timing, and making you feel sleepy earlier or later. 

Finally, a sleep hormone naturally produced in your body called melatonin also plays a role. It is produced when it’s dark and suppressed when there’s light. Everyone’s body does this at different times, which means we can all feel sleepy at different times in the evening! 

Don’t feel guilty if you struggle to wake up in the mornings, though. If you love staying up late, and have to hit the snooze button a few times before you can actually wake up, there’s probably a good chance that you’re just genetically wired to be a night owl instead. 

How to Become an Early Bird if You’re a Night Owl

If you aren’t a morning person but would like to reap the benefits of being one, or simply need to become one due to certain obligations or responsibilities, fret not!  Here are some tips on how you can do so:

  1. Maintain good sleep hygiene. This can be done by changing your sheets on a regular basis and ensuring that you take relaxing showers before bed.
  2. Develop a night time routine. You could start with doing meditation exercises, steering clear of screens close to bedtime, having a glass of milk along with some melatonin supplements, and dimming your lights in your bedroom. 
  3. Exercise regularly. When you have high levels of physical activity every day, it helps to regulate your sleep schedule by making you feel tired earlier. This will allow you to get sufficient sleep, and be more energised in the mornings. 
  4. Use light strategically. You could use natural light to wake you up in the mornings by keeping your curtains or blinds drawn. This will prevent you from sleeping in and help you wake up naturally at an earlier time. But you’ll need to make sure you’re going to bed early when you’re doing this! 
  5. Shift meal times earlier. Eating dinner earlier in the evening can signal to your body to get ready for sleep at an earlier time.  
  6. Have a consistent sleep schedule. Making sure that you sleep and wake up at the exact same time is a sure-fire way to tell your internal body clock that THIS is what you need to be doing every day. If you have been sleeping late on a daily basis, you can start slowly by gradually shifting your bedtime earlier in half-hour chunks.
  7. Use comfortable and cooling sheets, like the ones made of 100% Tencel™ from Heavenluxe. A conducive sleep environment that’s irresistible to the sleepy bug is certainly one way to lull yourself to dreamland as soon as possible.

The Cons of Being a Morning Person

Nevertheless, not everyone can reap the benefits of being an early bird. Waking up early is not a one-size-fits-all habit that suits everyone’s lifestyle. There are some very real downsides of waking up earlier than your friends and family as well:

  • You may become less sociable as you’re too tired for late-night parties and gatherings. You may lose energy while everyone’s roaring to go, making it hard for you to keep up with social activities. 
  • If you have housemates, you have to tiptoe around the house in the mornings to avoid waking them or disrupting their sleep.
  • Your meal times may be all over the place, as you may still eat at the same time as people who wake up and go to sleep at a later time than you.
  • You might get even less sleep. This can happen on days when you go to bed “slightly later” for different obligations and activities, but still wake up early the next morning.
  • You may take more naps in the day then necessary, which can disrupt your ability to engage in daily activities. 

Now that you know the pros and cons of being an early bird, do you think waking up early is worth the effort? It’s important to consider your natural inclinations and how effective it will be. At the end of the day, it should really boil down to what truly works for you.