Can you train yourself to become a morning person?

Each person’s internal body clock operates differently. Some people might wake up bursting with energy and enthusiasm, while others could be serial snooze-button hitters.

Being a morning person, often referred to as having “morningness,” means that an individual naturally tends to feel more awake, alert, and active during the early hours of the day. Morning people find it easier to wake up early in the morning and often feel at their best during this time.

To those who don’t belong to this group, but want to feel more alive upon waking – it’s not a hopeless goal! Let’s discuss the strategies that can help mornings feel more tolerable, and even productive.

Wake up at the same time

It may seem inconsequential, but it typically yields swift results and improved sleep quality. Shifting your sleep schedule often involves trying to go to bed earlier, but some sleep experts suggest a different approach. The key is establishing a consistent wake-up time and sticking to it daily. Yes, even on weekends. It’s biologically easier to control your wake time than your bedtime.

It typically takes about a week for your body to adapt to each hour you adjust your wake time forward. However, complete adjustment might take six weeks or longer. Consider your own body and your own needs. Pick a wake-up time that you can maintain and don’t let it be too early or inconsistent with your typical, natural pattern in the recent past.

Listen to your instincts

Even if you’re an early bird, you might not jump out of bed feeling all refreshed and cheerful. That groggy and grumpy state you experience right after waking up has a name – “sleep inertia”. It can hang around for about 30 to 60 minutes, though it varies from person to person.

A lot of people, no matter when they wake up, just need a moment to get into things. Recognising this reality in our mornings can bring a sense of calm and acceptance. You can protect this quiet time by sitting in bed, taking a few deep breaths, and maybe even soaking up some sunlight or moving your body, which can help boost your wakefulness.

Incentivise yourself

Changing habits becomes much more feasible when it feels easy and brings rewards. So, if you’re aiming to become an early riser or just want to beat the morning grumpiness, make sure to include some immediate rewards in your routine. Think about what would make you feel great right after waking up. Maybe it’s treating yourself to a delicious breakfast or even listening to your favorite music.  It’s amazing how calming breakfast at the breakfast table can be, particularly with another.

Remember, be patient with yourself. Changing habits takes time and persistence, and perfection is not the name of the game.

From mundane to meaningful

When you turn something mundane into a ritual, it becomes more meaningful. Take something you do daily, like your morning coffee. Instead of rushing through it mindlessly, designate it as your “coffee ritual”. Anchor your time.  Pay attention to each step, from choosing a special mug to sipping your perfect brew.

This change helps change perspective. Morning stress often arises because we feel like time slips away, and we lose that sense of control.

When to consult a sleep specialist

If you struggle to consistently sleep at night and wake in the morning, there may be a bigger problem underlying your difficulty. Poor sleep commonly occurs in the context of another sleep disorder. Most often, insomnia and sleep apnea. If despite your best efforts you can’t seem to make any progress, seek evaluation by a sleep specialist.

Our expert pharmacists – Jenny, Gavin, Michelle, Maria, Amy or Jill – are also available for a chat if you’d like to know about sleep disorders and possible solutions. Ring us on (03) 9509 7912 or visit us at 153 Burke Rd, Glen Iris, VIC 3146.

Opinions or facts expressed within the content have been sourced from various news sources. While every effort has been taken to source them accurately, the pharmacy, its owners, staff or other affiliates do not take any responsibility for errors in these sources. Patients should not rely on the facts or opinions in the content to manage their own health, and should seek the advice of an appropriate medical professional. Further, the opinions or facts in the content do not reflect the opinions and beliefs of the pharmacy, its owners, staff or other affiliates. 

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