Self / 24.01.2017

The secret to becoming a ‘morning person’

By Holly Venning
Hands off that snooze button

morning personHow many of us have resolved time and time again to become a ‘morning person’ – able to wake early, calm and refreshed, ready to tackle the day ahead? New research from the world’s number one bed brand, Sealy, shows there’s a wealth of benefits when it comes to being an early riser; from improved energy levels in the day, through to increased mental alertness. However, with January’s dark and cold mornings, this is easier said than done. Sealy’s resident sleep expert looks at the 6 simple steps you can take to becoming an effortless early riser.

READ MORE: 5 ways to beat the cold weather blues

1 Get some sleep
As obvious as it sounds, but being a true morning person is only possible after a great night’s sleep, so be sure to prioritise this over everything else. Altering your sleep routine can be difficult, but you will  reap the benefits of those earlier, technology-free nights and your morning routines will become productive and efficient. In reality, you will need to look at going to bed at least an hour earlier each night to compensate for getting up an hour earlier in the morning. However, don’t try to do one without the other, or you’ll end up shattered in the day.

2 Prepare to thrive
Really ‘owning’ the mornings comes down to careful preparation the night before. Otherwise, you’ll end up in a stressed-out panic when you wake up. It’s often the little things that matter most: pre-prepare your breakfast, make sure your clothes (or your gym outfit!) is ready for you, pack everything you need for the next day so all the ‘thinking’ elements that hold you back in the morning are sorted. This will free up valuable time for you to spend seizing the day, whether it’s going for a jog, reading a book, or even just having a relaxing breakfast before work.

3 Ditch the snooze button
In the early days at least, waking up – and actually getting up – will be a struggle. Your snooze button is the enemy, as you’ll only hit it and go back to sleep. Also consider putting your alarm clock across the other side of your bedroom; that way you’ll actually have to get out of bed to turn it off, and by that stage you’ll be awake anyway.

4 Get moving
Not every morning has to be jam packed with a high intensity workout. However, some exercise is a good idea to get the pulse racing and improve your mental alertness before the sun comes up. If you can’t face pounding the cold dark streets for a jog, then what about some gentle yoga? Remember: regular exercise helps get rid of the body’s toxins. If you stop exercising then you’re more likely to get into a cycle of bad eating, which can negatively impact your sleep too.

5 Energy boosting foods can be your friend
When you wake up, rather than loading up on caffeine as it’s often tempting to do, consider making some overnight oats, packed with nuts and fruit, to provide slow release energy. And the best thing is you can make them the night before, meaning you can just take them out the fridge in the morning and enjoy. Make sure you top up with plenty of water too: drinking too much coffee can be counterproductive, and far from making you alert, it can increase stress levels and can in fact leave you feeling less awake.

6 Routine is everything.
You’re not going to thank us for this, but to truly be a morning person, you need to maintain the ‘early to bed, early to rise’ philosophy seven days a week. Having a long lie in at the weekend – while tempting – can upset your sleeping patterns, and come Monday morning you’ll be back to square one again. Chances are not all your perfectly planned early mornings will go quite the way you envisaged so don’t beat yourself up if you do end up sleeping in. Most importantly, make sure you enjoy your early mornings, and fill them with productive activities.

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The secret to becoming a ‘morning person’
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The secret to becoming a ‘morning person’
Sealy’s resident sleep expert looks at the 6 simple steps you can take to becoming an effortless early riser. Follow them now.
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