How to trick yourself into becoming a morning person
With the kids out of school, perhaps you’ve gone all summer sans alarm clock? Or, maybe you are a “snooze button” addict who struggles to wake up before 7 a.m. and can’t quit those 10-minute intervals of sleep between alarm buzzes? Being a night owl is coded in your DNA you say?
Our sleeping habits are tied to our health. Getting a good night’s sleep (we’re talking 7 or 8 hours a night) is linked to a better metabolism and research shows we’re less likely to snack mindlessly when we’ve caught enough ZZZ’s. And, whether you like it or not, early birds get more than just the worm: Research shows that early risers tend to be happier, slimmer and more conscientious.
We can’t choreograph little birds to chirp in the morning and lift back your curtains. But we can share with you a few ways that you can trick yourself into becoming a “morning person.”
- Go camping. New research from the University of Colorado’s Boulder campus shows that a week in the wilderness will reset your circadian clock and sync it up with sunrise and sunset. It could be that your electrical lighting — and the ability to flip a switch and keep your room lit late at night — could be the reason you’re a night owl. “What’s remarkable is how, when we’re exposed to natural sunlight, our clocks perfectly become in sync in less than a week to the solar day,” says CU-Boulder integrative physiology Professor Kenneth Wright, who led the study.
- Set an alarm … at night. You need some time to wind down at night, especially if you’re a night owl who, with ease, can stay up until 2 a.m. Set an alarm 30 minutes before you need to be in bed and use that time to relax — whether it’s reading a book in bed, writing in a journal or washing your face with a warm washcloth.
- Wake up at the same time every day. Once you start getting into the rhythm of waking up early, stick with it on the weekends and vacation, too. Your circadian clock doesn’t know the difference between a Saturday morning and a Monday morning. If you can keep a regular sleep schedule, you’re guaranteed to have an easier time “rising and shining.”
- Mono-task. You have your whole day to multi-task. In the morning, avoid getting sucked into your e-mail or your social media feeds and just focus on getting fresh-faced for the day ahead of you.
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- Healthy lunch ideas for every day of the school week