Kristina Udice

Are mornings the bane of your existence? Do you find it impossible to find the energy to get out of bed most days? Do you require at least two cups of coffee in order to function like a real adult? Then you’re definitely not a morning person.

We all envy those morning people — the people who get up hours before work to go for a run or hit the gym, or those who can get up without an alarm. These people seem to have absolutely no problem getting up and ready to go. And getting to that point can seem like the most impossible thing in the world — but it’s not as hard as you might think! If you want to be a morning, don't worry — there are some simple steps you can take to shift your schedule.

In fact, these nine strategies will teach you how to become a morning person in no time. 

1. Create a schedule.

First things first: it’s important for you to make a schedule for yourself. This includes both your evening, pre-sleep activities and your morning, post-wake up activities. This way you know what you have to get done before going to bed and what you have to do when you wake up. 

Plan out your chores — whether you have to do dishes, clean the kitchen, or work on any last-minute tasks. Then give yourself some time to de-stress. Take a bath. Read a book. Have a glass of wine. Wind down from the day, and block out some time to do it so you have an adequate amount of time to relax. 

Setting a schedule also lets you know when you have to get to bed and start trying to sleep. And once you get to bed, having a schedule can get you up and moving as soon as your alarm goes off. Maybe you want to work out as soon as you wake up. Maybe you want to take a shower and get your lunch ready. Whatever you want to accomplish in your morning ritual, plan it out. This will ensure it all gets done.

2. Go to bed earlier.

This one almost goes without saying, but getting to bed earlier will make the whole process of waking up in the morning that much easier. Even just trying to go to bed half an hour earlier can make getting up the next time a simpler process. Most of us don’t get enough sleep as it is, so adding a few minutes of REM sleep to your sleep cycle can leave you far more relaxed and refreshed the next morning. And if you’re someone who habitually stays up late, going to bed a little earlier a few days at a time can give you the good night sleep you’ve been craving. And having a good night’s sleep will put a smile on your face the next morning. You can’t be a morning person without a good night’s rest. 

3. Don’t hit snooze.

You didn’t plan to hit the snooze button, so don’t let yourself! Hitting snooze can actually do more harm than good, not allowing you to get adequate rest in the few minutes you spend laying in bed waiting for the next five minutes to be up. It also wastes time that you could have spent jumping into your morning routine. By hitting snooze, you’re taking time away from your morning coffee or morning workout. You’re letting your body stay in a prolonged state of sleepiness. And you’re not getting out of it what you think you are. Skip the snooze and opt for a morning jog or a good hearty breakfast instead.

4. Eat breakfast.

Breakfast is the most important meal of the day, so you better not skip it — especially not if you want to become a morning person! You need morning fuel to keep you going and to keep you from feeling sleepy during peak circadian rhythm times. It will also help to push away all feelings of sleepiness.

5. Get moving.

Whether this means going on an early-morning gym jaunt, doing some strength training in the living room, or going for a walk around the block — just get moving. You don’t even need to work out; just get up, get out of bed, and do some stretches. This is good for getting the blood flowing, which will get you ready to take on your day much more quickly than if you stayed static. Movement is vital for happy, healthy morning people.

6. Get some sun.

Natural sunlight can do wonders first thing in the morning. It can wake you up, get you motivated, and breathe new life into you. And getting up with the sun can help establish a rhythm that your body can adapt to, making it even easier to get up in the morning. Sunlight can positively affect your natural body clock, making being a morning person second nature. 

7. Give yourself something to look forward to first thing.

Maybe it’s a big, yummy breakfast. Maybe it’s a show you DVR’d. Maybe it’s a coffee from your favorite coffee shop. Whatever works, use that as a motivator. It’ll be much easier to get out of bed when you know you have something waiting for you once you open your eyes.

8. Get your coffee ready the night before.

If you’re a coffee person, get the pot ready the night before. Fill it with water and you favorite coffee grounds. This way, all you have to do is blindly walk to your kitchen and hit a button to get your day started!

9. Stick with it.

It might be frustrating at first when you try getting up earlier. But don’t get discouraged! It can take about a month for a big shift like this to become habit, and becoming a morning person is no different. Try following these steps for a month. By the end of it, you’ll be glad you didn’t give up.

Whether you’re a natural night owl, or just can’t get a good night sleep, if you take the time to follow these steps, you’ll be an early riser before you know it. All it takes is time, days of dedication, and a thorough morning routine to leave your night owl days in the past. And think of all the things you can accomplish by starting your day a little earlier, and with a little more intention! Before long, you’ll be one of those morning people you spent so much time envying!