Feel like everything in your life will finally fall neatly into place if only you could just become a morning person? It appears science has your back – thankfully, there are a number of research-backed hacks to help reset your personal clock.
We know your mama has been telling you that getting up early is good for you for, well, forever; but it appears she just may have been onto something: from more hours in the day to tick off those towering to-dos to enjoying the delicious feeling of waking up rested and glowy (before your morning latte), there are myriad benefits to becoming more of a morning person.
While scientists say that our individual chronotype (the official term for whether you’re naturally a night owl or an early bird) is dictated by our genes, science suggests it’s possible to shift this by adopting more morning-friendly habits. In fact, a 2019 study published in Sleep Medicine showed that people are able to deliberately adjust their sleep-wake times by following a specific set of instructions. We unpack these instructions below (you’re welcome).
Scroll on for the five commandments of reformed morning people.
Morning Person Hack #1: Rewind by 2 hours
Adopt a strict schedule whereby you go to bed two hours earlier than your usual bedtime, and set your alarm for two hours before you normally get up. The catch? You’ll need to commit to your new routine every day, even on weekends (just think of all those dawn dips and 6am yoga classes you’ll be able to enjoy).
Morning Person Hack #2: Morning light
Expose yourself to bright light in the morning – think taking the dog for a walk round the block when you wake up, or even sipping your morning coffee in a sunny spot on your balcony – as much as you can. Also, avoid exposure to bright light at night.
Morning Person Hack #3: Dinner before 7pm
Having your evening meal no later than 7pm helps your body wind down for an early bedtime. If you’re a parent, try eating with your tiny people – or if you’re going out, convince your mates to book a table for the sunset sitting. Eating breakfast as soon as you wake up will also help shift your body clock in the right direction.
Morning Person Hack #4: No naps after 4pm
Ditch the disco naps and push on through. You’ll have to do it without the arvo coffee run though, because coffee after 3pm is also on the banned list (sorry).
Morning Person Hack #5: Exercise in the AM
Switching afternoon or evening workouts for a morning session was also one of the instructions given to the participants in this study. Which shouldn’t be too tricky, now you’re waking up two hours earlier than before!
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