7 Tips to Help Any Night Owl Become a Morning Person

By , SparkPeople Blogger
If you're someone who feels most productive long after the sun has set, the idea that you could become a morning person might seem impossible. Perhaps you've tried in the past to get your day started early, only to find yourself hitting the snooze button so many times you lost count. Or, if you did make it out of bed, you felt yourself dragging for a few hours before your first cup of coffee finally hit.
If being a morning person is something you aspire to, know that it's important to go about the transition the right way to avoid burnout and a grumpy start to your day. These expert tips will help you become the morning person you've always wanted to be.   

1. Skip the traditional alarm.

If the standard "honking horn" doesn't motivate you to jump out of bed, maybe it's time for a different approach. Personal trainer John Fawkes suggests waking up to a playlist of your favorite songs instead. "Keep that playlist on while you go through your typical morning motions, like getting dressed and making coffee," he explains. "Music is such a great mood lifter, and by having a playlist packed with your favorite songs ready to go, you immediately help awaken and uplift [your spirits]. We use playlists strategically throughout the day for so many other things—to help power through work or amp us up during a workout—why not try it right away in the morning, too?" 

2. Love your morning routine.

Life coach Laura Gray points out that it's more tempting to hit the snooze button when the first thing you need to do in the morning is something you dread. "Make the first thing you do each morning something that helps ease you into the day while also making you feel good," she suggests. "This could be yoga, exercise, meditation, journaling, reading or listening to a podcast. Do something for yourself and treat it as sacred time to get you in the right headspace for the rest of the day."

3. Quit the caffeine.

Gray suggests this as an effective way to adjust to waking up early. "Without caffeine [in your routine], you will sleep better at night," she asserts. Although a moderate amount of caffeine daily (equal to three, 8-ounce cups of coffee) does not pose a health risk, more can affect the quality of your sleep. "Once you get over the hump of caffeine withdrawals, you will no longer spend the first hour of your morning groggy and cranky [while you wait] for your caffeine to kick in. A great alternative would be to drink decaf coffee or herbal tea instead." Gray says she quit caffeine and it completely transformed her morning routine.

4. Early to bed, early to rise.

David Foley, founder of Unify Cosmos believes there are no shortcuts to becoming a morning person. "You need to make adaptations to your sleep schedule gradually until waking up early feels natural," he advises. Foley suggests going to bed 20 minutes earlier every day until you've reached your ideal morning wake-up time. In just three days, you will have reduced your bedtime by a whole hour. "By doing this incrementally, you aren't shocking your body into an unfamiliar pattern; you're slowly changing an existing one in a way that your body barely notices. Before long, you'll find that you can't help but be an early bird."

5. Reexamine the evening routine.

If you can change your routine in the hours leading up to bedtime, you have a much better chance of disrupting the sleep/wake cycle. "To do this, start by eating dinner a little earlier—no later than 8 p.m.," says Jack Anderson, founder of Sports Fitness Advisor. "Turn your electronics off around this time, too. Try reading for an hour or so before bed instead of staring at your phone." The more habits you can incorporate that slow the body down and help you relax, the better. Things like late-night sugar and too much screen time can make falling asleep challenging, so replace them with journaling or a calming tea to let your body know that it's time to calm everything down. Anderson's best advice is to simply stay consistent. "Your body will never fully adjust if you keep switching things up. As humans, our bodies crave routine."

6. Let there be light.

"Light has a crucial effect on the circadian clock, as it relates to energy and alertness," explains clinical psychologist Sabrina Romanoff. "It [releases] signals from your brain to the rest of your body regarding melatonin production, and in turn sleep regulation." Circadian rhythms are the changes in your body that follow a 24-hour cycle. Most living things respond to light and dark within this cycle, as humans naturally sleep when it’s dark and awake when it’s light. Romanoff suggests getting rid of blackout shades, sleeping near a window and, if it's dark when you get up, turn a light on right away.

7. Cut yourself some slack.

Inevitably, there will be days when the alarm goes off and you hit snooze—sometimes more than a few times. That might mean you miss a workout or other early morning planned activity; other days you might not be feeling your best or after a late night and just need a little extra shut eye. Life happens, so do your best today, and tomorrow, aim to do better. The best way to prevent it from becoming a pattern is to think about why it happened, what you can do differently next time, and then give yourself a pep talk to get back on track. Consider a mantra such as “I’m doing this for me” or “Progress, not perfection” to help you get right back at it.

Click here to to redeem your SparkPoints
  You will earn 5 SparkPoints


ELRIDDICK 12/30/2020
Thanks for sharing Report
Thanks. I am a early riser and my husband isnt. Report
CD1987279 12/30/2020
inspiring Report
CD1987279 12/29/2020
inspiring Report
HOLLYM48 12/27/2020
Great article! Report
EOWYN2424 12/27/2020
I have always been a night owl Report
MNABOY 12/25/2020
Thx Report
ILOVEROSES 12/25/2020
Thanks. Report
EOWYN2424 12/22/2020
thks Report
CD1987279 12/20/2020
fantastic read Report
CD1987279 12/18/2020
great article Report
DIVAGLOW 12/17/2020
Thank you Report
ROCKRS 12/16/2020
Thanks Report
BLDANCY 12/13/2020
I will definitely try some of these tips. Report
DIVAGLOW 12/13/2020
Great info, thanks! Report
CD1987279 12/13/2020
helpful information Report
JIACOLO 12/11/2020
Good tips in this article. I am not sure I will ever become a morning person, but I am able to function more at work these days. Report
HOLLYM48 12/9/2020
Great article! Report
ROBBIEY 12/9/2020
great Report
EEJAA70 12/8/2020
These are helpful ideas. Report
Good information thank you Report
ARNETTELEE 12/8/2020
thanks Report
TERMITEMOM 12/7/2020
Excellent tips. Now, to apply them... Report
CECELW 12/7/2020
I go to bed early, but only because my husband does. I play on my tablet while he's sleepig Report
KITT52 12/6/2020
good info Report
CD4114015 12/5/2020
great Report
PICKIE98 12/5/2020
You can split up your workouts.. Report
JERSEYGIRL24 12/3/2020
Great ideas, thanks Report
CD1987279 12/2/2020
fantastic Report
TFVIOLA 12/2/2020
Yes @SASSYDEBO! I've struggled with exercise over the years because all the advice tends to glorify the morning workout. I'm not a natural morning person, so I would get down on myself when I couldn't get something done before having to go to work. And starting the day out with that kind of let-down made it hard to motivate myself at any point later.

Over the last few months I've found that there is no consistent "perfect" time of the day for me. Instead I look at my daily schedule and see where I want to work into my exercise break. That has been a much more successful and motivating approach for me! Report
WALKZWDOGZ 12/2/2020
Content with being a night owl. Report
GOFORGIN 12/1/2020
what Report
GOFORGIN 12/1/2020
ok Report
CD1987279 12/1/2020
great tips Report
MNABOY 11/30/2020
Thanks for sharing! Report
HANOVERLADY 11/30/2020
When I was working I went to bed at 9 PM and got up at 5 AM. Now that I am retired I find that I mirror my husband's night owl tendencies and rarely go to bed before midnight. I want to get back to my early bird life. Report
GOFORGIN 11/30/2020
ok Report
GOFORGIN 11/29/2020
ok Report
NANANANA 11/28/2020
I love to wake up to the morning light. Visiting Alaska in May, I didn't get much sleep because it twilight was so late at night. I enjoy my coffee. Report
HEALTHYANDFIT27 11/28/2020
Thank you! Report
NANABFITZ 11/28/2020
thanks Report
GOFORGIN 11/28/2020
ok Report
BIKE4HEALTH 11/28/2020
PWILLOW1 11/27/2020
I much prefer to be awake late at night instead of early morning. Report
GOFORGIN 11/27/2020
ok Report
GOFORGIN 11/26/2020
ok Report
ROBBIEY 11/25/2020
great Report
ROBBIEY 11/25/2020
great Report
WILDKAT781 11/25/2020
good tips Report
ETHELMERZ 11/25/2020
I’m lucky to drink coffee until bedtime, get up just fine. I think everyone’s body clock is a certain way, and that’s that. These tricks may help, but do not be surprised if you never really enjoy them. Report