How to Become a Morning Person: From Someone Who Hates Mornings
How did I turn into a morning person? How can you?
I will be honest, it wasn’t easy. Before I was working in the fitness industry, I was definitely not a morning person. The first few weeks of opening the gym at 5 am were tough. I tried forcing myself to go to bed at 9:30 pm and expected that would do the trick. Honestly, I spent the night staring at the ceiling and when 4:15 am rolled around, I was cranky, groggy, and totally sleep deprived. I quickly learned that I had to get myself on a set schedule, even on the days when I wasn’t getting up at 4:15 am.
I started developing a night time routine.
Your routine doesn’t have to be a huge overhaul of what you are already doing. You can simply make minor tweaks. For example, I normally end digital device and TV time by 9:30 pm. Then I take a relaxing shower and have myself in bed with my book no later than 10 pm. For me, if I start to read during the evening, I will dose. It works like a charm every time.
I started developing a morning routine.
I am up before everyone else in my house (husband and puppy, the cat hangs out with me), so this quiet time is actually something I really enjoy. If I have an early personal training client or a spin class, I will pack my breakfast and eat it afterwards. Otherwise, I will give myself an hour in the morning to make and eat my breakfast, watch the news and finish packing for my day. The key is preparation. I have everything timed out and know how long it takes for me to get my day started so I never feel rushed.
I stopped eating dinner late at night.
The latest I eat dinner is 8 or 8:30 pm. I noticed that giving myself 1-2 hours to digest my food allows me to hit the hay without indigestion. When you are full, laying down can be incredibly uncomfortable and causes discomfort for your system. This can really disrupt your sleep. Whatever time you go to bed, try to eat at least 1-2 hours before.
I know, how cliché for a trainer to tell you to exercise. But really! Exercise helps you sleep better at night. I mean honestly, why do you think I pass out so quickly? Finding time in the day to exercise is super important for a balanced life. I could write an entire blog on just this point. Bottom line, make time, even if it’s 30 minutes. I dare you to try a morning workout, it will jump start your energy, make your day a million times better, and you can still go out for happy hour after work. Speaking of happy hour…
I stopped drinking during the week.
Really. I hate to break it to you, but alcohol makes it difficult for your body to get restful sleep at night. If I have an early morning, you won’t find me having a glass of wine with dinner. On a Friday and Saturday, I will have a glass or two, but Sunday- Thursday, I have early morning obligations and having a drink in the evening will throw off my sleep pattern. If you do drink during the week, I just caution limiting it to no more than 1-2 and to stop at a reasonable hour so your body has time to adjust before you want to go to bed.
Incorporating these changes and turning them into habits will certainly help you become an early riser. It won’t happen overnight, it can even take weeks to get into a rhythm. The important thing is to set the intention to get moving, find your personal routine that works best for you, and stick to it even when it is challenging! If you want to make the change, you have to put in the work.
by Shoshana Katz
Group Fitness Instructor and Personal Trainer at The Sporting Club at the Bellevue.