While some of us are naturally gifted with the ability to wake up early in the morning to start our day, some of us would like to sleep in for the extra five to ten minutes after our morning alarm has rung.
If you are looking for ways to help you become a morning person that does not involve getting a cup of coffee or having caffeine in the morning, you’re in luck!
Here are 10 tips to try that may help you become a morning person! Starting with:
Stretch in Bed
Even before you open your eyes after a restful night of sleep, try lifting one arm and begin by stretching each finger, followed by your hand, then your wrist, and then your whole arm.
Move on to the other arm, before stretching your toes, feet, ankles, and legs. To finish off your morning light exercise, end with a neck and back stretch that will help you get out of bed.
Believe it or not, this early morning stretch exercise helps limber up your muscles and joints while also enhancing blood flow throughout your body, providing the necessary boost in oxygen to your body tissues.
According to Harvard University Psychologist Amy Cuddy, while stretching taking up the entire length of the bed when you stretch mimics a “power pose” of a bold person, making you feel more confident all day long!
Open the Blinds
While this tip is nothing new, by opening the blinds or curtains and allowing natural light from the sunrise into your bedroom, it signals the brain to slow the melatonin production process and boost cortisol, both of which tell your body to wake up.
A little bit of sunlight isn’t just an instant morning wake-up call either.
A Northwestern University study found that people who were exposed to moderately bright light in the morning have a significantly lower body mass index than people who get the majority of their light exposure later in the day.
Take a Breather and Meditate
No matter when you do it, meditating has numerous benefits, such as fighting insomnia, reducing stress and anxiety, increasing energy levels, boosting your immune system, and providing mental clarity.
Meditating in the morning helps you set a peaceful tone right off the bat so you are less likely to get sidetracked.
If you’re a beginner at meditating, there are a lot of free guided meditation apps and videos available that can help guide you through a variety of length of time sessions.
Reflect and Think About Good Memories
Research from San Francisco State University shows that focusing on good memories makes us feel more content with life.
To start each day off right, take two minutes to write down every detail you can remember about a meaningful event from the day before, suggests Michelle Gielan, a positive psychology expert and the author of Broadcasting Happiness.
“Yesterday’s high points can be today’s fuel for happiness,” she says.
This can also affect your overall health: A study found that patients suffering from chronic pain who did this for six months were able to reduce their intake of pain meds.
Bonus Tip: Seek Out Good News!
If thinking of good memories is too much work in the morning, it also helps to find positive, solutions-focused news to inspire your day.
In a 2015 study, researchers asked one group of participants to watch just three minutes of positive, solutions-focused news (such as a video of a 70-year-old man who got his GED after failing the test dozens of times).
These participants were 27 percent more likely to report a few hours later that their day had been “happy” than people who watched negative news in the morning.
Study author Gielan also cited substantial evidence that negative moods affect workplace performance. (Reading these good news stories from around the world should do the trick!)
Doing Some Light Morning Exercise
Working out before you eat, researchers say, encourages your body to burn more fat for energy rather than relying on carbohydrates from food.
In a Journal of Physiology study, participants who exercised after breakfast still gained weight (as did a control group who didn’t exercise), but those who exercised on an empty stomach did not.
Moreover, research from the University of Vermont shows that the mood-enhancing benefits of a 20-minute workout can last for 12 hours, a boost you’ll want to enjoy all day long.
Take a Cold Shower
It is well known that a warmer or hot shower before bed can help you fall asleep easier, but did you know cold showers have the opposite effect?
There are growing studies and research into the effects of cold showers with some research showing that enduring cold temperatures in the morning can lead to lower body fat, a stronger immune system, more energy, and higher overall tolerance to pain in addition to waking yourself up.
Turn on the Music
Pick something energetic that you and others in the house enjoy and put it on while you get ready.
If anyone plays an instrument, and if you have a little time, morning is the perfect time to practice, as it primes your brain for learning.
One study from Johns Hopkins University found that both playing and listening to music help improve academic performance in 16 different ways, including increasing focus and memory.
Drink a Glass of Cold Water
When you sleep, your body is deprived of water for eight or so hours, which can add to feeling drained or fatigued upon waking.
“Drinking ice-cold water has been shown to provide a metabolism boost, as the body needs to warm the water to body temperature during digestion,” says author Erin Palinski-Wade.
Bonus tip: Add some lemon to your water!
Lemon in your water has myriad health benefits. Vitamin C, found in lemon and other citrus fruits, strengthens the immune system, protects against damaging free radicals, helps skin stay wrinkle-free, and may improve overall digestion.
Plus, the acidity in lemon juice contributes to the acidic environment in the stomach, which “serves as a chemical barrier to deter pathogens from gaining a foothold and causing illness,” says Dr. Roxanne B. Sukol, a preventive-medicine specialist at the Cleveland Clinic’s Wellness Institute.
Have Breakfast Twice
Breakfast is the most important meal of the day, so why not have two? A study published in the journal Pediatric Obesity tracked the weight and breakfast-eating patterns of 584 students over two years.
They found that frequent breakfast-skippers showed increased odds of becoming overweight or obese compared with those who ate two breakfasts (one at home and one at school).
The sensible takeaway: If you eat more in the morning, you’ll be less likely to snack at night, when it’s harder to burn off calories.
Bonus Tip: Don’t Forget Your Proteins!
Of course, what you eat also matters. Research presented at a 2013 Obesity Society meeting found that women who ate a breakfast with more than 30 grams of protein (twice as much as most Americans get at breakfast) consumed 175 fewer calories at lunch compared with those who ate a breakfast with just 3 grams of protein.
Eggs, plain Greek yogurt, and nuts are all quick, easy protein-rich ways to start your day.
Start Your Day With a Fun Activity/Hobby You Enjoy
Many people dread having to face a new day of work, school, or chores, says Steve Orma, a clinical psychologist and author.
But if the first thing you do is pleasant, you’ll find it much easier to get going. “This can be meditating, having a cup of coffee as you read your favourite blog, journaling, etc.
Choose activities you enjoy and that set you on a good path for the day,” Orma says.
This post is also available in: English