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Rise & shine for a better you

Time and time again we hear the many benefits of waking up early and it’s much easier said than done. Think about birds, they can be the worst. We know them to be productive and punctual role models, which is unwarranted. We totally understand why we might wake up early for bacon or Christmas – not so much for worms. So why must we wake up at the crack of dawn – is there a point?

Why is getting up early important to you? Do you want to be more productive in the morning? Or, maybe you view getting out of bed before the crack of dawn as the way to find time for things that make you feel good, like reading, writing or meditating?

Conquering the morning all comes back to you. Sherlock Spallone woke up on the bright side of the bed with these 10 tricks to own the morning.

8 tricks to conquer the morning

1.     Get more snooze time easier said than done – Not only do we crave more sleep, our minds and bodies need 7 to 9 hours each night. You may think you’re too busy to fit in more time between the sheets but consider the health consequences of sleep deprivation. This isn’t pretty, folks. Instead of sacrificing sleep, create a sleep routine that’s realistic and doable – every night. Your future self will thank you.

 

2.     Eat breakfast – To be your best self, start the day with a healthy breakfast (trust us, morning meetings are more productive when you’re not hangry). Protein gives a quick hit of energy and keeps you going all morning. For an all-in-one, prep-ahead solution, try these 10 breakfast hacks.

3.     Brighten up – Rise and shine! No, really. Taking in a hefty dose of sunshine first thing in the morning can help you wake up “because your body’s internal clock is sensitive to light and darkness,” says Natalie Dautovich, the National Sleep Foundation’s environmental scholar. She recommends opening the curtains or eating breakfast on a sunny porch. When it’s time for bed, open the blinds before falling asleep and the let the morning light shine.

 

4.     Ditch the snooze –Waking up feeling groggy, even after plenty of sleep, is a good sign that REM (Rapid Eye Movement) cycle has been disrupted. Our deepest sleep – REM sleep – usually lasts between 70 and 90 minutes. The real reason to lose the snooze is so you don’t fall back into REM sleep. Think about all the times you bang the snooze and you’ll back to dreamland within minutes. When your alarm clock starts to chime, time to jump out of bed and conquer the morning.

5.     Workout – You’re probably thinking, “Are you insane? I can barely wake up in time to hit Starbucks, let alone eat breakfast.” But exercise, such as yoga or a quick jog, releases unwanted toxins that negatively affect our sleep. Doing a 20 minute workout first thing in the morning will energize you for a productive day and prepare you for a good night’s sleep when it’s time to go back to bed.  

6.     Seize the day – Waking up with a groan and thinking about all the things you don’t want to do is a terrible way to motivate yourself to get out of bed. Instead, think about the glorious day ahead – seeing loved ones, the promotion coming at work or the delicious dinner you’ll be having. It’s important to fuel your day with motivation to get up and at ‘em.

7.     Amp up your productivity – Many creatives swear that early morning is the best time to write or think deeply and creatively about projects. Try taking a page from their book and dedicate early morning to a project of your choice – clean out your email, take a morning stroll or write down your dreams. You may be surprised at how rewarding it feels to start the day with a few tasks already checked off.

8.     Reward Yourself – Pleasure is a motivator in our lives. Like Aziz Ansari says in Parks and Recreation, “Treat Yo Self!” Tell yourself that if you wake up earlier for “x” days in a row, you’ll reward yourself with something that you love. Maybe you buy yourself a present, take a weekend trip or do something else that will motivate you.

It can be a challenge to change-up your routine quickly. Take your time and slowly ease into becoming the best you in the morning. You can thank us later.