25 Steps To Become a Morning Person

By Indeed Editorial Team

Updated November 3, 2021 | Published January 5, 2021

Updated November 3, 2021

Published January 5, 2021

The Indeed Editorial Team comprises a diverse and talented team of writers, researchers and subject matter experts equipped with Indeed's data and insights to deliver useful tips to help guide your career journey.

When you're used to staying up late, getting up early can make you feel groggy, irritable and exhausted. While some people naturally love to be up and alert in the morning, many people struggle with making the transition from night owl to early bird. Luckily you can implement strategies into your routine to help you learn to get the most out of your morning. In this article, we explain the steps to take if you want to become a morning person and love it.

What are the benefits of being a morning person?

Someone who is a morning person is most productive at the start of their day, allowing them to accomplish more work and spend their free time relaxing. Being a morning person has many benefits, including:

  • Boosted energy all day

  • Improved sleep quality

  • Reduced stress

  • More positive mood

  • Increased productivity

  • Better time management

Related: How To Wake Up Early To Reach Your Goals

How to become a morning person

You can ease the process of becoming a morning person by planning ahead about how to change your habits long-term instead of suddenly trying to overhaul your schedule in a day. Follow these steps to begin your transition and successfully start your day earlier:

1. Envision your goal

Learning to adjust your schedule to center on your morning routine takes commitment and dedication, so it's important to understand your motivation. Ask yourself why you want to become a morning person and make a list of the benefits you'll gain from getting up earlier and maximizing your morning hours. Make a list of your top motivators to visualize the reasons to add more discipline to your routine.

2. Decide on your ideal wakeup time

Being a morning person can mean different things depending on who you talk to. Some people get up before sunrise, while others get up at mid-morning. Think about the time you want to get up, considering how long it will take you to accomplish all of your morning tasks in a relaxed manner. Whether you want to get up at 4 a.m. or 8 a.m., set a consistent goal for when you want to wake up in the morning.

3. Slowly transition your sleep schedule

If your ideal wake-up time is hours off from when you naturally wake up, start by slowly waking up 15 minutes earlier each day. Moving from waking up at 9 a.m. to waking up at 6 a.m. will take several days, but the slow adjustment will make it easier to make a permanent change to your circadian rhythm without getting exhausted or fatigued from inconsistent sleep.

4. Avoid sleeping in on weekends

When you commit to becoming a morning person, fully commit. If you sleep in on the weekends, you may have the chance of re-setting your progress. Inconsistent sleep schedules can confuse your natural sleep schedule and cause you to naturally wake up later while still feeling tired.

Related: Tips for Working 7 Days a Week

5. Track your sleep habits

Learning more about the quality of your sleep can help you learn how to get better rest and reinforce your schedule. When you record your bedtime, sleep disturbances and mood, you can identify and eliminate causes of sleep issues that could make you tired in the morning. Use a notebook or download a sleep app for advanced journaling features.

6. Plan your naps

When you first start waking up earlier, it may be hard for you to fall asleep earlier, especially if you take naps. If waking up early has left you exhausted, you must be mindful about when and how often you take naps. Time short 15-minute naps to help you power through to the end of the day without keeping you from getting tired for an early bedtime.

7. Avoid caffeine in the afternoon

Getting enough quality sleep is critical to feeling awake in the morning, so plan ahead and set a time cutoff for when you can drink caffeine. The stimulating effects of caffeine can easily keep you up. If you're struggling to stay alert without your afternoon coffee, start by switching to black or green tea as a way to ease the transition.

8. Set out your outfit

One of the best strategies for becoming a morning person is to make your morning more relaxed by moving tasks to the evening. Limit the number of decisions you have to make as you wake up by choosing your entire outfit the night before. Plan for the weather and pre-pack your bag as much as possible, getting the menial tasks out of the way ahead of time.

9. Prepare readymade breakfasts

Making breakfast every morning can be time-consuming, causing you to feel rushed and making it harder to be productive with other tasks. Skipping breakfast can make you feel even more groggy and stressed as time goes on. Meal prep batches of protein-heavy breakfasts that you can grab on-the-go during busier days. If you like to cook, try measuring out ingredients ahead of time to reduce the side work necessary to start your day.

Related: 8 Strategies for Eating Healthier at Work

10. Have something to look forward to

Make mornings a priority by planning time to do something you enjoy every morning. Whether you decide to read a book, spend time journaling, go for a bike ride or practice a hobby, dedicate at least a few minutes to having fun. Planning your morning around things you like to do instead of chores can make you more excited to get out of bed.

Related: 9 Ways to Avoid Burnout

11. Limit tech time

As you prepare for bed, try to stay away from your phone and computer to avoid getting distracted scrolling through social media or playing games. Set limits on when to put away your electronics to prevent your bedtime from creeping back into the late hours of the night. Turn off your notifications after a certain hour to prevent the temptation to play on your electronics instead of listening to your body's natural signals that you're getting tired.

12. Time an evening workout

Doing some exercises a few hours before you want to go to bed can help you fall asleep faster. A short cardio workout can help you cool off and relax into a sleepy state. Adding some activity to your evening can tire you out and make it easier for you to adjust to an earlier bedtime and wake-up schedule. Because an intense workout could wake you up, avoid vigorous exercises and stick to light activity.

13. Perfect your climate control

It's harder to get out of bed in the morning when you're warm in bed but your room is freezing. Set your air conditioner and heater to a comfortable temperature so that you don't have any extra motivation to stay in bed. Small fans or personal heaters can make your sleep more comfortable while also making the transition out of your bed easier.

14. Relax with a nightly ritual

Creating consistent habits at night can help you have consistent habits in the morning. Plan a nightly routine where you get ready for the next day and start winding down. Setting a routine at the beginning of your journey to become a morning person can help you stay motivated when dealing with the challenge of falling and staying asleep.

15. Use a blue light filter

Download a blue light filter on your devices to make your phone and computer screens more in-tune with your body's natural rhythm by limiting unnatural blue light tones. The blue light filter can be easier on some people's eyes throughout the day. Some blue light filter apps give gradients of light tones throughout the day based on what our bodies instinctively expect from the sun rising and setting.

Related: 7 Tips for Improving Workstation Ergonomics

16. Change your alarm

If you have the habit of hitting the snooze button and ignoring your alarms when you have to wake up, try using a different alarm system. Try different options to discover what works best for you. You can try alarms that gradually wake you up with relaxing noises or apps that require you to solve puzzles to turn off the alarm.

17. Remove clocks from your bedroom

Consider keeping your alarm clock and phone away from where you sleep so that you have to get up to turn off your alarm or check the time. It's easy to keep sleeping in and wait until the last minute to get up when you can easily check your phone or alarm from your nightstand. Keeping clocks away from your sleeping space can motivate you to get up and start your day.

18. Practice a morning routine

Have a plan for every step of your morning from when you open your eyes to when you get your day started. Try making a checklist of everything you do when you get up in the morning, then organize it in a consistent way that you can practice daily. Start with the basics that you always do every day to establish a routine, then slowly add new tasks that you want to accomplish to be more productive over time.

Related: 16 Tips for Creating a Successful Morning Routine

19. Bring in natural light

Open your blinds to let the natural light signal to your brain that it's time to get up. If you don't have accessible windows, get a natural light glow lamp for your bedside that you can use to simulate the morning sun. Turning on your lights is especially helpful in the winter when it may still be dark when you wake up. If you have a hard time getting out of bed in the first place, get a remote-controlled light to kickstart your day from your bed.

20. Leave your phone alone

Resist the compulsion to immediately check your texts, emails and notifications when you wake up. Schedule a few minutes to check your phone after you've already brushed your teeth, made breakfast and gotten dressed for the day. If you work from home, don't get started on the day's work until you've taken the time you need to get mentally and physically ready for the day. Avoiding your phone can help you protect your personal time and make your morning more enjoyable.

21. Wake up with a podcast

Stimulating your mind as you wake up can make you more alert and prepared for your daily tasks. Listening to a podcast as you take care of your morning duties can help you stay awake and shift into a productive mindset. Choose a topic that interests you and put it on in the background to prevent you from falling back asleep without distracting you from your morning habits.

22. Get hydrated

Once you get out of bed, start your day with a tall glass of water. Many people wake up feeling dehydrated, which can lead to fatigue and headaches as the morning goes on. Staying hydrated is essential for keeping up your energy levels, and drinking water first thing in the morning can help you feel refreshed and rejuvenated with minimal effort.

23. Practice affirmations

Rearranging your morning habits can be a challenge. Many people require several attempts to form good habits. Writing down affirmations about your ability to form a new morning routine is a great way to stay motivated and remind yourself why you want to become a morning person. Incorporate affirmations into your morning routine by writing them down or speaking them aloud a few times each day.

24. Stretch your muscles

Once you get out of bed, complete a few stretches to release stress and stiffness from sleeping. Even something as simple as reaching up and touching your toes can help your body feel more physically ready for the day. Doing stretches is also a great way to practice mindfulness and breathing exercises that put you in a positive mindset.

25. Smile with intention

When you wake up in the morning, make yourself smile a few times. Smiling releases chemicals in your brain to make you more relaxed and can simulate a happy, positive feeling even if you're irritated and tired. Pretending to smile or laugh has many of the same effects as a natural smile.

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