Different people prefer to work at different times of the day. Some find themselves most productive in the mornings; other are better as night owls. However, mornings are traditionally seen as the start of everyone’s day. Regardless of whether your body clock is ready for it, you’ll need to adjust to early mornings, especially if you’re in a 9-to-5 job.
You can try temporarily forcing yourself to wake up early in the morning, but it’s difficult if you aren’t fully committed to being a morning person. Want to learn to be a morning person? Here are five psychological tricks to train your brain:
1. Sleep early.
One of the best ways to convince your mind to wake up early is to sleep early. A well-rested body is ready to get going at an earlier time if you go to bed before midnight.
If old habits die hard for you, consider doing this gradually. Try going to bed an hour earlier than your usual time. Once you get used to the new sleep schedule, keep adjusting it until you fall asleep at an hour that allows you to wake up at a desirable morning hour.
2. Prepare your body.
Our minds are attuned to how our bodies react to their physical surroundings. If you’re still geared toward a high-adrenaline task in the middle of the night, then your mind and body are going to take a longer time slowing down and going to bed.
Set a curfew for your nightly schedule. Start preparing your body for sleep at least one hour before actual bed time. Some people find that taking a warm bath helps them wind down from their daily stressors. There are also those who tune into calming meditations for the same effect. Others might prefer something simpler, such as drinking a glass of warm milk.
3. Set a morning ritual.
Morning rituals are just as important as nightly ones. Setting your mental awareness to a daily morning ritual will get it used to this schedule in no time. There are numerous forms of morning ritual that vary from person to person.
What is important here is waking up both mind and body to energize them through the day. Exercise is a common method. You can also choose to eat an energizing breakfast to get the right nutrients. (It’s true that breakfast is the most important meal of the day when it comes to that.)
4. Reward yourself.
An extrinsic motivator may work best for goals like this one. Reward yourself for every morning you wake up early. It doesn’t have to be a big or conventional reward, just something to tell your brain that something good will happen if you keep up the good work.
Be as positive about waking up in the morning as you can be. Treat yourself to a hearty meal, or take a walk outdoors. Remind your mind that being a morning person is a good thing, and that it can get benefits from doing this.
5. Sleep near the window.
Being in a bright place will alert your mind and body to awaken. A type of eye cell makes it possible for us to be light-sensitive. That’s why people turn the lights off when they go to bed. If they do keep a light on, it’s usually a night light that’s dimmer than the usual.
To awaken your body in the morning and save energy as well, sleep near the window where natural light seeps in. It might be an unpleasant feeling at first, but waking up to the sunrise is extremely refreshing, and before you know it, your mind won’t even notice that this has become a habit.