This is a Guest Post from Charlee at Humble in a Heartbeat.
A Few Facts About the Guest Author:
- wife to Argentine and mother to two girls
- founder and author of Humble in a Heartbeat
- enjoys watching cooking shows and trying her hand at new recipes
- loves to share her money mistakes with others so they can do better
- wants to be a world traveler one day in the near future
Night owls have way more fun, right? Perhaps, but sometimes the responsibilities of being an adult require that night owls turn into early risers. Whether you need to wake up early to get to work or you just want to rise before the kids are out of bed, you can become a morning person if you want. I know because I was a hard-core night owl for a good 5 years until I decided to break that habit.
Here are four absolutely essential things you need in order to become a morning person.
1. A Bedtime
Bedtimes are for kids, aren't they? Actually, they work incredibly well for adults, too, and you need to start giving yourself one! A bedtime makes you feel sleepy about the same time every night, which makes it so much easier to stick to an earlier bedtime.
If you normally go to sleep at 1 AM, instead of changing your bedtime to10 o'clock right away, move your bedtime to 12:30 until you are used to it and you can actually fall asleep soon after laying down. Then move your bedtime up to midnight. Keep moving your bedtime closer and closer to your desired bedtime, and you will soon be yawning when your kids are ready to go to bed! ;)
I was actually one of those really boring roommates in college because I went to bed by 10:30 every night. Any later and I was a zombie in my 8 o'clock class the next day.
So what happened that turned me into a night owl? Well, I got an evening/late night job for the last three years of college and I just couldn't go to sleep any earlier than midnight anymore. Ten o'clock would hit and I'd still have at least two more hours to be really productive or just chill and watch some Late Night with Jimmy Fallon (which, yes, I'm aware it has changed to The Tonight Show with Jimmy Fallon).
One reason it took me so long to finally give myself a bedtime was, well, we had babies. Babies don't really sleep when we want them to, so I had to be on a late night AND early morning schedule for a good 2+ years.
When both of my daughters finally started sleeping through the night and going to bed at a decent hour, I felt like I could tackle mornings again. Only, I didn't put myself to bed early enough to want to wake up earlier. It wasn’t until I set a bedtime and started sticking to it that I had a much easier time waking up in the morning. 2. A Bedtime Routine
A bedtime really does no good if you aren't actually ready to go to bed. If you eat a bunch of donut holes and down some soda only an hour before your bedtime, you probably won't be falling asleep right away. A bedtime routine can help you to relax and get ready to actually sleep.
Instead of doing things that add more stimulation to your mind, get in the habit of winding down with a good book, some soft music, and turning down the lights. All these things can work in your favor to help you hit the bed and fall asleep fast.
One of the most annoying things I used to experience on a regular basis was lying down to sleep and then staying awake for a good hour or more. I either had too much on my mind or I did something right before bed that didn't aid in getting me to sleep. Now, I take a little time before bed to read something, and I turn down the lights so my mind can get ready for sleep.
Even if you have a bedtime and a bedtime routine, you might still struggle to become a morning person until you get some serious willpower. You need willpower to hear your alarm, to not hit snooze on your alarm, and to get out of bed as soon as you hear it.
Before I had a bedtime, I would sleep through my alarm clock nearly every.single.morning! Either that or my husband would hear it and turn it off before I could even hear it! If you are like me and normally sleep through your alarm clock, you need to find willpower to change that bad habit.
The true test of your willpower will come around winter. At least for me, it’s the worst time of year to get out of bed because the house is super cold and my blankets are nice and warm. If you can just hop out of bed and get a robe and slippers on, you shouldn’t have to suffer any longer than a couple minutes.
I believe that having motivation is one of the biggest things that will transform your morning experience to help you become an early riser. Without motivation, you won't stick to your bedtime or have the willpower to get out of bed.
You need to find your motivation. Think about what gets you excited. Would you be motivated to wake up if you could use that time to read or practice a musical instrument? Whatever it is, your motivation should be reason enough for you to get out of bed every day.
My motivation for waking up every morning is my blog. I wasn’t motivated to get out of bed for “me time” or else I would have done it long ago. I guess, though, that my blog could be counted as time for myself since it does make me happy. My blog is my passion and I look forward to working on it every morning. Sometimes I wish I only had to sleep for a few hours so I could get up even earlier to work on it.
Having stamina is not necessary to become a morning person, but it will be easier to stay awake if you have it. Find something in the morning that can help you feel energized so you can get your day going as soon as you wake up. You don’t want to waste time being lethargic when you could be working on important things.
I have been working on getting some stamina, because even when I go to bed on time, get out of bed as soon as my alarm clock goes off, and get downstairs to start working on my blog, I sometimes sit in front of the computer and fall back to sleep! Either I need to go to bed earlier or I need a little energy to get me moving.
If you have the desire to be a morning person, be sure to give yourself a bedtime, have a bedtime routine, find the willpower to get out of bed, and do some soul-searching for your motivation so that it will be easy to get up early. If you still want to crawl back into bed, you might need a little stamina to help you stay awake. If you do all these things on a consistent basis, you will soon find yourself up at the crack of dawn and getting things done before your entourage awakes!