Tips to Transform in to an Early Riser
By Danielle Michels
VIDA Fitness Blogger
Some people were born with the magical ability to wake up before the sun and be happy about it; these are The Morning People, The Early Bird…you get it. These are often the people that are able to complete their workout for the day before work starts, and to be envious is understandable. Getting your workout done in the morning ensures you actually do get it done as well as boosts your metabolism the whole day through.
Being a morning person is something that many people wish they could be, but claim they never will. But here’s a secret: you can totally turn yourself in to a morning person.
We’re not going to lie to you and say it’s a piece of cake, and you probably still won’t have the ability to see color until you’ve had a cup of coffee, but getting up earlier in the a.m. can definitely be an easier process with these tips.
Set back the clock
We know you’ve heard this tip before, but that’s because it works. If you try to come out of the gate swinging you’re going to fail at your early bird efforts. You may have good intentions about getting up an hour and a half earlier each day and just power through the exhaustion, but that won’t last for long.
Instead of playing in to the all or nothing self-defeating behavior, opt to set back your alarm 10 minutes early every few mornings until you reach the desired time you would like to wake up. This method may take you a little longer to reach your goal, but the important thing is that it’ll be sustainable. Also, don’t set your alarm intentionally too early with the purpose of being able to press snooze. You’ll be robbing yourself of precious deep sleep, which does more harm than good in the long run since you’ll quickly fall out of the early bird nest.
Ensure a good night’s sleep
In the same way we encouraged you to gently work backwards at small time increments to wake up early, you should do the same at night with your bedtime. If your bedtime tendencies lean more toward being night owl it’s important to adjust your bedtime so you are still receiving 7 to 8 hours of sleep. Start by going to bed 10 to 15 minutes early and working back so that you’re going to bed an hour early when you plan up to wake up an hour earlier.
Additionally, ensure you get a good night’s sleep by turning off all sources of technology (we know it sounds crazy, but putting your Smartphone across the room and on silent will work wonders) to ensure a dark and quiet space. This means lights are out and TV is off. Not looking at a screen about an hour before bedtime will also get your brain more in the mood for sleep, try out a book before bed instead.
Change the clock
Okay, we promise we’re almost done coaching you on the science of time and clocks, but this one’s a good one. There is actually such a thing as an alarm clock that simulates the sunrise. We know, mind blowing. This one is seriously a game-changer for the person who get’s legitimately angry when someone tries to wake them up before the sun.
Although this tip is a little bit of a pricey one, desperate times sometimes call for desperate measures. Out of all the options out there, we prefer this one and this one.
Navigating the morning in the dark and half awake can be daunting. You’re afraid you’ll forget something you need for the day, you’ll probably will trip over something and getting ready will take longer than expected leaving you with less time to do a full workout.
Make these obstacles non-existent with pre-planning. Before you go to bed get your coffee maker set so all you have to do is press a button, pack your gym bag with your work clothes and set out your workout gear right next to your bed. Now obviously we all have our unique morning routines and we can’t tell you exactly what you should do, but the key word here is routine. Make your mornings systematic, like a well-oiled machine. By having a simple routine of things to do in the morning and making sure those things are good to go first thing, not only will you save time, your morning will be much more enjoyable.
Have something to look forward to
A delicious breakfast, a post-workout smoothie, a new magazine, a 10-minute sit in the sauna…whatever it is give yourself something to look forward when you get up early. For example, I know that if I press snooze even once I’ve lost my sauna time after my workout, which is enough for me to drag my butt out of bed. Why? Because my 10 minutes in the sauna after my workout is a time to completely relax and clear my mind before the tough day ahead, and I’m not willing to switch out the day-long benefits I get from my sauna time for a few more minutes of interrupted sleep.
Also, give yourself something to look forward to with a reward. If you make a month’s worth of morning workouts treat yourself to a facial or a trip to Starbucks before work. Whatever you don’t do on a normal basis, but wish you could is a great self-reward.
Now that you’re armed with all the fighting tactics you need to battle morning fatigue, get up and moving!
Also, if you’re a former night owl let us know what worked for you in your transition to becoming an early bird, we would love to get some new tips for those particularly tough mornings.