Your genes have some influence over your preference to rise early, or later in the day. Your gender and age also play a role in this, but even all of these factors combined don’t have the last word on your predisposition to be a night owl or morning lark. You can choose to become a morning person with a few simple changes to your routine.
Why it’s beneficial to be a morning person
As the saying goes; ‘The early bird catches the worm’. Being a morning person comes with a host of benefits for many areas of your life. Science has shown that morning people are more agreeable, proactive and less prone to bad habits. They also tend to be happier and have better moods. Being a night owl on the other hand has been linked to depression. If you’re a night owl looking to change your habits, read our tips below.
Tips for becoming a morning person
Switching our circadian rhythms from night own tendencies to becoming an early riser can be influenced by a few changes in our behavior. One of the greatest influencers of our inner body clock is natural light and blue light.
Increasing exposure to daylight in the morning to a minimum of 20 minutes and reducing your exposure to blue light in the evenings – the kind that comes from a TV, phones, and other electronic devices – will help to reset your body clock and aid in becoming an early riser.
If you’re planning on getting up earlier in the mornings, you’ll need to go to bed earlier in the evening. Each of us requires a certain amount of sleep according to our age and gender. If you’re used to going to bed late and rising late, it’s best to make small incremental changes to your bedtime. Taking in back by about 15 minutes for a few nights and then repeating this again until you’re heading to bed before 10:30 pm. This will give you time to get enough sleep and rise before 8am each morning.
The things you eat can have a huge impact on how easy it is to get asleep and how well you sleep. Caffeine and nicotine are obvious culprits for making it difficult to sleep. Spicy food, foods high in fat, protein and water are also bad for your sleep. The great news is, there are also foods that are helpful for relaxing your body and helping it to produce the hormones needed for a good night’s sleep. Foods with high levels of tryptophan, magnesium, calcium, and vitamin B6 help us to produce melatonin which is one of the main chemicals our body needs to sleep. What’s more, certain foods naturally contain melatonin too – tart cherries, grains, some nuts and seeds are great sources for this. Many of these foods can be incorporated in a delicious white night cookie that can be eaten an hour or so before bedtime to help you drift off.
Making small and consistent changes can help you triumph over a genetic, age or gender related predisposition to being a night owl you may have and reap the benefits of becoming a morning person.
By Elise Morgan