I used to think being a morning person was something inherited. I thought some people just were, and others weren’t. Like me. I couldn’t drag myself out of bed at the crack of dawn and hated the thought of going to anything early in the morning. But I changed all that. The days seem so much longer when you use your morning hours wisely, and I love nothing more than getting up early on a weekend and getting things done.
Here’s a trick you might have missed, your attitude to sleep is the key to everything. Your energy levels in the day, your mood and attitude, and the way you work. How you sleep, and how you feel about it, determines how you wake up. I upgraded my first hour at work too and I’m more productive than ever, find out how I did it here.
The crazy thing is these days I can wake up anywhere between 5 AM and 6:30 AM and not feel a difference. I hate feeling tired and sluggish and haven’t actually felt that way in around six months since I started getting up early. So how do you become a morning person and wake up with more energy? Here’s how…
WRITE YOUR MORNING PAGES
I’ve been working through The Artist’s Way Workbook every morning. It’s a manual designed to help you be more creative and awaken parts of your brain that you didn’t know were asleep. One of the challenges will help you become a morning person. Basically, in the morning you need to wake up one hour early and fill in three pages of text. These are your morning pages.
To begin with, these pages are negative and self-deprecating. But eventually, you get used to the idea and begin to enjoy it. You might start having some enlightening ideas, it will help you process the stresses of the day, and you’ll feel so much better. Getting up one hour early and starting to write in your morning pages will help wake up your brain and give you something to focus on in the first hour of the day. It’s really helped me to become a positive thinker, but also to get a boost of energy in the morning naturally. You can easily stop the negative self-talk with a few quick tips too, find out how to here.
I use my Getting Things Done planner to write my morning pages, because it keeps everything I’m thinking and doing together. It’s the only planner that can help me structure my entire day. I can also track what I’ve eaten throughout the day, the exercise I do and make sure I’ve got my day off to the right start.
CUT OUT PROCESSED FOODS
Obviously, what you eat has a major impact on how you feel and your energy levels. High levels of refined carbohydrates and sugars can lead to low energy. I noticed that when my diet was not strict, I would struggle to wake up. So, I made the decision to cut down my sugar intake and avoid processed foods as much as possible just because I was focusing on my health.
But the one surprising side effect that had was that I could easily wake up in the morning, I didn’t feel tired at all during the day, and I felt more productive during work. The sluggish feeling was completely gone. The science shows that while these foods give you a spike of blood sugar, that always leads to a crash at some stage. Avoid them if you want to give yourself a better night’s sleep and wake up with more energy. Read more about natural energy boosters here if you want to start taking your sleep seriously.
COUNT YOUR CYCLES, NOT YOUR HOURS
I was terrible for this. I would obsess over the amount of hours sleep I had or was going to get. If I felt it was too little, I’d already wake up in a bad mood. I had to stop doing it and trust my body. If I was awake and feeling fine, I had probably had enough sleep. The one trick you can use to give yourself a proper night’s rest is to count your sleep cycles instead of your hours.
You should be getting around 5-6 sleep cycles in, no matter how many hours you sleep. This means you will go from sleepy to deep uninterrupted sleep. You can even use an app like SleepCycle Alarm Clock to help you get the healthiest amount of sleep. It will track your sleep cycle and gently bring you from asleep to awake. When you do this, you might even find you can afford to wake up an hour earlier and won’t be sacrificing your energy levels.
USE THE FIVE SECOND TRICK
Don’t roll over and go back to sleep for ten minutes. Instead, get up, make a hot drink, fill in your morning pages, work out. Having more energy in the morning will give you a chance to make the most out of the important first hours of the day. Read what successful women do first thing in the morning and inspire yourself to get ahead for the day.
Just give yourself five seconds, count down from five to one, and once you get to one, you have to do it. This is a good psychological trick to motivate yourself to do anything you set your mind to