Why and How I Became a Morning Person

Waking up early benefits

Before you run away screaming, I am not here to regurgitate the same sentences weaved into the net of health-conscious media, waiting to catch anyone with even a slight appetite for self improvement. Countless articles promote an identical vision of what a morning looks like in the life of a successful human being: waking up at 4:00am, drinking green smoothies (sorry, but I am more of an oatmeal/toast kinda gal), meditating as the sun rises above the horizon…

How to be a morning person

Waking up earlier

If this applies to you, fantastic. But if you are someone who is more productive at night, or simply has a work schedule that renders early mornings impossible, you keep doing you. There isn’t an objectively right or wrong way to live, and if your current routine works in your favour there may be no reason to change it. However, I am here with no purpose other than to tell you my personal story, of how I turned from a night owl into an early bird (meanwhile turning negative intentions into something positive), outline the benefits I’ve derived from this change and offer some helpful tips to anyone who wishes to start waking up earlier for whatever reason.

Morning person tips

My whole family has a propensity towards rising at what some may consider to be ungodly hours. My dad is usually up at 5 and Mum struggles to sleep in part 6:30. At one point in my life, however – I believe between the ages of 12 and 14 – I wholeheartedly embraced the night owl lifestyle as a means of emulating the habits of my peers. During the school term, I would sleep in as much as my schedule would allow, and during the holidays – threw tantrums over having to wake up earlier than 9. As foreign as it may seem to me now, going to sleep at 6 and waking up at 3 in the afternoon was a common occurrence in my life back in the day.

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So, why did I drastically change my lifestyle and sleeping pattern? Well, it often makes people laugh that the main reason as to why I started forcing myself to wake up at the same ungodly hours as my parents was a newfound ‘love’ for makeup. At the start of year ten I used social media on a on a regular basis, I learned about contouring and highlighting, liquid eyeliner, clip-in hair extensions. At times, my ‘getting ready’ process would take a staggering and a desire, shared by many at that age, to be the ‘pretty girl’ sidelined my love for staying up until ridiculous hours to watch TV series. Gradually, I woke up earlier on weekends due to my unprecedented commitment to an extensive beauty routine.

Over the last few years, the amount of makeup I wear has experienced an exponential drop (in other words, while I respect those with a ‘high maintenance’ beauty routine, ten or fifteen minutes is the upper limit for mine), but the sleeping pattern stuck around. While the reason for my I stared waking up early in the first place may not have been wholly positive, I embraced the changes it delivered to my wellbeing.

How I started waking up early

How to become a morning person

Funnily enough, people who wake up early out of choice find it hard to escape judgement.  I faced, and sometimes still do, scrutiny from my peers because sleeping in is a cultural habit (I do it myself for sure, even if my definition of ‘sleeping in’ differs from that of other people’s), but after witnessing just how much better I feel from waking up earlier I realised that I may have, after all, inherited the early bird gene. As aforementioned, some thrive of the sort of sleeping pattern I abandoned, but the benefits I’ve experienced over the years include:

  • Increased productivity: many people report having the ability to get things done with greater efficiency early in the morning, and I can certainly relate. The earlier it is, the quicker I can tackle the day’s hardest tasks, reserving the evening for easier activities such as reading and catching up with my social media.
  • Less sluggishness: when I woke up much later than I do now, I saw prolonged morning grogginess as a normal phenomenon. But upon witnessing a correlation between how early I wake up and how quickly it disappears, I recognised that my body is better suited for earlier starts. Sometimes, I feel worse from waking up too late than from getting insufficient sleep!
  • My days don’t go by as fast: I prefer catching the sunrise and watching the evening set in to waking up when the sun is already in the sky and feeling like I’ve missed half the day. I am not sure why, but waking up early seems to slow down time to a reasonable pace and bring a sense of internal balance into my life.
  • There is no need to rush around in the morning: I think most of us hate having anything less than thirty minutes at our disposal to get ready. Waking up earlier and giving myself plentiful time to get ready at my own pace massively reduces my stress levels and at times, provides an opportunity to work on personal projects before the day’s obligations have to commence.
  • There is something magical about feeling like the only person awake at a particular hour. Early in the morning, the world feels serene and accommodating to my intentions, and perhaps the mental clarity many of us derive from this feeling help explain better productivity in the early hours.

How to wake up early

So, if you are someone who wants to start waking up at 6:00am out of choice, or make waking up slightly easier, how should you go about it? Because after all, you may end up reaping many of the benefits I’ve outlined above – you can’t be sure of something until you try it!

1. Either force yourself to wake up earlier (go ‘cold turkey’) or adjust your sleeping pattern in smaller increments: I personally did the former, as I do in many things in life, because taking a slower approach often leads me to backsliding into my old behaviours. I powered through it for a few days and shortly after, the initial pain of waking up much earlier than what I was used to faded. However, this may not be the correct course of action for many people who wish to follow the ‘slow and steady wins the race’ principle. If this is you, try pushing your sleeping pattern forward by 15-30 minutes and give your body a few days to adjust before changing it again.

2. Go to sleep at a reasonable time: this, of course, goes without saying. Many struggle to wake up in the morning merely because they go to bed much later than they themselves would like. Going to sleep early is a whole topic of its own, which I will cover in a separate blog post, so be sure to stay tuned for that. However, if insomnia is the cause of your inability to fall asleep at a reasonable hour, have a look at my post on how this condition may be improved.

3. Put your alarm on the other side of your room: this will literally force you to get out of bed because no sound compares in atrocity to ‘By the Seaside’ (my beloved alarm ringtone) going off at 5 o’clock in the morning. By the time you switch it off, you will be wide awake and somewhat indifferent to the inviting comfiness of your bed.

4. Write down a list of reason for why you want to start waking up earlier. Is it to reduce the stress related to rushing around in the morning? To give yourself more time to exercise and work on your blog before leaving for school/your day job? To feel energised and productive? Setting goals and intentions just for the sake of having goals and intentions erodes their sustainability. On the other hand, producing a clear vision of how meeting them will enhance your life is often the first step to success.

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5. Have a cold shower, exercise, stretch. Do anything that will get you up and moving around. Avoid the snooze button at all costs, avoid scrolling through your phone for fifteen minutes because lounging around increases the difficulty of getting out of bed, and chances are, you will fall back asleep. It is similar to entering a cold body of water: unpleasant only for the first five or ten seconds.

6. Have something to look forward to, whether that is a delicious breakfast (aka my personal favourite motivation because nothing beats a steaming bowl of oats on a chilly day), the tranquility associated with having a tranquil, long morning or the new exercise routine you’ve adopted as part of your New Year’s resolutions. Change your entire attitude towards waking up and approach it with a focus on the positives as opposed to the dread often associated with rising earlier than what you’re accustomed to.

7. Keep yourself accountable. Tracking your progress with any type of goal is key to avoiding stagnation, especially when the goal is easily quantifiable. Each day, write down not only when you go to sleep and wake up, but how you feel and the positive ways in which waking up earlier has impacted your mood and/or productivity. Over time, seeing progress will in itself become a key driving factor behind further change in your habits.

How to become a morning person

Regardless of whether you are someone who has no obligation to wake up at a particular time but wants to see whether an ‘early bird routine’ can improve your quality of life, or a natural night owl struggling with waking up for school/work/other commitments, I hope you found the insights in this post helpful. Let me know in the comments – are you a late or an early person? What techniques do you apply to facilitate waking up?

How to become a morning person

Lots of love, Maria ♡

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75 thoughts on “Why and How I Became a Morning Person”

  1. This is such a great post! The older I have gotten, the more of a morning person I have become. I love having a little time to myself in the morning to drink a cup of tea, do a little yoga, and plan for the day ahead. It also helps with my anxiety tremendously because I don’t feel as rushed, and the day seems more manageable.

    Madison | Breakfast at Madison’s

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you so much! I couldn’t agree more – it really does bring a positive start to the day and helps my overall mental health, and I am glad to hear that you have experienced similar benefits from waking up earlier 🙂

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  2. No matter how hard I’ve tried, my whole life I’ve just never been a morning person – I’m absolutely a night owl. It doesn’t matter how much sleep I get, I’m always tired, waking up early makes me feel ill. I’m currently trying to get into coffee (probably not the best idea) because I need something to wake me up in the mornings and apparently nothing will do the trick – these were some great tips that I’ll definitely be keeping in mind! xx

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Yeah I think that some people are more naturally inclined towards having night owl body clocks! Coffee can be very helpful (I know that it is a lifesaver for sure when I need to wake up for my early morning shift at work lol) but I wouldn’t recommend it in excessive quantities. I really hope you end up finding these tips helpful! Thank you so much for reading xox

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  3. I admire you for being a morning person. I will probably always be a nightowl, I just get this huge boost of creativity and productivity in the middle of the night. Lovely post, will definitely be showing this to a few of my friends who have wanted to get up earlier to get more of the day. xx

    Liked by 2 people

  4. I’m definitely going to try out these tips. I have been a night owl for as long as I can remember, and working in hospitality fits in with that because I don’t want to go to sleep straight away when I finish at 11 pm. I can’t deny that I feel really good when I wake up early though. My university schedule means I only HAVE to wake up early once a week, but I really struggle with it. I’ll be awake but I’ll just lie there, staring at the ceiling. Waking up earlier is definitely something I want to work on.

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  5. Great tips girl! I’m always a morning person and I’m really glad I’m one because it makes me more active and productive. I could just focus on my work better. I used to wake up at 7:30am and I’ve changed to 8:30 but should prob wake up a bit earlier. Totally agree with all of your tips.

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  6. Good for you- that’s awesome! I think I’d be more of a morning person if I had more time in the morning before I had to go open at work AND if I could get to bed as early as I’d like to instead of arriving home so late after closing. So when I retire, I’ll definitely get the most out of my early morning hours 👌🏼

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  7. That is an inspirational piece, Maria. I believe that waking up early does reward you with an extra bunch of hours — which makes it easier to space out a list of things to do without losing our marbles over them. I am still aiming to make it 6 which I am failing on but I believe I shall get there one of these days 🙂 xx

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Thank you very much! I can totally agree, I seem to get so much more stressed out as the day goes on so I like having those calmer hours to work though my to do list 🙂 And 6am is a great time – good luck with making the switch, I am sure you will be able to get there! Xx

      Liked by 1 person

  8. When I used to finish work late at night (or should I say early in the morning), I really enjoyed how quiet, fresh and peaceful everything was. And I tried getting up early for a couple of weeks and I loved it, but somehow fell back in my old night owl routine 🙂

    Liked by 2 people

    1. I guess that late nights are quite similar in that sense, and that’s why some people enjoy being night owls :’) Good luck with finding your way back to waking up early if this is something you ever wish to try again! Xx

      Liked by 1 person

  9. Loved this post! I was never a morning person, but now mornings are my favorite time of the day. So funny that your extensive beauty routine inspired such a change in your every day life, haha! I also find that I am less sluggish when I wake up early and it’s amazing to have the entire day ahead of you and not feel like you’ve wasted half of it!

    Mia | https://www.verymuchmia.com/

    Liked by 1 person

    1. So glad you have managed to discover the wonderful benefits of waking up early too! It makes such an enormous difference to how I feel and my attitude to the upcoming day. Thank you for reading and I am so happy to hear you liked this post. xox

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  10. I guess I’m lucky in that I feel like an all-day girl – I can get up early and I love the feeling of being productive, but I can also stay up til 3 in the morning to go out or binge-watch a TV series. So long as I get a good 8 hours of sleep!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Ah that sounds so cool! I think that most of us would love to have that sort of flexibility 🙂 Although, at times I definitely do require a tiny bit more of a lie in, the right amount of sleep is the most important thing!

      Liked by 1 person

  11. I’ve had to start waking up earlier since September because I started a workout class which I love. I go every day so that I am waking up at the same time every morning which is really helpful for me. I have even started waking up early on Sundays now, naturally. (Sunday is my day off).

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Ahh I’m so glad you found it helpful! Finding a clear reason for why you’ve set a particular goal is so important in keeping yourself focused. And thank you so much – that really means a lot to me:) xox

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  12. Love it Maria and as someone who will happily rise at 5am on a Saturday without an alarm I relate to all of the benefits you’ve outlined! My big tip is also to keep your sleep and wake times as consistent as possible (yes seven days per week) – makes it so much easier!

    Liked by 1 person

  13. Such beautiful photos, and girl, you are drop dead gorgeous. Haha, I laughed about the beauty routine – not that I think negatively of it, but it reminds me so much of my family members. I want to start waking earlier, especially because I’m starting to go back to work soon! And, I want to feel energized when I wake. Thanks for the tips!

    Natalie

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    1. Thank you very much! It really does make an enormous difference and I have heard of people who essentially managed to turn around the quality of their life just by waking up a few hours earlier. Thank you for your comment xox

      Liked by 1 person

  14. I accidentally became a morning person when I visited my hometown last Christmas. It’s such a small town everyone sleeps right before the clock strikes 12! So when I went back to my uni, I can immediately fall asleep around 12 or 1. I didn’t even have to try. I used to have a very messed up body clock so now I’m very happy.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Haha I am glad I am not alone in becoming a morning person essentially by accident! Also, well done for fixing your body clock – this is so important in creating a healthy lifestyle 🙂

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  15. I consider myself as a morning person too even though I wake up around eight or nine haha! Mostly I want to get out of bed early because I want to go for a run, and then of course I do also feel like I have wasted my day if I just lay in bed until twelve or something! Great post!! xx

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Eight/nine is definitely early! And I know what you mean, exercising in the morning is one of the best ways to get the day started (although I usually hit the gym in the evening myself haha). Thank you for reading! Xx

      Liked by 1 person

  16. What a great post! I actually had this routine for a few days where I would automatically wake up at 8 AM and become sleepy by 11 PM and that routine was so foreign to me. I realized though, that I felt SO much more active, awake and productive with that routine that I did with my normal routine.
    I really want to become a morning person but I think I’ll definitely have to make small changes as you mentioned! 💕

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I think it’s quite common for people to change their routines unintentionally and notice the difference it makes anyway! Glad to hear you got to experience it 🙂 and small changes really are the way to go, much better than jumping straight in and burning out haha xox

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