I will never be a morning person.
No matter how good my intentions are to leap out of bed as soon as the alarm goes off, when the sun comes up, you’ll always find me hitting the snooze button just one more time. (And then maybe one more, for luck.)
Over the years however, I have developed some techniques to make mornings that little bit easier. I can’t promise these tips will miraculously turn you into a morning person, but they might help make that early start just a little more bearable…
01. START THE NIGHT BEFORE
It probably sounds obvious, but a good morning routine starts with a good bed-time routine. I hate waking up to a messy, disorganised house, so I’ll always take a few minutes before bed to have a quick tidy-up, and make sure everything I’ll need for the morning is where it should be. If I have to leave the house early, I’ll plan my outfit the night before, and make sure everything is clean, ironed and ready to go, so there’s no last minute panic when I discover a ladder in my tights, or have to ransack the house looking for my car keys.
02. KEEP YOUR ROOM AS LIGHT AS POSSIBLE
Our bedroom is in the roof space of our 3-storey house: we’re not overlooked by any other houses, and are too high up for anyone to see in, which means we don’t need to have curtains on our windows. A lot of people are quite surprised by this, but we actually love the natural light that floods the room in the early morning, and find it much easier to get up in the morning, especially in the summer, when we’re woken naturally by the sunrise, rather than the shrill sound of the alarm clock – much more pleasant! Obviously this won’t be practical for everyone, but if you do need curtains/blinds, go for ones as sheer as you can stand, or consider investing in something like a Lumi Bodyclock, which is designed to mimic the sunrise, and wake you up naturally.
03. TRY A SLEEP CYCLE APP
If, like me, you find being jolted awake by the alarm clock a less-than-pleasant way to start your day, consider using a sleep cycle app on your phone, instead. I’ve tried a couple of these for the iPhone (including this one), and have found them pretty effective, especially during the winter, when I can’t rely on the sun to wake me up. Once you’ve activated the alarm, specifying a 30-minute window during which you’d like to be wakened, you simply place your phone underneath your pillow: the app will track your sleep cycle, and wake you up when you’re in a lighter sleep phase, thus avoiding that groggy feeling you get when you wake up from deep sleep.
04. PLAN SOME INDULGENT TREATS
Once you’re up, your next challenge is to STAY up, and to resist the impulse to crawl back into bed for an extra few minutes. One of my favourite ways to motivate myself in the mornings is to plan some little indulgences: a gorgeous-smelling, luxurious shower gel, for instance, or some extra-nice coffee won’t make me happy to be getting out of bed, but they will at least give me something nice to look forward to.
05. TACKLE THE EASIEST TASKS FIRST IF YOU CAN
Some people are at their best first thing in the morning and arrive at work raring to go. I’m not one of those people: it takes me at least two mugs of coffee to even feel human in the mornings, so I try to make sure I tackle the easiest tasks on my list first, leaving the ones which will require extra brainpower or concentration until later in the day. This isn’t an option for everyone, obviously, but if you can plan your workday, I recommend easing yourself in with something not too taxing.
Do you share my dislike of early mornings? Got any tips to make them easier?[Images]