If getting up early seems as horrible to you as, say, getting a root canal, you might marvel at those morning people who bound out of bed the second their alarm goes off.
Where are their magical, morning-loving powers coming from? And how can they possibly be in such a good mood?
Chances are, you’ve heard the standard advice about getting exposure to natural light or exercising as soon as you get up in order to feel more awake. But if those things aren’t quite cutting it, don’t worry. There’s still hope.
We spoke with seven self-proclaimed morning people to find out about the things that make their dawns enjoyable—and energized. Take a tip or two from their playbook, and see if you don’t have a (slightly) easier time getting up tomorrow.
Go to bed extra early.
This is more of a temporary trick than a long-term strategy. But if you’re trying to “change your clock,” then you have to spend time actually working on it. Practicing going to bed earlier than usual is a good method to get used to getting out of bed at a new time.
The point is to practice the act of being awake and active at your target wake-up time, so you don’t have to spend the first 20 minutes of the morning trying to open your eyes. Since you went to bed so much earlier, chances are, you’ll naturally wake up earlier.
-Ken Immer is the President & Chief Culinary Officer of Culinary Health Solutions
Know your sleep cycle.
There are five stages in the sleep cycle, and we go through each stage several times throughout the night. The easiest time to wake up and feel refreshed is during the lightest sleep stage.
I’ve discovered that my lightest stage of sleep occurs between 5:00 and 5:30 AM. I can wake up at this time alert and ready to go. However, trying to wake up at 7:00 AM is like torture for me.
Sleep tracking apps can help you find your sweet spot quickly. That way, you can set your alarm to wake you up when you’re in your lightest stage of sleep.
-Wesley Bradley is an Online Marketing Specialist at Vend
Pick an alarm that isn’t the worst.
Being jolted awake by a blaring radio or robotic beep is never pleasant. So set a fun and energetic tone for your alarm instead. It’s a small change, but it can make a big difference in how you feel about starting your day.
-Brianne Ewell is the owner of Cor Collective
Hop straight into a cold shower.
Hot showers are more relaxing. But cold ones will help you wake up. That’s because cold signals the release of adrenaline, an energizing hormone released by the adrenal glands that improves circulation and enhances long-term memory.
-Jared Heathman, MD is a Houston-based psychiatrist
Channel your inner Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt.
Find something to get excited about. It’s a lot easier to get out of bed with a smile on your face when you greet all of life’s moments with a smile.
Since by best friend Jessica and I are fitness bloggers, we jump out of bed with some stretching and light exercises, down a glass of water, and immediately get something small crossed off our to-do list. I can comment on 10 photos on Instagram—and build relationships with 10 potential readers!—in the time I used to spend smoking my first cigarette and brewing a pot of coffee.
-Michael Noker is the co-founder of the Get Two Fit blog
Engage your brain.
What I do first thing in the morning is play the piano. It’s fun and it’s something I look forward to. Plus, playing an instrument has been shown to engage several areas of the brain at once—including the visual, auditory, and motor cortexes—so it gets my mental capacity going. It’s like a workout for my brain.
-Gene Caballero is the co-founder of GreenPal