Let’s face it, early mornings aren’t made for students. Just take a look at your classmates during your 8am lecture — most of them would either be half asleep or zoned out!
The truth is, there are plenty of reasons why you should be a morning person. Why else do successful people such as Apple CEO Tim Cook, megastar Oprah Winfrey and Virgin Group founder Richard Branson wake up at the crack of dawn?
While getting out of bed bright and early is certainly not easy (we can hear your loud groans!), there are some neat tips and tricks to help you embrace early mornings. Here are 5 ways to help you get started!
#1. Sleep and wake up at the same time every day
One of the perks of being a college student is sleeping and waking up whenever you want.
But if you want to be a morning person, stick to a fixed schedule and sleep early at a specific time every night including weekends. By following a daily routine, your body and mind will adapt to this schedule and waking up early will soon become a breeze.
Soon, your sleep schedule will become a habit and your body will eventually know when to wake up without you having to rely on alarm clocks anymore (biological clock, anyone?). As a college student, it is recommended that you get an average of 7 to 9 hours of sleep each night, so be sure to keep track of how much shut-eye you’re getting.
#2. Stay away from electronics before going to bed
If you want to get a good night’s sleep, it’s best to put away all your electronic devices, so try not to be tempted to have one last scroll on your Instagram feed before bed.
Research has found that certain electronic devices such as televisions and smartphones emit a light that “has a higher concentration of blue light compared to natural light”. This blue light affects the level of your sleep-inducing hormones called melatonin, causing you to feel more awake. As a result, the sleep pattern that you have worked so hard to maintain will be disrupted.
So if you really need sleep, put your phone away!
#3. Don’t hit the snooze button
Did you know that the minute your alarm jolts you awake, it has already interrupted your sleep cycle? So going back to sleep is not going to make you feel more rested!
Research has shown that if you were to fall back asleep after pressing the snooze button, you are more likely to begin another sleep cycle. When your sleep cycle begins, your body begins to produce the hormone that encourages deep sleep… again. So the next time your alarm rings, it interrupts your sleep cycle again and again, eventually making you more groggy in the morning.
Instead of hitting the snooze button, rub the sleep from your eyes and hop out of bed! While it’s true that it will be so hard to get out of bed, this is the first step to making a habit out of things. Once it becomes a habit, it will be much easier to do.
#4. Create a morning ritual
Start your mornings with a fun or productive routine activity, which will help give your body the wake-up call it needs. Morning routines are great because they keep you active and alert while slowly reducing your desire to get back into bed. This can be as simple as doing some light stretches, making coffee and toast, watching television or reading the newspaper.
Incorporating at least one activity that excites you in your morning ritual will indirectly improve your mood and increase your productivity for the rest of the day.
#5. Start your day with some light exercises
Morning exercises wake both your brain and body. Not only are they good for your health but they offer plenty of other benefits as well.
For starters, did you know that working out on an empty stomach helps you burn more body fat? According to a study published by The Journal of Physiology, exercises like running or cycling before breakfast will boost your metabolic rate and enable you to burn more fat as you go about your day.
Aside from that, exercising in the morning will also keep you energised and improve your productivity — especially if you couple it with a healthy diet.
Bonus Tip: Have something to look forward to
Waking up every morning won’t be a chore when you have something to look forward to. Whether it’s meeting up with friends for a delicious brunch or finalising the finishing touches for a project you’ve been working on, having something to look forward to will put you in a more positive mood and help you wake up early.
When it comes to rising early, the phrase ‘the early bird catches the worm’ could not be more true. You are more likely to get the most out of your day by getting out of bed early so that your mornings (and the rest of your day) aren’t a frenzy. We hope these tips have inspired you to be a morning person so that you can go out and seize the day. Good luck!