Only about one in 10 people is actually a morning person, according to the Body Clock Guide to Mental Health. This is a statistic that may still seem too high for the nine other people that hit the snooze button religiously.Many factors, such as a dreaded class, late night studying or an unfavorable commute can contribute to a person’s unwillingness to leave the sanctuary of his or her bed. However, it is possible to trick yourself into thinking you are a morning person — or at least have a more pleasant morning — with a couple of quick tips:
1. Know your sleep cycle
Your sleep cycle can be broken down to three stages: falling asleep, light sleep and deep sleep. In the first stage, your eyes may be closed, but it should be easy to wake you up because you have not yet actually fallen asleep. The second phase is light sleep in which your heart rate slows and your body temperature cools down in preparation for Rapid Eye Movement sleep (REM). The last phase, deep sleep, is composed of REM. At this point it is difficult to wake a person up; it’s typically when you have dreams and when your body gets the most rest. Waking up during deep sleep will often leave you disoriented and more tired than if you woke up in light sleep. Since your body goes through multiple sleep cycles throughout the night, knowing when you will be in light sleep can allow you to wake up when your body is most prepared for it, leaving you feeling more energized and ready to take on the day. You can calculate when you should wake up or go to sleep on sites such as http://sleepyti.me/ and apps such as the Sleep Cycle Alarm Clock.
2. Give yourself ample time to wake up and get ready
Though an extra 15 minutes of sleep may seem appealing when you’re setting your alarm, you could easily put that time toward breakfast or a another morning activity. Giving yourself enough time to get ready in the morning without being in a rush will reduce the stress and chaos associated with mornings. This might even allow you to reward yourself with the incentive of enjoying a cup of coffee or a breakfast burrito while browsing social media or reading the news. For example, waking up just 20 minutes earlier allows me to take my time getting washed up and dressed before heading to Smiles Café for a cup of iced coffee while I catch up on emails.
3. Make breakfast your best friend
It’s true that breakfast is the most important meal of the day, but it’s also important to make sure you eat the right type of breakfast. Often times, too big or too heavy of a breakfast will leave you in a wanting to crawl back into your bed from a “food-coma.” Pair proteins such as yogurt and eggs with carbs like oatmeal or a bagel to keep you full, focused and energized for the rest of the day. Additionally, natural sugars from fresh fruit can be a refreshing start to any day. Having some of your favorite foods for breakfast can also serve as an incentive to waking up. After all, the only thing better than sleep is food.