How to trick yourself into becoming a morning person

If you're a night owl, imagining yourself willingly and happily getting up at 5 or 6 a.m. is impossible. Unless they had a prior commitment or appointment, why would anyone be happy about waking up at that ungodly hour? If you're not a morning person, getting up every day can be an annoying chore. But setting multiple alarms and hitting snooze will probably make you feel even more tired. Here are a few habits you should change in order to wake up happy and productive in the morning.

1. Do not hit the snooze button. Ever.

When you hit snooze and go back to sleep for those few extra precious minutes, you're actually making your morning much worse. When you sleep, your brain goes through multiple sleep cycles that each last about 90 minutes. If you fall back asleep after waking up, you're not going to finish an interrupted sleep cycle. You're going to start a brand new one instead. So when your alarm goes off the second time, you'll be woken out an earlier and deeper part of the cycle. Because of this, you're likely to feel even worse than you did before hitting snooze. The best recourse is to just avoid snoozing altogether.

2. Set your bedside light on a timer.

If you can't resist the snooze button completely, set your bedside lamp or main bedroom light on a timer. Humans are programmed to go to sleep with sunset and wake up with sunrise. This is why you probably prefer to sleep in the dark or with minimal light. Your brain will immediately wake you up if it senses extra light. This is also why being on your phone or tablet late at night can prevent you from falling asleep quickly. Get yourself a timer for your lamp or purchase a specialized light-up timer. It's gentle way to wake you up and should help you kickstart your morning.

3. Develop a morning routine.

Non-morning people are much more motivated to wake up early if they have an event or appointment scheduled early. But instead of pushing your schedule up earlier, create a morning routine for yourself that you will always look forward to. This way, whenever your alarm goes off, you'll be looking forward to the start of your day. Take the dog out for a short walk. Or perform a short yoga routine. You can even set aside only five minutes to drink your coffee and read a book. As long as it's an activity you enjoy, you will be even more motivated to get up on time.

4. Go to sleep relaxed and happy.

A lot of the time, you're going to bed thinking, "I am definitely not going to get enough sleep and I will wake up feeling very groggy in the morning." On average, you need at least seven or eight hours of sleep. But you can combat your tiredness in the morning if you go to bed feeling relaxed and happy. Try not to stress too much about missing your sleep quota. Think positively about how your morning is going to go the next day. You'll probably find yourself waking up feeling well-rested and less stressed. As they say, mind over matter.

5. Get to bed at a reasonable hour.

This tip is pretty basic, but no less important. If you can reasonably avoid it, do not skip out on sleep. Losing needed sleep can be just as, if not more, detrimental to your health as skipping meals. If you don't get enough sleep, you're likely to feel more stressed and have trouble remembering and processing information. In fact, driving while sleep deprived is just as dangerous as driving while drunk. According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, more than 6,000 people are killed every year in car accidents are blamed on sleepy drivers. So if you want to stay safe during your morning commute, it is incredibly important to get enough sleep. And if you are hitting your eight hours, you're likely to wake up easily and happily in the morning.

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