They say that the early bird catches the worm. Indeed, research has suggested that morning people are often more successful than night owls because, as a group, they tend to be proactive. If you look at leaders of industry, professional athletes or CEOs – they all start their days early to get ahead of the competition. A recent survey confirms this idea, reporting that many CEOs of successful companies are up by 5 a.m. Adopting an early morning routine can be a difficult experience for many but by following these 10 simple steps, you can fight the battle and try to become a morning person!

  1. Get a good night’s sleep – Most people need at least 7-8 hours’ sleep to function well. Try going to bed an extra 30 minutes early each night and you’re likely to wake up feeling refreshed and with much more energy to begin the day.
  1. Don’t eat too late – Experts believe your sleep pattern may be disrupted by going to bed either too hungry or too full as the discomfort may keep you awake. The same goes for drinking as this is likely to increase mid-slumber trips to the bathroom, particularly in the case of caffeine and alcohol.
  1. Implement a routine – Setting a routine each night will prepare your mind for sleep. Whether this is taking some time out to read, meditating or having a warm drink, find a routine that works for you!
  1. Trick your brain – Hit the snooze button but then spend that 10 minutes out of bed stretching, making coffee or doing anything else that helps you to wake up. This technique, called the “inverted snooze” aims to help you ease the pain of waking up by telling yourself you only have to stick it out for 10 minutes. By the time the alarm goes off again you should be awake and alert enough to start your day rather than still grumpy in bed. Give yourself the time and space to wake up as slowly as you need and enjoy your start to the day.
  1. Use an app – There are many useful apps such as Sleep Cycle, which can track your sleep to determine when to wake you up based on movements. Some apps have other features that can track your snoring and your general sleeping pattern throughout the night. Using an alarm that starts low and gradually increases in volume or has a vibrating alarm that’ll wake you up gently can provide a gentler start to the morning.
  1. Brighten up – Instead of closing your blinds at night, allow yourself to wake up naturally by keeping them open to let the sunlight stream through in the morning. Whether it’s natural or artificial, light is significant because it tells the brain that the day has begun and sends signals to the body to stop making melatonin, the hormone that helps regular sleep.
  1. Positivity – Instead of groaning when the alarm goes off, try and have a positive mind-set and look forward to the day ahead as this will make it much easier to get up in the morning. Whether it’s that afternoon catch up with your friend or a run before work focus on that positive event.
  1. Exercise – Exercising first thing in the morning will boost your energy and get you going for the day. You generally have more willpower to exercise in the morning than after a long day at work so take advantage of this. Researchers have found that morning exercise lowers your blood pressure, reduces stress and anxiety, and helps you sleep better at night.
  1. Organisation – You will enjoy your morning more if you are not rushing around the house at the last minute. Prepare your outfit the night before, pack your lunch and make sure that everything is ready to ensure a hassle free morning. Having time in the morning will make it a much more pleasant experience!
  1. Eat a healthy breakfast – The key to having a good morning is a full stomach. Try eating something quick, easy, and healthy like porridge or muesli and yoghurt to energize you and see you through until lunchtime. Eating breakfast not only keeps away those “hangry” feelings, but also sets you up for a productive day!