NOT A MORNING PERSON? 5 WAYS YOUR DAYTIME DECISIONS ARE MAKING YOU TIRED

Research shows that a morning person makes the most out of their days by feeling happier and are more proactive.

Are you trying to become a morning person? Re-evaluate and address these 5 areas in your life to help you succeed.


BY: LINDSEY KANE, MS, RD, LDN

Research shows that early risers make the most out of their days by feeling happier and are more proactive in life. If you’re not a currently morning person, you may be wondering how you can make the switch.

But why is it so difficult getting up in the mornings?

When it comes to making a change to our daily routine, we must reflect on why we’ve been unsuccessful in the past so that we can anticipate these roadblocks and strategize ways to prevail in the future. Ask yourself: what is preventing you from getting up in the morning?

The most common reason?  Feeling tired.

But dig a little bit deeper…Why do you feel tired?  When it comes down to it, we feel tired today because of the decisions we made yesterday.  With that in mind, becoming a morning person starts with making the right decisions the day before.  

Here are 5 daytime decisions that impact your sleep schedule, the quality of your sleep, and ultimately, how tired or well-rested you feel when that alarm goes off:

1. Exercise

Many studies have solidified the evidence supporting that regular physical activity promotes sleep quality.  This exercise-sleep connection is a perfect example of how healthy habits often share a bidirectional, reciprocal relationship: Exercise promotes better sleep, and the better you sleep, the more likely you’ll wake up and exercise.  

Pro Tip:  Move your body. Do something you enjoy!  Include friends. Start small.  Any step forward is better than standing still.

2. Natural Light

Exposure to natural light actually helps calibrate your internal clock to sync up with sunrise and sunset.  

Pro tip: Aim to get 15-30 minutes of sunlight, ideally first thing in the morning, as this kicks off your circadian rhythm to get into the groove of being alert at dawn, while winding down at dusk.

3. Caffeine

A morning caffeine fix is 100% fair game, but the afternoon pick-me-up is where we run into trouble.  

Pro tip: Take a pledge to be caffeine-free at least 8 hours preceding bedtime.  Whether you believe it or not, it’s impacting your sleep.  

4. Screen time

Studies show that a whopping 95% of the population uses some type of electronic device within 1 hour before bed.  This pre-bed screen time is detrimental to your sleep in threefold: 1. It keeps you up past your bedtime, 2. It acts as a stimulant and increases alertness, making it more difficult to fall asleep, and 3. The light emitted disrupts your body’s circadian rhythm by suppressing the production of melatonin – the hormone that tells the body to go to sleep.  

Pro tip: Download the app called f.lux which makes the display of your computer screen adapt to the time of day (brighter during the day, warmer/duller at night).  Iphone users can also enable Apple’s “night shift” feature for a similar effect.  And most importantly schedule some digital downtime: go “screen-free” at least 1 hour before bed.

5. Bedtime

If you’re going to bed at 1 am every night, it’s no wonder you reach for the snooze button as soon as the first beep sounds!  Becoming a morning person requires hitting the hay earlier.  Most adults need 7-8 hours of sleep per night, though a few of us are “extra special” and require up to 10 hours of beauty sleep to truly thrive.  

Pro tip: Consider shifting your bedtime 15 minutes earlier each night until you reach a time that sets you up for success in the morning.

Sleep tight, my friends!

Adapted from the original article.
HEADER IMAGE: NATHAN DUMLAO

Lindsey Kane, MS, RD, LDN is a San Francisco-based Registered Dietitian helping others live a stress-free, balanced, and thriving life. By getting to know her clients inside and out, Lindsey identifies the opportunities within their everyday lifestyle to integrate subtle changes that create lasting, impactful results. Learn more at Bite For Change!

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